[FTC]: [FTC]: Freshman FTC team help

This year our FRC team decided that a good way to give the first year students a taste of robotics before build season would be to run and FTC team just for the freshmen. Since I am the FRC team design lead I was give the task of being the sole non-freshman on the team and the team captain. While we have older students and mentors to help out the idea has been to let the FTC robot be thier project till January 9th.

Being new to FTC I was wondering what the lay of the land was. Is a robot expected to complete all of the tasks? How many points is a team expected to score? Ect.

Advanced teams usually do everything. Usually consisting of some objectives being done better than the other though.

Regular teams will usually choose 1-3 things that they can do well.

That being said, FTC is a few months long, compared to FRC. I would start the freshman off with focusing on 1-3 parts of the game, and if you advance through the qualifiers/regionals, think about expanding into more areas.

Chief Delphi is not too popular with FTC. Look into the FTC Sub reddit, and http://ftcforum.usfirst.org/forum.php

Something I am trying to explain to my team currently is the idea of focusing on one area of the game first, while budgeting for other systems. To make it far in the competition season (State Championship/Super Regional and Beyond) you will likely need to do everything to some degree. The smart teams design and build their robot once including all functionality. Other teams design one robot and redesign and build their robot over and over again to add functionality. Spending the time at the beginning of the season to get it right is a lot easier in the long run especially if your FTC season will clash with FRC.

Some FTC robots can do everything, some do a few things, and it always seems like most can kinda do things, and a few can only drive. You can set your goal for the season and as an FTC team with heavy FRC backing you likely can do most things well if you put the time in.

I think a lot of FTC teams associated with FRC teams act under the unspoken assumption that you build one robot for the season, and this isn’t true at all in FTC. What netted the team I mentor last season a fair bit of success was starting off by identifying the simplest thing we could do for the most amount of points-- in our case, moving the tubes up the ramp, and focusing solely on that. It turned out pretty well for us in our first competition too-- we were seeded second all the way up to our last match. After our first tournament, we tore apart the robot and rebuilt something that could score in the medium goals, and did decently at State. We plan to do something similar this year, but faster and better, taking advantage of our experience from the last season.

The general trend in FTC is that the earlier the tournament, the easier the competition is-- both in awards and on the field. If you want to qualify for further events, try to build a simple, effective robot that can win an early event and then learn from what other teams do while you iterate until your state event, provided your region is on the qualifier system.

FTC is a very iteration heavy competition-- in that you’re expected to iterate heavily to keep up with the competition.