FTC Samantha Device

I am a bit confused about the rules when regarding the FTC Samantha device. In the FIRST press release during kickoff (http://usfirst.org/aboutus/content.aspx?id=18793), we are told that we are allowed to use the Samantha module (a part contained in the LEGO MINDSTORMS kit), yet in the rule book, this statement is contradicted in the blue box below R92 (“Please note that the FTC Samantha module is not considered a TETRIX component and is not permitted on the MINIBOT”), as per the latest update.

So then, are we completely banned from using it to control our minibot? If so, what alternatives are there for minibot control?

I think the point is that the minibot should be autonomous. The samantha module if I am thinking of the right thing would allow you to control the minibot using the driver station. I also think it could lead to potential interference of controlling other robots…one more signal in a room filled with wifi capable cellphones and robots.

If your using the NXT then you should have a way to trigger it climbing the pole, and then use some sensor to detect when it is at the top of the pole so it can come back down. This of course makes for a heavy minibot…

In case of discrepancy, the Manual (latest updated version) always wins. “Because the FIRST press release said…” and “Dean said this at Kickoff” don’t work at inspection. If “But it passed at event X” doesn’t work, what chance does a press release have?

Does the Samantha Module come as part of the kit or is it seperate?

Two quick things,

you’ve resurrected an old thread

The Samantha module is required for FTC team participation. Rookie teams will receive a module as part of their kit of parts until the initial quantitates run out or something along that line. (A foundation paid for the initial development by Cisco systems and the initial production run… I could have my facts wrong) Returning veteran teams who did not participate last season and eventually rookie teams will need to purchase this item.

See the FTC starting a team page:

What does it Cost?
If you are starting a new team, please take a moment to look at the Sample Budget.

The following sample budget is for a new team, purchasing one FTC Competition Kit and participating in one event. If your team chooses to purchase an additional kit and/or participate in multiple events, the fees would vary accordingly. Travel costs vary due to the distance and time needed to travel to an event.

US Pricing Canada Pricing International
2011-2012 FTC Program Registration Fee $275 $275 TBD
2011-2012 FTC Full Competition Kit (Including Mindstorms)* $650 (Reduced!) $704 TBD
2011-2012 FTC Competition Kit (Without Mindstorms) * $450 (Reduced!) $488 TBD
2011-2012 FTC Resource Kit $199 $215 TBD
2011-2012 Software Renewal Kit *** Free Free
Samantha WiFi Module
TBD price

(est. $50 per unit)

$54 TBD
Event Registration Fee $0 - $300 $0 - $300
Travel Costs - food, lodging, gas, etc $0 - $500 $0 - $500
Team T-shirts (optional) $0 - $150 $0 - $150
Additional Parts - sensors, motors etc. (optional) $0 - $500 $0 - $500

  • Thanks to US Digital for their generous donation of encoders, saving you $30 per kit.
    *** ROBOTC is not included in any of the kits this season - it can be purchased at www.robotc.net/ftc.