Robotics FTC Project
This Years FTC challenge of 2013-2014 is FTC Block Party. The Robotics team has accepted the challenge to compete in this years event. In the competition, two alliances, each consisting of two teams of high school students, compete to score blocks in plastic crates atop alliance-colored pendulums. In each match, the four teams competing are organized into red and blue alliances. The members of an alliance compete together to earn points. Alliances are selected randomly prior to the start of each competition. The field for the competition is a square measuring 12 feet by 12 feet, which can be constructed by teams for practicing prior to competitions. In the center of the field there is a wooden "bridge" with a metal pipe that robots will hang on. On each side of the bridge, there are pendulums with crates. Under the pendulums, there are floor goals that are alliance-specific. On two of the corners, there are flags on PVC poles. In the other two corners, there are trapezoidal areas with plastic cube scoring objects. The field is also divided into two triangular halves, one red and one blue. The final thirty seconds of the Driver-Controlled Period are referred to as the End Game. During End Game, teams are permitted to attempt to score points for special tasks, but these tasks must not begin before the start of End Game.
There is a new challenge every year, meaning there are new aspects to the game every season. However, games are always played on a 12' by 12' diamond field covered in rubberized floor tiles. The game is played by two alliances (red and blue) of two teams each, for a total of four robots on the field during each match. At the start of a match, the robots cannot exceed 18" in height, width or length, but can expand during play. In each match, there is an autonomous period followed by an operator-controlled period. Depending on the year, the autonomous period can range from 20 to 45 seconds (30 is the most common) and the tele-operated period lasts 2 minutes.Along with building and programming a robot, FTC teams are required to create an 'Engineering Notebook' that documents their build season and team experience. It helps teams to reflect on positive and negative experiences and how to improve. It also shows the judges at tournaments what the teams have overcome throughout the year.