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

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

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – April 20, 2022 – Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today announced it will empower FIRST® Robotics Competition teams with actionable insights to refine game play while enhancing the fan experience at the FIRST® Championship.

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.”

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.



FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers. Learn more at


Zebra (NASDAQ: ZBRA) empowers organizations to thrive in the on-demand economy by making every front-line worker and asset at the edge visible, connected and fully optimized. With an ecosystem of more than 10,000 partners across more than 100 countries, Zebra serves customers of all sizes – including 94% of the Fortune 100 – with an award-winning portfolio of hardware, software, services and solutions that digitize and automate workflows. Supply chains are more dynamic, customers and patients are better served, and workers are more engaged when they utilize Zebra innovations that help them sense, analyze and act in real time. Zebra recently expanded its industrial automation portfolio with its Fetch Robotics acquisition and increased its machine vision and AI software capabilities with the acquisitions of Adaptive Vision and Zebra is #25 on Newsweek’s inaugural list of America’s Most Loved Workplaces and #79 on Forbes’ list of America’s 500 Best Midsize Employers. Learn more at or sign up for news alerts. Follow Zebra’s Your Edge blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Story Hub: Zebra Perspectives.

FIRST® Media Contact:

Media Contact:

Melissa Wagner 
Zebra Technologies 

Industry Analyst Contact:

Kasia Fahmy
Zebra TechnologiesZ

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