US FIRST FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Founded by Dean Kamen
FIRST learning… Programs for K-12 FIRST ® Robotics Competition (FRC ® ) –for Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18) FIRST ® Tech Challenge (FTC ® ) –for Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18) FIRST ® LEGO ® League (FLL ® ) –for Grades 4-8 (ages 9-14) Junior FIRST ® LEGO ® League (Jr.FLL ) –for Grades K-3 (ages 6-9)
Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18) Varsity Sport for the Mind Strict rules, limited resources, time limits Students mentored by professional engineers Teams learn, use sophisticated hardware and software (cRIO, LabVIEW, Networking, Vision Systems, and much more) Build and compete with robots of their own design Qualify for nearly $15 million in scholarships
FIRST ® Robotics Competition (FRC ® ): 2011 Season 2,072 teams Close to 52,000 high-school-age students Average 25 students per team 49 Regionals/State Championships; 9 District Competitions 340 teams advance to FIRST Championship 2011 saw the 1 st FRC competition in Tennessee (Knoxville) Team Growth
FIRST is a microcosm of a real engineering experience because: it is a problem to big, in a time too short, with a budget too small and, in fact, a team to large. Woodie Flowers Professor MIT FIRST National Advisor
Glossary Kick Off - Typically the first weekend in January this is the webcast announcement by FIRST for the challenge for the upcoming season. This can take up to 4 hours. Kit of Parts – The parts supplied by First for building your robot. This includes electronics, mechanical and pneumatic parts. Many of the parts do not have a designated use
Glossary Game Manual – Supplied by FIRST, it is the rule book for the competition and covers the arena, game, robot and tournament.
Glossary Build Season - Beginning immediately after Kick-Off this is the intense six weeks before Robot Ship date where the mentors and students determine strategy and build their prototypes and the robot.
Glossary Team Updates - During the build and competition seasons, FIRST sends out game manual updates to clarify the rules. Also software updates are sent out and should be installed ASAP (software MUST be up to date at competition)
Glossary Ship Date - Predetermined date from FIRST where build season is over the robot is taken out of the teams hands.
Glossary Pit Area - this is an area at competition where each team is given an assigned spot (approximately 10X12 feet). It is very exciting and informative to visit the pit area and see your team set-up as well as other teams. Reminder, Dont forget to pick up safety goggles on the way in!
Glossary Gracious Professionalism - part of the ethos of FIRST. It is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.
Glossary Robot Inspection – At competition, the robots are checked for safety, compliance to rules, weight, size etc…. No robot is allowed on the competition floor without passing this inspection and getting an INSPECTION STICKER
Glossary Alliance – At competition, you compete with 2 other teams who form your alliance, against a 2 nd alliance. The alliances changes for every round and are called Red and Blue Alliance.
Glossary ARENA - all elements of the game infrastructure that are required to play the game: the FIELD, the ALLIANCE STATIONS, the GAME PIECES, and all supporting communications, arena control, and scorekeeping equipment.
Glossary OPERATOR CONSOLE – the collection of the hardware used to run the Driver Station software and any associated equipment, control interfaces, display systems, structure, etc. used by the DRIVERS to operate the ROBOT.
Glossary AUTONOMOUS PERIOD – DRIVER control of the ROBOT is not permitted at this time. During this period, the ROBOTS may react only to sensor inputs and commands programmed into the onboard control system.
Glossary TELEOPERATED PERIOD –OPERATOR CONSOLE controls are activated and DRIVERS may remotely control their HOSTBOTS. The DRIVERS continue to teleoperate their HOSTBOTS for the remainder of the MATCH.
Pre-Season Recruit Mentors Team Members Additional Adults Find Funding or do Fund Raisers Obtain Tools and Equipment
Pre-Season Find Resources Web Pages Tutorials Read Info from previous years competition Identify Important Dates (Create a Calendar) Make Contacts (with FIRST Personnel, other teams, Mentors and Engineers)
Pre-Season (Oct) Register your team! (TIMS) Team Number Email Blasts Register for Kick-Off Event –Get you KOP sooner –Info Sessions @ most events –See the Game announcement with other teams
Pre-Season (Oct) Register for Events Apply for Grants (NASA, Medtronic and many other offer grants to US First teams….especially new teams) Read Bills Blog http://frcdirector.blogspot.com/ Read Memphis First Teams http://memphisfirstteams.org/
Pre-Season (Oct) Plan a Team Structure Robot design, robot build and robot programming are obvious sub teams, but team management, travel, financial, creative writing, marketing, and artistic groups can provide invaluable support throughout the season!
Pre-Season (Oct) Have Mentors read First Mentoring Guide Set up record keeping Expenditures and Parts Lists (Needed @ Competition) Team Contacts (Members, Mentors and Sponsors) Team Roster and Consent and Release Forms
Pre-Season (Nov-Dec) Learn everything you can about: SAFETY and using tools FRC Robotics –Control System –Mechanical systems –KOP The Design Process Programming (C/C++, Java or LabVIEW) US First previous competitions!
Pre-Season (Nov-Dec) Figure out how your team will communicate! Website for your team Email Phone Create a TEAM IDENTIY! T-shirts, Logo, Team Flag, Team Mascot
Before Kickoff Download Password Protected Game Manual and Kit of Parts List The past few years the Game Manual has been put on line in a pass word protected form so you can download it and open it the minute the password is revealed (the day of Kickoff the server frequently crashes due to traffic)
Kick Off Unveiling of the game Get you Kit of Parts (KOP) Meet other teams Seminars Inventory Parts Notes: Bring a dolly. You will get 2 or 3 large totes. They are heavy and will most likely fill most car trunks. Consent and Release forms are required to attend
Right after Kickoff Download and Print Game Manual KOP Start watching for Updates to the Game Manual Sort Parts for Quick Build Start thinking about the team strategy robot design
Quick Build Designed to help teams build up the Basic Bot and control system quickly. Mentors, senior teams are there to assist you and answer questions.
Design Freeze The goal is by the end of WEEK 2 you should have the general design of the robot (subsystem function, general look, basic mechanical and electrical, and what sensors you will be using)
During the Build Have weekly design reviews! Make the robot modular! Allow the drivers time to practice with the basic bot Allow the programmers time with the control system
During the Build Keep checking the robot for Compliance to size, weight and safety rules Make sure all electrical connections are properly done Make sure to file down sharp edges! Keep wires and tubing accessible, organized and well labeled Dont wait until ship day to build your shipping crate Keep people informed (NEWS LETTER)
Before Shipping Make it look good! Make sure you have a Bill of Materials (needed at competition) Back up your code Give time for drivers to practice! Show off your bot (invite sponsors, parents, school administrators and media to see the bot before it goes off to competition)
Between Shipping and Competition Look at the $15+ Million dollars of scholarships available to US First Team Members!
Before Competition Pack your spare parts Pack your tools Get a cart to move the robot to/from competition field Figure out how you will organize your PIT Get Competition Give-a-ways Formulate a Scouting Strategy
Basic Categories of Parts Frame Kit Includes basic frame, gearbox, wheels and motors Control System Includes Power Distribution, Control and Communications (Electronics) Pneumatics Air Power used for robot arms, game piece handling
Basic Categories of Parts Manipulator Extra, undesignated parts that can be used in your design Other Software, Ordering info, shipping info etc.