The 2015-16 FIRST Tech Challenge season kicked off Saturday, September 12, with a new game and a new control system, both designed to ramp up real world learning experiences for FTC teams around the world! In Florida, over 120 teams gathered for live kick-off events at Middleton High School in Tampa, at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, at homes and schools, and at Maker Faire Orlando, where FIRST teams where sharing their skills, talents and passion with event goers at the Orlando Science Center.
FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) is our FIRST robotics competition program for upper middle and high-school students, with a small scale robot build format and 10-12 week build period than helps students learn to design and build robots with both driver and autonomous controlled behavior.
FTC robots are built with the TETRIX® or MATRIX® robot kits and, starting this year, they are controlled by a new, Android based platform powered by Snapdragon processors. Teams will use two (2) Android devices to control their Robot and compete in a “Sports Start” model of competition. The Android based platform replaces the LEGO NXT, Samantha unit, and the Field Control System that were used in previous seasons.
Instead, one Android device will be mounted directly onto the Robot and act as a Robot Controller. The other Android device will be connected to a pair of gamepads and will act as the Driver Station. There are two (2) allowed Android devices that Teams will use to control their Robot: ZTE Speed and Motorola Moto G (2nd Generation).
The 2015-16 Challenge: FIRST RES-Q!
The 2015-16 challenge, FIRST® RES-Q! is played on a 12 ft. x 12 ft. square field with approximately 1 ft. high walls and a soft foam mat floor. Mountains consisting of alliance-specific climbing areas and goals are located in two corners of the playing field.
Alliance-designated Zip Lines extend from the top of the Mountains to the playing field wall. Rescue Beacons in need of “repair” by autonomous robots are located on the playing field perimeter wall. Scoring elements are 14 Climber figurines and 80 Debris in the shape of blocks and spheres. Matches have two distinct periods of play: a 30-second Autonomous period followed by a two minute Driver-Controlled period which includes a 30 second End Game.