FTC Rookie Team Kickoff

RoboScout Squad has been busy. Last weekend we dyed our mecanum wheel rollers pink and purple to match our team colors! Kennedy and Lexi spent a day building a DIY game field perimeter. We followed the FTC provided instructions and it turned out great! Our new team mentor Richard let us use his shop and was there for safety and instruction. A day using power tools is a good day!

This weekend we got the team together for our official FTC RoboScout Squad Rookie Kickoff day! Our #UltimateGOAL was to end the day with a working remote controlled drivetrain. We spent the morning learning about the FTC block programmer, how to setup and configure the control hub and drivers’ station, programming the Logitech gamepad to act as a robot remote control, and writing the program for the robot to accept remote control commands.

After a dip in the pool and lunch we continued in the afternoon to build our first FIRST Tech Challenge robot. We enjoyed building with a new medium (rather than LEGO) and everyone contributed to the build process. We had just enough time to turn on our robot at the end of the day and of course, it worked! It was the perfect way to end our day of hard work. See video below.

Aside from the learning the new technology we’ll be working with in FIRST Tech Challenge, we learned a few handy rookie engineering lessons:

  • Running wires in tight spaces is easier to do before motors are mounted
  • It’s important to have your in-wheel hyper-hubs positioned so that you can access the shaft clamp screws between the rollers
  • If everyone is building, we’re gonna need more metric hex keys (2, 2.5, 3) especially longer ones with better handles for torque and some small metric nut drivers.

Meet our newest team member and first ever FIRST Tech Challenge robot….. “Kermit”

Goals for our next meetings are:

  • Troubleshoot one of Kermit’s motors
  • Build a platform to mount the control hub and battery (tape was just because we ran out of time and wanted to test)
  • Add an expansion hub
  • Start learning about servos and sensors and how to program them
  • Practice driving
  • Research different object collection and delivery systems
  • Build and program a linear actuator

Since we haven’t yet had a chance for an end of year/season celebration for 2019/2020, end of year goodies were given out today, including these awesome 3D printed trophies. In addition, Zia and Kennedy bridged from Cadette to Senior Girl Scouts, and Lexi bridged from Senior to Ambassador. Last season we did amazing things. This season is going to be EPIC! You can follow our Rookie FTC Season on our FTC Ultimate Goal page.

Special thanks to the Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell for the deeply discounted meeting space and swimming pool access. This made our day comfortable, gave us plenty of room to spread apart and added extra fun!


In other news….. today was the official FIRST LEGO League Challenge RePLAY Kickoff. Here’s the video about this year’s challenge. Even though we are no longer competing in FLL, we’ll keep our FLL pages up to date with current resources. As always, if you have questions, please let us know, we’d be happy to help.


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