South Africa

Team 1676 has fostered a deep and impactful relationship with several robotics teams across South Africa. Since 2016, our engagement in South Africa has not only helped local teams excel in competitions but also bolstered their academic and community-oriented projects.

Engagement and Achievements

Our South African mentoring efforts center on comprehensive support for teams like Syre, Astrovo, and High Voltage, among others. These teams have repeatedly excelled at national championships, benefiting from our systematic approach to mentoring, which includes:

  • Technical Training: Providing detailed CAD files, programming tutorials, and hands-on mechanical advice that enable teams to build competitive robots.
  • Strategic Planning: Sharing strategies that enhance team performance during competitions, including game analysis and robot driving techniques.
  • Resource Provision: Sending essential materials, such as 52 lbs of LEGOs, which facilitated the initiation of local FIRST LEGO League teams and helped sustain their growth.

Workshops and Collaborations

Each year, the Pi-oneers organize workshops that bring together South African teams for learning and exchange. These workshops cover a range of topics from basic robotics to advanced programming and are often highlighted by guest speakers from within our network of alumni and industry professionals.

In 2024, the synergy between the Pi-oneers and South African teams was especially showcased during our collaborative kickoff event where we jointly watched the season’s game reveal, discussed strategies, and brainstormed robot designs

Community Impact

Beyond competitions, our mentoring extends to community impact initiatives. For instance, our partnership with the Sakhikamva Foundation has enabled broader outreach into local schools, introducing more students to robotics and inspiring them to pursue careers in technology and engineering.

Vision for the Future

Looking forward, we aim to deepen our involvement by establishing more robust training programs, enhancing resource sharing, and facilitating more frequent cultural exchanges. Our goal is to see our South African partners become leaders in their own right, capable of mentoring other teams in their region and propagating the values of FIRST throughout Africa.