FedEx talks tech with robot innovations


FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) inspires young people to participate in science and technology to motivate career interest in STEM fields. Each year, FIRST gathers over half a million students around the world for thousands of robotics competitions that culminate at two global championship events. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, FIRST’s 2020 and 2021 seasons were cancelled. However, in 2019, more than 574,000 students participated on over 67,000 FIRST teams.

To make these competitions possible, robots and parts are transported sometimes thousands of miles, all over the world. FedEx has provided in-kind shipping for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) program since 2002, totaling more than $6.9M. Since 2014, FedEx has also supported FIRST by sponsoring rookie teams, innovation challenge grants and FIRST’s general operating support.

Since FIRST in-person events were cancelled for the 2021 season, the organization got creative to keep teams engaged. Part of their strategy included creating three virtual game challenges. To make these challenges possible, FedEx shipped 3,078 robot kit-of-parts to individuals all over the world.

They also engaged teams through FIRST’tv’s Beyond the Bots segment for National Robotics Week. FedEx’s own Aaron Prather, Sr. Operations Tech Advisor, participated in the segment addressing robotics in different industries—specifically logistics. Click below to see what FedEx is doing to innovate with robotics in the shipping industry.

Click the link to view Aaron’s video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2Szp_xPAogw

***Video and image courtesy of FIRST