Presented By… Colton Mehlhoff FTC 4140 – Fish in the Boat Modeling & Robot Design University of Minnesota Scott McDowell FTC 4140 – Fish in the Boat Coach / Mentor High Tech Kids
Why are we here? • Learn more about FTC • Compare and contrast FTC with FRC • Destroy the Misconceptions • More STEM • More Robots!!
What is FTC? • FIRST Robotics program positioned between and overlapping both FRC and FLL • 7th – 12th Grade • Up to 10 students on the team • Two-on-Two, Driver Controlled Format • 12’ x 12’ Competition Area • Medium Sized Robots (18”x18”x18”) • 5-8 Qualification Rounds • Top 4 Qualification Seeds are Alliance Captains • Best 2 out of 3 Elimination Ladder
Hook • Surprise! FTC is not all about the Robot. • As with all FIRST robotics programs, the robot is the hook to draw people into the program • Real-World and Engineering skills are the core of what participants gain
FTC Misconceptions • FTC is a JV program • FRC is the Varsity Sport for the Mind • So, FTC must be something else?! • Competition with Erector sets • All Kit-of-Parts Robots • Less Engineering • Bigger Robots must be harder
How is FTC Like FRC? • Design & Build Robot • Program Robot • Alliance Format • Drive Teams - 2 Drivers & 1 Coach • Partners vs. Opponents • Qualification Rounds • Elimination Rounds • Competitive Game Strategies • Scouting • Outreach • Modeling Robot • Web sites • Business Plans / Strategic Plans • Videos • Marketing & Team Branding • Corporate Sponsorships • Work with Engineering Community • High Energy Tournaments
How is FTC Different than FRC? • Robots are smaller – 18”x18”x18” • Limited by size and electronics vs. cost, weight and size • Robots are slower than FRC – No Bumpers • FTC Robots tend to be more Complex & less Sophisticated • Components are more restricted • Build and Tournament Season combined • Iterative Design – don’t have to guess right the first time • No Human Player • No Video Navigation Systems • Engineering Notebook
Advantages of FRC over FTC • Cool Factor – Robots are bigger & go faster • FRC more recognized program • Longer History – Team & Program Legacy • More sophisticated robot systems available – Pneumatics, Electronics & COTS • Large competition arena & easier for audience to see robot game • More Programming options • More Awards • Deans List • Woodie Flowers Award vs. Compass Award • Better representation at the World Championships • FRC 400/2600 = 15% • FTC 128/3000 = 4% • FLL 70/24,000 = 0.3%
Advantages of FTC over FRC • Longer combined build and tournaments season • Iterative Design • No Bag & Tag • Smaller teams – students can work on all parts of program • Favors development of Generalists over Specialists • Scales with number of students • Robot is more transportable to demos & tournaments • Learning curve is lower on the front end • Cost - $2000 team startup costs • Less space required • More student driven with guidance from mentors • More use of sensors and autonomous programming
Why Start FTC teams? • Scales with student population • Team size limit up to 10 • Cost $2000 for a startup team • Different engineering skills than FRC • Generalists more than specialists • Progression of Programs • Transition from FLL to FTC to FRC • Allows for a new system of challenges every 3-5 years • Iterative design • Boys vs. Girls vs. Coed teams • $500 Rookie Grants!
Tetrix Building Systems • Developed by LEGO and Pitsco Education • 35% discount to FTC Teams • 32mm repeating pattern aluminum system • Reusable for multiple seasons • Single 12VDC Battery based • Up to 8 DC Motors • Up to 12 Servos (4 varieties) • Servo & Motor Controllers
Matrix Building Systems • Matrix Building System • Geared to international teams • Tetrix system outside the US is very expensive • HiTechnic is the US distributor • Closer to VEX building system • Reusable for multiple seasons • Single 9VDC Battery based
LEGO Building Systems • LEGO Mindstorms NXT • EV3 not legal for 2013-2014 season • LEGO Manufactured Sensors • LEGO Motors • Any LEGO Part • Duplo Parts are not legal
Communications System • Samantha WiFi Communications Module • Replaced Bluetooth four years ago • Provides all communication between the Field Control System (FCS) and the Robot • Limited Security & Susceptible to Disruption
LEGO & HiTechnic Sensors • Touch • Light • Color • Infra-Red • Ultra-Sonic • Electro-Optical Position Detector (EOPD) • Magnetic • Force • Angle • Compass • Gyro • Tilt/Accelerometer • Motor/Axle Encoders • Touch Sensor MUX • Sensor MUX
Custom Developed Sensors • HiTechnic NXT Super-Pro Prototype Board • Must only connect to the named ports on the board • Must be powered by the voltage available through the board • Additional circuit boards may be connected to the Prototype board • On board processor may not be re-programmed
Legal Raw Materials • Raw materials may be used in any dimension and quantity. Teams may use these raw materials to make any type of finished part. • A Raw material can be any type of commonly available material including steel, aluminum, plastic (of any kind), fiberglass, carbon fiber, stone, wood (including paper, plywood, etc.). Also included are castable materials such as polymer resins, rubber, cement, etc. • To be legal a Raw Material must be readily available to the majority of teams from standard distributors (e.g. McMaster-Carr, Home Depot, Grainger, etc.). Materials that are found in only one region or can only be obtained from a team’s sponsor are not allowed. • Materials in the form of angle, channel, tubing, sheet, film, blocks, etc. are allowed but these same shapes with post machined features (holes, slots, etc.) are considered to be Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS)
Legal COTS • Linear Slides • Non-motorized Turntables and Lazy Susans. • Lead Screws and threaded rod plus compatible nuts. • Servo blocks (e.g. ServoCity Part # SB608SH and SB609SH), shaft adaptors, servo arms, ball links, shaft clamps • #25 or #35 chain with associated links. • Timing belts of any size and pitch. • Gears of any size and pitch, including non-circular gears such as rack, worm, bevel, etc. • Sprockets of any size and pitch. • Pulleys including sheaves, timing belt, etc. • Springs of any type and material (coil, extension, compression, leaf, etc.) that are used in a safe manner. • Fasteners of any size, including nuts, bolts, screws, shoulder screws, washers, spacers, shaft collars, shaft couplers, rivets, Velcro, etc. • Bearings of any type and material. Including bushings, roller bearings, etc. • PVC, CPVC, PEX piping and fittings. • Extruded • T-slot aluminum construction material along with all compatible brackets and fittings (i.e. 80-20, Macron Dynamics, etc.). • Wheels of any type up to 4” diameter. Wheels that have exposed features likely to cause damage to field and/or game elements are not allowed.
Beyond the Building Systems a. Rope, cord, cable, monofilament, etc. These can be made from natural (cotton, wool, etc.), polymers (nylon, polyester, etc.), or metal materials. b. Rubber bands. c. Surgical or Latex Tubing. d. Non-metallic cable ties (also known as Zip Ties). e. Non-Slip Pad (e.g. McMaster-Carr Part #69275T54 or Home Depot SKU #134555). Packaging material must list the product as Non-Slip Pad. f. Adhesive backed tape of any type. g. Glue, cement, adhesives. <R07> Welding, brazing, and soldering are legal methods for assembling a robot.
Programming Options • 3 LabView licenses provide free with paid FTC team registration • Icon based programming language • 6 RobotC licenses can be purchased for $100 • Text based programming language
Judged Awards • Inspire Award • Top Award in FTC. Similar to FRC Chairman's Award. Winning team is competitive in all judged categories and performance. • Think Award • Judging how well teams documented their engineering journey. Engineering design process and Engineering Notebook central. • Connect Award • Judging how well teams connect with the engineering community. Business Plan, Strategic Plan & Outreach are central. • Rockwell Collins Innovate Award • Judging creativity in robot design and game strategy. Performance is a factor. • PTC Design Award • Judging teams use of CAD in their robot design. Unique robot design also key. • Motivate Award • Teams Spirit, Team Branding, Community Outreach
Judged Awards (continued) • Control Award (Optional) • Use of Sensors and Software to improve robots reliability and performance. • Promote Award (Optional) • 1 minute Public Service Announcement (PSA) video on FIRST. New theme each year. • Compass Award (Optional) • 1 minute video recognizing an adult coach or mentor. • Future Innovator Award • Sponsored by the Abbott Fund. Judged at the national level. Work on solving one of several real-world issues.
Performance Awards • Winning Alliance • Captain • 1st Pick • 2nd Pick • Finalist Alliance • Captain • 1st Pick • 2nd Pick • Qualification Round Seeding • Top 4 Seeds are Alliance Captains
Tournament Hierarchy • Scrimmages • Put on and run by teams • Regional Qualifiers (4-6x 16-24 Teams) • 1-2 Regional Qualifiers per team • 5-8 teams advance per Regional Qualifier • Championship Tournament (24-36 Teams) • MN Snow Drift • 5-6 teams advance • Super-Regional (4x 72 Teams) • North Super-Regional (Iowa City, IA) • 13 States in the North Super-Regional • 20-25 teams advance per Super-Regional • FTC World Championships (128 Teams) • St. Louis, MO
Advancement Criteria • Qualifier Host Team • Inspire Award Winner • Winning Alliance Captain • Inspire Award 2nd place • Winning Alliance, 1st team selected • Inspire Award 3rd place • Winning Alliance, 2nd team selected • Think Award Winner • Finalist Alliance Captain • Connect Award Winner • Finalist Alliance, 1st team selected • Rockwell Collins Innovate Award Winner • Finalist Alliance, 2nd team selected • PTC Design Award Winner • Highest Ranked Team not previously advanced • Motivate Award Winner • Highest Ranked Team not previously advanced
Minnesota FTC Affiliate Partner • High Tech Kids • 501(c)(3) Non-Profit • Run FIRST LEGO League (FLL) in MN • FLL Affiliate Partner since Pilot Year 1998 • 509 FLL teams in 2012 • Renewable Energy Challenge (REC) • Cheryl Moeller, Executive Director • Vicki Coaty, Programs Manager • Vacancy, Programs Assistant • Vacancy, Americorps FIRST Vista
FTC Growth in Minnesota • 2008-2009 5 Teams 5 Rookies • 2009-2010 10 Teams 6 Rookies • 2010-2011 17 Teams 11 Rookies • 2011-2012 23 Teams 9 Rookies • 2012-2013 36 Teams 18 Rookies • 2013-2014 60-75 Teams 25-40 Rookies
Starting a Team • Build a Team • Find interested Students • Register Team • Use TIMS to Register with FIRST • $500 FTC Rookie Grants • Attend Kickoff on September 7th!
Team Startup Costs • FIRST Registration $275 • Robot Kit of Parts $665 • Tetrix Resource Kit $199 • Samantha WiFi Module $85 • Regional Qualifier $150 • State Championship $250 • North Super-Regional $500 • World Championship $1000 • Spare Parts $1000 • RobotC $100 • Transportation $ • Hotels $ • Food $ • Team Uniforms $ • Give Away / Promotional / Marking Items $
FTC Season Timeline • Registration OpenMay 10th - Full • Kickoff Saturday September 7th • Workshops September-December • Regional Qualifiers November-January • State Championship February 23rd • North Super-Regional April 3rd-5th • World Championship April 23rd-26th
Minnesota FTC Kickoff • Lakeville North High School • September 7th • Workshops • Ring It Up! Scrimmage • Round Table Discussions • Panel Sessions • Information Booths • Game Reveal • Strategy Session
Volunteers!!! • With the explosive growth of the program in MN we are moving to a Regional Qualifier Model • We need 3 to 4 times the number of Volunteers as last season • Judges • Referees • FTAs • Emcees • Score Keepers • Queuers
Future FTC Trends • FRC started out with 18” Robots, a standard Kit-of-Parts and a 2-on-2 format - Sound familiar? • As parts were added and restrictions lifted, costs skyrocketed • Cost and sustainability are serious issues for FRC • Competition strongly favors teams with long histories • FTC is essentially a reboot of FRC • FTC is following the same path, but with more caution towards cost and balance to competition
Where to Find More Info • Official FIRST FTC web page • http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc • MN FTC Affiliate Partner web page • http://www.hightechkids.org/home • FTC Blog • http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.com/ • Chief Delphi FTC forums • http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=146 • MN GoFIRST • http://www.mngofirst.org/ • PTC • http://www.ptc.com/company/community/first/ • Tetrix Building System • http://www.tetrixrobotics.com/ • Matrix Building System • http://matrixrobotics.com/ • RobotC • http://matrixrobotics.com/ • Labview • http://www.ni.com/labview/ • HiTechnic • http://www.hitechnic.com/ • Fish in the Boat Team Page • http://www.fishintheboat.org/