Check out our ROBOTICON 2021 Virtual Challenges HERE!

ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2020-21 Games

Each season in the early fall, many FIRST teams learn what their new season game challenge will be, while the other programs are trying their hands and minds on their current season challenges.

For fall 2020, for FIRST, it was FIRST Game Changers!  VEX teams were hard at work with Rise Above and Change Up.  And ROBOTICON 2020 changed things up to go online, and national in scope.  COVID-19 has been a game changer for all of us, but we looked at it as an opportunity to explore new ways of doing things, rather than as an obstacle to learning.  (Check out our virtual event,  ROBOTICON 2020 – a bright spot in a dark year, with clear vision for the future! to see how we made the most of a challenging time.)

For our 2021 event, we’re splitting the difference, with both opportunities for virtual participation, and small scale in person competition opportunities, as well. 

Read on to see what’s on tap for our Fall 2021 event!

The Robot Challenges

NEXT Robotics Challenge – By Alumni for Alumni!

At ROBOTICON 2019, in partnership with PLUGHITZ Live, we announced the launch of NEXT Robotics, a post-high school open robotics challenge that would be designed by youth robotics alumni for alumni. We certainly didn’t have 20/20 vision for what 2020 was going to throw at us, but it turned out to be a great year to find out what’s NEXT!  

Alumni of the Mighty Mechanical Mustangs in South Florida won our 2020 NEXT Challenge with a game called OUTAGE – which alumni can learn more on our NEXT page or click the button below if you’re ready to register your team now!

Our 2022 NEXT Challenge will be announced during our 2021 event in October.  Stay tuned!


Because Infininte Recharge will not go away, we’re going to put yet another spin on this infinite off-season game with some different game play options.  Stay tuned!

Visit the FIRST Robotics Competition | FIRST ( website to learn more about programs and to find a contact in your area.

While FIRST Robotics Competition teams typically replay their previous season’s game because of their season calendar structure, FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League and VEX teams are gearing up to play their new season challenges. 

Here’s a look at what their robot competitions will look like this season, and what you can expect to see some version of at ROBOTICON 2021.

During their new season, FIRST teams across all programs will be exploring the theme of “transportation” in FIRST Forward.  Read more the FIRST Forward info page.  

FIRST Tech Challenge – Freight Frenzy

FIRST Tech Challenge, for  youth in 7th to 12th grade,  challenges teams to design, build, program, and operate robust small scale robots in an alliance format.

FIRST Tech Challenge robots use an Android operating system in an accessible, real world engineering experience that’s guided by adult Coaches and Mentors.

Students also keep an engineering portfolio to document their build processes.

The 2021-22 game is called Freight Frenzy.  Game details will be revealed internationally in September and will be updated here for ROBOTICON participants.

Visit the FIRST Tech Challenge website to learn more and find the right contact in your area.

FIRST LEGO League – Cargo Connect

In FIRST LEGO League Challenge,  students in 3rd through 8th grade build and program fully autonomous robots out of – LEGOs!  They also do a research project  and related presentation.

The new season game for FIRST LEGO League teams in the 2021-22 season is called Cargo Connect.  Teams will learn the new game details in late August and we’ll update here accordingly.

Visit the FIRST LEGO League website to learn more and find a contact in your area.

VEX Competitions

The VEX family of competitions, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation,  has more than 20,000 teams from 50 countries playing in over 1,700 tournaments worldwide. Each year, an exciting engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game.

For the 2021-22 season, participants in the VEX IQ Challenge are playing Pitching In and participants in the VEX Robotics Competition and VEX U are playing Tipping Point

For more information about VEX programs, visit the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation website.

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