[FTC]: FTC 2018-19 Game Manual 1

Yesterday, the Game Manual 1 for ROVER RUCKUS was released to the public. You can access it here.

Some things that stood out to me:

  • The launching rules are here to stay. This suggests that we may have launching in this year’s game.
  • The award judging second is redacted for now. I’m not entirely sure what this means - it could simply be that the judging criteria mention aspects of the game.
  • The Control Award form is hidden, too. This could be to prevent teams from working on the submission early, but there could also be some relevant other things going on with the game.
  • There is now a weight limit in FTC. It’s pretty high at 42 pounds, but it may make some of the more mind-blowing robot designs harder.
  • COTS solutions (see: Greyt Intake Kit) seem to be pretty much explicitly banned via RM02. Perhaps we’ll see something similar for FRC, although the one-degree rule has been around for a while in FTC.
  • There is now a bizarre new scoring element called the Team Marker in section 8.4. Will robots steal it? Will we have to put it on top of a peg, or in a special zone? Not sure yet. At the very least, we can decorate them in exciting ways, as per this blog post.
  • T7 mentions that teams can’t use robots built by other teams. While cheesecake (as far as I’ve seen it) is a historically FRC thing, it’s unsure how it would be affected by this rule.
  • What happened to Super-Regionals?
  • As promised, the Legacy module is no longer supported.

RM02 is carried over verbatim from the FIRST RELIC RECOVERY manual, same rule number and all. All that changed is that they removed the underlining on “single degree of freedom”.

Now: https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/ftc/2018-2019/game-manual-part-1.pdf

Then: https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/ftc/2017-2018/game-manual-part-1.pdf

Can someone explain the one-degree rule?

The orange box on page 29 explains the concept best. The point of the rule is to prevent off-the-shelf parts from getting too specialized and complex on the robots. When I worked at AndyMark, the phrase for this undesired trait was “buy, bolt, win”.

So things like linear slides, lazy susans, single-speed gearboxes, pulleys, and so on (all of which generally spin or move in one direction at a time) are legal, while gripper kits and shifting gearboxes and ratcheting wrenches (with movement in multiple directions) are not.

A couple of years ago during Res-Q a number of teams used tape measures to deploy hooks for the endgame climb up the mountain. They bought tape measures from a big box store, but to make them legal, you had to take them apart and remove the spring and the latch as those would add too many degrees of freedom…

Teams have implemented shifting gearboxes, but you basically need to buy each part separately (the shifting shaft, the shifter gears, the other bearings, shafts and gears) and assemble it yourself.