FTC Resource Library

Here you will find a specialized list of resources and links that we feel will be helpful to any FTC team.

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Robot Design


Design Fundamentals

FTC is very open-ended in what route your team can take when it comes to design. Here are a few guidelines to make your design process flow better:

  • Engineering Design Process
  • Knowing Your Kit
  • Subsystems and how they interact (see mechanisms section)
    • 1 input and output mechanism or two separate? Etc.
  • Packaging the robot
    • How do all the different mechanisms come together?

CAD
  • Stands for Computer-Aided Design. Designing before or after can help you understand how your robot will come together and gives you a resource for demonstrating your robot’s functions through the computer.
  • Recommended software for FTC: PTC OnShape and Autodesk Fusion 360. Both are very easy to learn and have great guides here: OnShape, Fusion

Specific Mechanisms

Programming


Setup/Control System

It is important to understand the control system and how everything comes together.

  • This video explains the connection with the control hub, expansion hub, and phones
  • If your team is using the new driver hub, look here.

Blocks

Java

Engineering Notebook


Daily Log Format

A common engineering notebook format is the Daily Log format, in which after every meeting, a student will note down what they did and what they plan to do in the next meeting, including any drawings or ideas they may have come across during that time. A good example of this can be found in FTC 6134’s 2015 Engineering Notebook and other examples can be found here.


Milestone Summary
This format is like the daily log but is included every time your team accomplishes something new, like finishing/working on a new design or producing a new idea. This could mean that you have multiple entries per meeting or only a few every week.

Awards

  • The list of awards and their descriptions can be found here
  • Note that having an engineering notebook is a requirement for most of these awards
  • Certain awards will be more important for advancement than others. Read the advancement criteria and order here.

Judging Presentation

Apart from your engineering notebook, the Judging presentation is arguably the most important aspect of your team’s success. You need to explain all the parts of your team and what you do together. You can choose any structure for your presentation, but oftentimes teams will highlight their outreach, robot, and target specific awards.

Outreach
  • Outreach is what your team does to work with your community in ways that are both related to STEM and not. There are a few kinds of outreach.
    • Community Service: General help to the community (not necessarily robotics-related) like helping at Food Banks
    • Demos/Spreading the word of FIRST and Robotics: Making more people in your community interested and excited about FIRST and STEM
    • Meeting with professionals: Working with professionals in the community to learn more about STEM
    • Mentoring and Helping other Teams
  • Each of these types of outreach will be more suited for different awards. (example: meeting with professionals = connect award, demos = motivate, etc.)
  • If you do all of these, try to discuss all of them but focus on a handful of events that you believe are the most impactful and convince the judges to think the same.

Robot
  • Here you can talk about anything you want your judges to know about your robot. Certain talking points will hint toward certain awards. For example, discussing a specific part of your robot that you are proud of could help your chances at the Innovate award.
  • Use this time to discuss anything interesting you did with your programming.

Awards
  • As mentioned earlier, many awards can be eluded to in the judging discussion. You can use your time in judging to convince the judges that you are a strong contender for certain awards. If they feel you are good with all of them, they may even consider you for the Inspire award, the highest one.
  • Certain awards require another submission, like the Control Award or Promote Award. Submission guidelines can be found here.

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