2016 - 2017
This season, the Scituate High School Robotics Program will have four teams competing in the FIRST Tech Challenge.
Good luck to our new engineers on Teams 9008, 9009, 9900, and 9910!
- Some programming advice from a really Gracious Team: http://www.mdfirst.org/images/stories/documents2015/2015FTCKickoff/Programming_Tutorial.pdf
- Android Studio training materials: https://developer.android.com/training/index.html
Resources from 2015-2016 Season:
FTC has a forum dedicated to questions about the new technology at http://ftcforum.usfirst.org/forumdisplay.php?156-FTC-Technology. Any members (mentors or students) can create an account to post in the forum.
NEW wiring guide: https://youtu.be/Gp7QeLmV4fg
Attention Project Managers: Create an account for your team in Windchill: http://www.ptc.com/communities/academic-program/k12/students/first/windchill-registration
Thank you to everyone who attended the ninth and final session of ROBOTalk this season! We really appreciate it.
Here is a link to a PTC Community document with links to the video, any referenced links from the presentations, and the presentations themselves.
Session 9 – Community Outreach and Tips and Tricks for PTC Creo and Windchill - https://www.ptcusercommunity.com/docs/DOC-7980
11/11/14 Session 8:
Here is a link to a PTC Community document with links to the video, any referenced links from the presentations, and the presentations themselves.
Here is a link to the 3D Printed Mascot Challenge for all FIRST teams – we can’t wait to see all of your designs!
- FIRST Design: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wucMlW3Mwnc
- Template for Weekly Report (word format)
- Template for Weekly Report (pdf format)
- PTC Robotalk
We'd like to announce the start of Robotalk or the 2015-2016 FTC season! Robotalk is a series of weekly webinars with PTC Experts who lead attendees through discussions on both technical topics like CAD and IoT (Internet of Things) and non-technical FIRST topics like fundraising and community outreach. This year the weekly webinar will be hosted by David PRice, the voice of FTC! David will be joined by all of your favorite PTC Experts including Jordan Cox, Scott Morris, and Mark Cheli, along with a few new PTC experts, several FIRST teams, and mentors.
We hope that many of you will be able to join us for these lively webinars which will be held Wednesday evenings, from September 23rd - November 18th, from 7pm to 8pm Eastern.
Planned topics include:
9/23/15 - Product Development and PTC Creo
9/30/15 - Brainstorming and the use of Sketches in PTC Creo
10/7/15 - Focus on PTC Mathcad and Fundraising
10/14/15 - Focus on PTC Creo and Drive-Trains
This video will show you similar content related to assembling a drive train: https://www.ptcusercommunity.com/videos/6316
10/21/15 - Designing a Buildable Robot with PTC Creo
10/28/15 - 3D Printing with PTC Creo
11/4/15 - Using PTC Windchill to Manage your CAD
11/11/15 - Using PTC Resources to Help Your FIRST Community
11/18/15 - What is the Internet of Things!
- FTC Outreach Contest
If you're doing FTC Team outreach, you've already qualified to enter our FTC Outreach Contest! The winning team gets an FTC competition kit! Check out our blog for more contest details.
- PTC Creo for FIRST Teams
- RI FTC Blast, November 23:
Web Short List of new FIRST web site
I hope this is helpful
Our new FIRST Tech Challenge control system requires that your Driver Station (DS) device be “paired” with your Robot Controller (RC) device. The FTC apps use Wi-Fi Direct technology to establish this connection between the two devices.
If you are having problems pairing your devices, here are some tips:
1. Make sure you pair the devices using the FTC Driver Station app.
Users should not try to pair the devices from the Android Wi-Fi Direct screen. Instead they should use the Settings->Pair with Robot Controller screen on the FTC Driver Station App.
2. Make sure your devices are not connected to any other wireless networks.
If you are having difficulty pairing your devices, make sure your devices are not connected to any other Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi Direct networks. You can use the Android Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct screens to forget any “remembered” groups, then restart the devices and reattempt the pairing process.
3. Make sure your WiFi Direct names do not have a newline character in them.
There is a bug in Android Kit Kat which can cause problems during
a Wi-Fi Direct scan if it encounters a device name that has a newline
(i.e., a RETURN) character in it. If a user inadvertently puts a newline character in the device’s name (for example, because their finger accidentally hit the RETURN key on touchscreen keyboard), this can cause problems during the pairing process.When you type in your Wi-Fi Direct name, make sure you do not have any newline characters included:
Figure 1 – For this device the Wi-Fi Direct name has a newline character before the “018”. This can cause pairing problems.
4. Are there a large (20 or more) number of pairs of devices trying to connect?
If you are in a venue where there are a large number of devices trying to pair simultaneously, it could affect your Driver Station’s ability to find and connect to its matching Robot Controller. If there are a high number of devices attempting to pair at the same time, it might be helpful to remove your pair of devices from the immediate area and pair the devices in isolation. Once your devices have been paired, they should stay connected, even if your wireless environment has a fair amount of wireless interference in the background.
For detailed information about troubleshooting the Wi-Fi Direct pairing process, please visit the following thread in the FTC Technology forum:
- National FTC Blast, November 20:
1. New FIRST Brand and Website Launch
FIRST has launched a new FIRST brand complete with a redesigned website, new url, and updated logos! Every so often, great brands need to be refreshed and updated to stay current with the times and help enhance their recognition and awareness. That's what we are doing with the FIRST logo, icon, colors, fonts, and website.
Learn more about these exciting new changes from FIRST President, Don Bossi!
Be sure to visit the "For Teams" page to familiarize yourself with the new site and access in-season information.
2. Wi-Fi Direct Pairing Information
If your team (or teams at your events) are having issues pairing the Driver Station device to the Robot Controller device check out our Technology Tips blog post.
- RI FTC Email Blast, November 19
I hope everyone is doing well.
I know teams are all working as best they can. Remember, no team is ever completely ready.
FIRST new web site
FIRST has changed their web site.
The new web site is firstinspires.org. Please make sure this does not get caught in your spam on the computer.
RI FTC Growth
Last season we had 48 teams, this season we are currently at 52 teams registered!
We have 3 qualifiers scheduled for 12/5, 12/19 and 1/9. I will send a second email with information to the teams by qualifier date.
Plant to arrive at NEIT in East Greenwich for 7:30 am. Arrive ready for inspection. The sooner we get all of the robots inspected the sooner we can begin the matches. Plan to be here until at least 5 pm.
Preparing for the Competition
On the new FIRST web site there is resources page which provides all of the links you need to prepare a competition. Please have your team review each link on the page. http://www.firstinspires.org/node/5261
No team will be allowed to participate in the qualifier without a correct and completed Team Roster. This documents indicates to FIRST as well as NEIT that the parent has given permission for the student to participate. Attached you will find a sample document, Here is the link
Dean's List Submissions
Applications for the Dean's List Award must be submitted through TIMS.
What's new - this season Coaches and Mentors will have 14 calendar days (counting the day of the Event) to submit the nomination prior to the Qualifier, League Championship OR Interview Only Event in their region. Please make sure to read our Dean's List Submission Guide (*coming soon!) for complete details on how to apply!
Modern Robotics Power Module Update!
Some of our teams are experiencing issues with their Power Distribution Module. Please read our latest blog post for more information on how to best handle any polarity issues. http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.com/2015/11/technology-tips-from-thomas-eng.html
Power Distribution Module (PDM) Test
FIRST has been tracking some reported technical issues with the Power Distribution Modules (PDMs) that are used with the new FTC robot platform. The PDM is the device that acts as a powered USB hub and also distributes 12V power to the motor and servo controllers on a robot. Users in the field have reported a small number of PDMs with a power-on issue. In these cases users power on the PDM but are unable to communicate to USB devices connected to the PDM. Modern Robotics has been investigating this issue and suspects that only a small number of devices may be vulnerable. Modern Robotics has created a quick test to ensure your PDM is working properly http://beta.usfirst.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/ftc/power-distribution-module-test.pdfy.
New SDK FIRST will be releasing a new software development kit this week. Find more information go to https://github.com/ftctechnh/ftc_app
Thank you for all you do for RI students
- RI FTC Email blast from 11/12/15
- Modern Robotics Power Module Update!
- FIRST Tech Challenge Forum!
- Google Hangout! New Technology Series 3: Mounting, Prep, and Assembly
- Find an Event!
- New Tech photos!
Join the conversation online:
1. Modern Robotics Power Module Update!
Some of our teams are experiencing issues with their Power Distribution Module. Please read our latest blog post for more information on how to best handle any polarity issues.
2. FIRST Tech Challenge Game Forum!
For the latest and greatest game information check out our FIRST Tech Challenge Game Forum, this is also the best place to have any game releated questions your team may have answered by the professionals.
3. Mounting, Prep, and Assembly Google Hangout!
The authors of our very own FIRST Tech Challenge Robot Wiring Guide and 2015 World Championship Inspire Award Winners FTC Team #3595 will be hosting a Google Hangout to share information about mounting hardware and sensors and the best way to protect your robot during competition. Tune in tonight at 8pm ET! This Google Hangout will be recorded and made available on our YouTube channel.
4. Find an Event Near You!
Check out our event list to find FIRST Tech Challenge events near you!
5. FTC New Tech Photos!
We're still looking for event photos and we would love high quality photos of your robot with the new tech mounted on it. Dress up your robot, pick a cool camera angle, snap a pic and send it to email@example.com or post it on twitter and tag us!
We're up to 1067 FTC Rookie Teams! Welcome to FTC! Check out our Team Resources page for tips on getting started in FTC.
- FTC Email blast from 11/4/15
1. Power Distribution Module (PDM) Test
FIRST has been tracking some reported technical issues with the Power Distribution Modules (PDMs) that are used with the new FTC robot platform. The PDM is the device that acts as a powered USB hub and also distributes 12V power to the motor and servo controllers on a robot. Users in the field have reported a small number of PDMs with a power-on issue. In these cases users power on the PDM but are unable to communicate to USB devices connected to the PDM. Modern Robotics has been investigating this issue and suspects that only a small number of devices may be vulnerable. Modern Robotics has created a quick test to ensure your PDM is working properly.
Click here for test instructions!
2. New SDK
We will be releasing a new software development kit this week. Find more information here!
3. Mounting, Prep, and Assembly Google Hangout
The authors of our very own FIRST Tech Challenge Robot Wiring Guide and 2015 World Championship Inspire Award Winners FTC Team #3595 will be hosting a Google Hangout to share information about mounting hardware and sensors and the best way to protect your robot during competition. Tune in next Thursday, 11/12 at 8pm ET!
4. Check Out Our FIRST Beta Site
FIRST is launching a brand new website! Check it out here and let us know what you think in the feedback section!
We're up to 1036 FTC Rookie Teams! Welcome to FTC! Check out our Team Resources page for tips on getting started in FTC.
- FTC Email blast 10/16/15:
1. Matrix Support for FTC SDK
Matrix support has been released for the FTC SDK. Teams can download the updated SDK from the GitHub repository. They can update their Driver Station app either from the SDK download (there is a subdirectory called "doc/apk" that has the driver station app file) or they can update their driver station app from Google Play:
Here is a video of a Matrix bot:
2. New Beta Website for FIRST
FIRST is currently launching a brand new website. What this means for you:
- Cleaner design and role-based navigation and content
- Fully responsive - optimized for phone and tablet use. (IOS and Android)
- New Resource Library
- New Personal Dashboard
Where Can I find the information I need:
- FIRST Tech Challenge & Season Info
- Resources are now found in the Resource Library
- Coming Soon! The ability to create your own Personal Dashboard where you can quickly access FIRST registration systems, save Resource Library items, and our calendar of events
Check out our new website here! We are still working on our site and will continue to appreciate feedback. Please remember that this is a beta version and we will continue to make updates. Our original site will continue to be live as our community makes the transition.
3. Help Your Kids Submit
If you've been following the FIRST twitterverse, you may know that an amazing opportunity is open right now for the 2014-2015 or 2015-2016 FIRST Tech Challenge team members. The FIRST Future Innovator Award sponsored by the Abbott Fund, the foundation of gobal healthcare company Abbott, allows team members from both seasons to submit an idea pertaining to:access to clean water, health informatics, or engineering the tools of scientific discovery. Applications are open through the end of October. The winner and semi-finalist will take home cash prizes and be announced live at the 2016 FIRST Championship!
We're up to 889 FTC Rookie Teams! Welcome to FTC! Check out our Team Resources page for tips on getting started in FTC.
- FTC Email blast 10/8/15:
1. Legal/Illegal Wheels and Tread Test
The FTC Forum has received many questions about legal/illegal wheels and tread types for this season's game. FIRST cannot possibly evaluate all the different wheels and treads that are available. Therefore if a Team has a question about a particular tread, the first step is to visit the FTC Forum to see if the question has already been addressed.
Once you've checked the forum the next step is to test the tread prior to competition, which mitigates the risk of a team arriving at a competition wiht a treadthat can potentially damage the field. Prior to the competition, Teams should place the robot on top of a field tile and against an immovable surface (wall), and run the wheels at full power for 15 seconds. If there is any physical damage to the floor tile then the wheels will not be allowed. Discoloration or black marks alone are not considered field damage. Remember, the test must be made with the robot at the weight the bot will be at during the competition as this will affect the degree of damage.
Robot Inspectors will perform this same test at an Event if they have concerns about the Robot's wheels or tread damaging the playing field.
2. New Tech Pictures
We need your help! We're making memes and we would love pictures of your robots with the new tech mounted. Dress up your robot, pick a cool camera angle, snap a pic and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on twitter and tag us!
3. Last Call: FTC Outreach Contest
There are two days left and we've only received a few submissions for our #FTCOutreach contest! We know teams have been working hard and doing stupendous work spreading the love of FTC. If your team has done outreach work in your community, post a video on vine or twitter and tag us (@FTCTeams) and use the hashtag (#FTCOutreach) for your chance to win a competition kit! Check out our blog post for more contest info!
- Thursday, September 24 FTC Email Blast:
1. FIRST Inspire Trading Pin Contest
FIRST and 3D Systems challenge your team to design a 3D printable trading pin for our inaugural "FIRST, Inspire" Celebration fundraiser in New York City, where we will inspire guests with our impact and honor Michael R. Bloomberg, will.i.am, and FIRST Alumna Diana Lee Guzman. We'll 3D print the winning pins and present them as gifts so our guests can experience the pin-exchange that joins our teams at competitions.
Use your designs to demonstrate how FIRST has changed your world and help us inspire our guests with the infinite awesomeness that is FIRST. Submissions may be made from September 23 through October 2, 2015.
Eligibility & Rules
- You must currently be on an FRC or FTC team.
- You may submit as an individual or team.
- Use one of the base models here as a template.
- Use any of all of the 5 colors in the "FIRST, Inspire" logo shown on the site.
- Designs must be 3D printable, uploaded as STL files to Cubify and tagged as "FIRST, Inspire Pin". A file can be uploaded in the "My Cubify" section of the site.
- Files must be set to "public" so judges can access them.
- Participants are welcome and encouraged to submit multiple entries.
- Submissions must be made in the spirit of Gracious Professionalism.
We'll announce up to 10 winners prior to November 4th celebration via email and social media by FIRST and 3D Systems. Good luck and have fun!
2. FIRST Alliance, NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) is now accepting applications for the 2016 Aspirations in Computing Award
1. For high school girls - the Award honors young women who are active and interested in computing and technology and encourages them to pursue their passions. The multi-tiered competition includes recognition at both the national and local levels.
The program is open to any U.S. high school women with computing aspirations. NCWIT recognizes both aspirations as well as accomplishments. Recipients are chosen for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computers, proven leadership, academic performance and plans for post-secondary education.
Student applications will be accepted until 8:00PM EDT, October 26, 2015. Find out more!
2. For educators - this award publicly celebrates high school educators who encourage girls interest and participation in technology pursuits. Educator Award recipients form a national community of peers, share practices, and empower other educators to encourage the participation of girls in computing.
Educator applications will be accepted until 8:00PM EDT, November 9, 2015. Find out more!
For FAQs on both programs, please visit www.aspirations.org/faqs.
- Sept 18, From Erin:
Training for the New Operating Platform
FIRST is well aware that all teams will be struggling with the new platform. Pay attention to the email team blasts you receive from FIRST as well as the team resource page http://www3.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/team-resources
For help on the new platform go to:
· New Components Overview - Dive into the New Tech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUgaWSj2zyg
· Introduction to the new FTC Android Platform: Getting Started and Writing a basic Teleop Program https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtKbbi31PWc
· FIRST Question Forum http://ftcforum.usfirst.org/forum.php