ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2018 was our biggest and best event yet!  This year, FIRST Robotics Competition teams played on a brand new field, made here locally in Tampa, intended to be the anchor piece of the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation’s new FabLab and Robotics Center, announced at the event.  Over 4000 people attended ROBOTICON this year, which was also a Manufacturing Day event, enjoying the wealth of STEM education displays and interactive exhibits set up throughout the Yuengling Center.

With special guest, Kurt Leucht, of NASA Kennedy Space Center, and workshops and panel discussions from Women in Defense, and Citi, and USF CARD, and terrific exhibits from the University of South Florida College of Engineering along with several of our great sponsors and event partners, there was something for everyone at ROBOTICON!

Guests got to try their minds at brain controlled drone flying, test CO2 cars in the STEMWERX wind tunnel , meet motorsports luminary Jeff Andretti, check out the awesomely tenacious 4-legged robot SOFWERX had on display and launch paper rockets with an Infento air canon at the Green Mouse Academy booth, and more.

The  Board of County Commissioners once again issued a proclamation for ROBOTICON Month in Hillsborough County.  And the biggest announcement to come out of ROBOTICON: the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation, our nonprofit event organizer, announced their new Tampa based FabLab and Robotics Center at University Mall, just down the street from the University of South Florida, which will be part of the new mixed-use city center under development there.   FIRST youth robotics teams and others throughout Tampa Bay and central Florida will be able to use the facility to build, learn, and practice year round , and will have access to the full scale permanent FIRST Robotics Competition field, FIRST Tech Challenge field, FIRST LEGO League tables and a rich variety of tools and resources.

Thanks to FIRST Tech Challenge, we were also able to give away another rookie team grant to a team wishing to help grow FIRST in their area. This year’s winner was FIRST Robotics Competition team 5816 Gra-V Robotics. Congratulations!

You can find photos from this year’s event on our Photo page, and here’s the list of other awardees at ROBOTICON 2018:

FIRST Robotics Competition

  • Winning Alliance – 179 Children of the Swamp, 5472 Stallions, 2154 Baby Smash
  • Finalist Alliance – 1524 S.R.A.M, 2383 Ninjineers, 2425 HYDRA
  • Gracious Professional –  1369 Minotaur
  • Awesome Pit – 4118  Roaring Riptide
  • Team Spirit –   2383 Ninjineers

FIRST Tech Challenge

  • Awesome pit – 5937 Renaissance Robotics
  • Gracious Professionalism –  10497 SwampBots
  • Team Spirit –  11499 Plaid Pelicans


  • Robot Performance Award – 31128 RoboNinjas
  • Team Spirit Award – 37578 Techno Wizards
  • Awesome Pit Award – 30648 Tie Dye Gummy Divas


  • Team Spirit Award – 14225 Flawless Flossing Unicorns
  • Teamwork Award – 14115 The LEGO Pros
  • Robust Design – 13599 Space Unicorns

Congratulations to all, and thank you to everyone who make ROBOTICON 2018 possible. See you again next year!