Frequently Asked Questions


What is the FIRST Robotics Challenge?

Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. The FIRST Robotics Competition is the ultimate Sport for the Mind, and the hardest fun you’ll ever have.

Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, our team must raise funds, promote ourselves in the community, use teamwork skills, design, build, program, and test industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors.

It’s as close to real-world engineering as a high school student can get.

How much does it cost to run your team?

Registration is $5,000 for our first competition of the season, and $4,000 for regional competitions after that. Our season robot can cost up to $4,000. Travel to our competitions is roughly $2,500 for transportation and hotels, not including food.


In the 2019 Season, our team spent roughly $10,000 on the robot, tools and our single regional.

How much work goes into being a member of the team?

From kickoff (the first Saturday of January) until the end of the bag day (bag day ends 2020) team members and mentors will typically work every day after school from 3:30 to 6 or 7, and most Saturdays 10 to 3. In 2019, over 2000 hours of work time went into the season.  Outside of build season, students work out of class hours to prepare for events, teach a class at the Elliott Test Kitchen, present at businesses around town, and promote the team all year round.

How does the game work?

Each year’s Kickoff event unveils a new, exciting, and challenging game. From the Kickoff, teams have limited time to build and program a robot to compete in the game using a kit of parts provided by FIRST and a standard set of rules. DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE Presented By Boeing, the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition game, finds teams collecting samples on Planet Primus. Two competing alliances will combat unpredictable terrain and weather patterns, making remote robot operation essential to their mission on the planet. With only two minutes and thirty seconds until liftoff, the alliances must gather as many cargo pods as possible and prepare their spaceships for departure before the next sandstorm arrives.

When was the team formed?

The Cyberhounds started out as a FIRST Tech Challenge team in 2014, and in 2018 switched to the FIRST Robotics Competiton for their first season, FIRST Power Up.

Who can be apart of this team?

The FIRST Robotics Competition is a program for grades 9-12. The Cyberhounds currently have members from the Fort Madison High School and Holy Trinity Catholic, but are willing to expanding to other local school districts and home schooled students if a student wants to join.

In addition to student members, we are also always looking for professionals in our community who can help & teach our team. Please contact us if you are interested in joining as a member or a mentor – we can always use new people!

How do I join?

You can fill out our application here!

We are always looking for new members!

How is the team funded?

Our team is funded by generous sponsors as well as fundraisers we do throughout the year. We currently host a Halloween dance at our school, as well as several dinners throughout the year.

How much does it cost to be on the team?

We try and keep the costs of being a member of the team to a minimum. We have students who want to travel to our competitions pay a small deposit, which they are given to use for food while there. Our goal is to have the team funded by donations and fundraisers.


In the 2019 season, students only paid for their food at competition and optional 2019 season shirts.

How can I help the Cyberhounds?

You can help us in many ways!

Firstly, we can always use new mentors who can teach us and bring new ideas for our robot.

Secondly, we can always use donations of snacks for our work time, tools, and related items.

Lastly, you or your company can sponsor our team. Sponsorship money is essential in paying for our registration and travel expenses.

Please contact us if you are interested in helping our team out! Thank you!

What does "7141" mean?

Each team in the FIRST Robotics Competition is assigned a number when they register a team. This number is used to identify the team at competitions.

Is this like battle bots?