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FIRST and Zebra Technologies Empower Students With Real-Time Robotics Competition Insights

Zebra real-time location solution makes debut at FIRST Championship in Texas

Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, announced it will empower FIRST Robotics Competition teams with actionable insights to refine game play while enhancing the fan experience at the FIRST Championship.

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“Aligned with our belief that FIRST has always been more than robotics, Zebra’s location solutions help take competitions a step further to garner the same excitement and emotion of players and fans in a sports stadium”

Zebra Technologies has worked with FIRST in the U.S. for over 20 years and globally since 2019. Zebra employees serve as student mentors while the company sponsors tournaments and provides the Zebra MotionWorks real-time location solution to give real-time visibility into game play during local and regional competitions. For the first time, this technology will be operated at the international FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas, from April 20-23, 2022.

“We’re proud to support the next generation of changemakers, innovators and doers as they come together in Houston to compete in this international event,” said Bill Burns, Chief Product & Solutions Officer, Zebra Technologies. “At Zebra, we believe in doing a world of good, one community at a time. Our investment in STEM and in students extends the edge of possibility, providing young people with tools to help define their educational paths and ultimately build fulfilling careers.”

As the Official On-Field Player Tracking Provider for the NFL, Zebra has tracked every player on every team for every game every week for the last eight NFL seasons. Zebra’s technology generates the data that fuels the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, providing coaches with insights to make informed decisions and fans with real-time stats. During the FIRST Championship, FIRST Robotics Competition teams will benefit from the same technology.

The data collected can be used to help break down complex FIRST Robotics Competition games and strategies into easier-to-absorb concepts for those who are new to FIRST, particularly those watching competitions in person and via live streams. It also provides individual teams with analytics they can apply to further improve their own robots, assess alliances and opponents, and develop or refine their own game.

“Aligned with our belief that FIRST has always been more than robotics, Zebra’s location solutions help take competitions a step further to garner the same excitement and emotion of players and fans in a sports stadium,” said Mark Giordono, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations, FIRST. “Zebra recognizes today’s STEM students are tomorrow’s STEM professionals. Through its support at the FIRST Championship, Zebra is helping empower FIRST Alumni to develop their skills with technology used to deliver real-time insights.”

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As a leader in location solutions, Zebra Technologies provides similar real-time location insights to retail store managers, healthcare clinicians, manufacturing line workers and transportation and logistics delivery personnel to help them improve their operational efficiencies and real-time decision making. Zebra is also helping warehouse operators build their automation strategies through its organic investment in robotics and acquisition of Fetch Robotics.

To learn more about the FIRST competition and how to stream it live, visit the FIRST Championship website. Zebra MotionWorks™ data will be available immediately after each Einstein Round Robin Tournament match on The Blue Alliance website.


  • FIRST Robotics Competition teams competing at the FIRST Championship will – for the first time – receive real-time visibility into game play and actionable insights fueled by Zebra MotionWorks™ real-time location solution.
  • The same technology that generates the data to fuel the NFL’s Next Gen Stats will provide FIRST Championship spectators with detailed insights to enhance the fan experience.

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