FRC Robot to Throw First Pitch at Comerica Park Tonight!

Robot will toss to PAWS on August 22 prior to Tigers vs. Toronto game at 7:05 p.m.


DETROIT, Mich., August 21, 2012 – A “rookie free agent” robot named “Cy-ber Young” will make its Major League debut at Comerica Park, Wednesday evening, August 22.

The sleek aluminum and steel robot will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the start of the American League matchup between the host Detroit Tigers and the visiting Toronto Blue Jays at 7:05 p.m.

Cy-ber Young, a 200-pound robot, was conceived, designed and built from the ground up by a group of 20 high school students and their adult mentors throughout the summer months. Frog Force, the FIRST® Robotics Competition team from Novi High School, took the lead but was assisted by students from other FIRST teams at Troy, Bishop Foley, Waterford-Kettering and Monroe County High Schools as well. Cy-ber Young is sponsored by Magna Seating of Novi, Michigan.

FIRST is an amazing organization that truly offers the same competitive environment as baseball and other team sports,” said Eli Bayless, Director, Promotions, Detroit Tigers. “Teamwork, personal achievement, competition, friendship and the development of skills that will help kids later in their lives are all important parts of what makes FIRST teams, competitions and events special.  We’re excited to raise awareness about the opportunities that FIRST provides, and hope that Wednesday’s ceremonial first pitch will help do just that.”

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is active in 35 percent of all Michigan high schools, making the Great Lakes State one of the highest participation rates for the FIRST organization in the country.  The organization focuses on creating a high-energy environment that allows adult professional mentors to work side by side with high school students to show how much fun engineering, math, science and technology (STEM) can be for a career choice.

FIRST Robotics pulls science and math concepts from textbook pages and puts them into action, real action,” said Linda Boran, mentor for Novi High. “FIRST competitions are as intense and heart-stopping as any varsity sport. That is why the opportunity to debut their creation on a major league baseball field is such a thrill to this group.”

Jeff Spragg, a student from the Troy High School “Hammerheads” added: “We want to inspire people in the Detroit area and get the message ofFIRST out into the community.”

The FIRST organization has been cited by President Obama’s administration and other U.S. Presidents before him as one of the best educational and motivational ways for students to start down the road of a career in engineering, science or technology.

FIRST Robotics has proven repeatedly to high school students to be the only varsity ‘sport’ in which all participants can actually turn pro,” said Francois Castaing, president of FIRST in Michigan. “Careers in engineering, science, technology and math await these bright, talented and fine young people.”

Cy-ber Young Fast Facts:

  • Pitching speed: 100 mph top speed, but can and will be dialed back to slower speeds.
  • Top drive speed: 11 feet/second
  • Wheelbase: 34 inches
  • Overall length: 48 inches
  • Height: 32 inches
  • Cannon barrel length, fully extended: 42 inches, range of motion: 105 degrees
  • Max stored air pressure: 3,000 psi
  • Rear wheel drive, battery powered
  • Weighing in at 200 lbs, this rookie fires pitches using a retractable cannon powered by air pressure stored in, of all things, a SCUBA tank.

Local Competitions:

A typical FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season kicks off nationwide the first weekend in January, the first time that thousands of teams nationwide learn about the game – a game that changes its tactics, goals and strategy every single year. Games are created by FIRST founder Dean Kamen.

There are 10 FIRST in Michigan district events, enabling all Michigan teams to each compete two times within the state.  Similar to sports tournament formats, district competition scoring qualifies teams for the Michigan State Championship. From there, 18 teams are eligible to advance to the international FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MO. Michigan teams have been on the winning alliance at eight of the last nine National Championships.

About  FIRST in Michigan

  • FIRST in Michigan is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization responsible for implementing all FIRST programs in the state;
  • FIRST teams in Michigan currently number 191 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams with 341 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams with more than 3,000 students competing;
  • FIRST Robotics Competition alumni make up 20 percent of the current student body at Kettering University’s School of Engineering in Flint.




Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering. With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League for children 9 to14 years old (FLL®), and Junior FIRST® LEGO League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9 year-olds. To learn more about FIRST®, go to

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Media contacts:

In Michigan,

Tom Lang, 734-953-3500                  

cell 734-812-2922                  


FIRST Headquarters:

Cheryl Walsh

cell 978-407-8028



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