This is my son's FIRST Robotics team, last year, before he was on the team, which shows the six week's work the team went through to complete the robot.
On day one acrosss the world, at the same time, teams watch live opening remarks from the founder of FIRST including animated video explaining the new challenge. Then they open an envelope revealing details and the rules for the season. The team immediately begins brainstorming ideas and the process starts off with a bang. At the end of the six weeks the robot is "bagged and tagged" and cannot be touched until they arrive at a regional competition.
In the first six weeks the team can also build a practice robot. In between "bag and tag" day and the competitions the team can work on the practice robot only. The practice robot can go to the regional competition with them and parts can be scavenged off it and swapped out onto the competition robot. At the end of the regional the competition robot must be bagged and tagged again and is to remain untouched until they arrive at the next competition.
FIRST Robotics is a competition open to students in grades 9-12.
For more information see USFIRST.org.
Click the label "FIRST Robotics" to learn more about my son's experiences with this competition.