UIL Robotics Training for FTC and FRC @ SMU

2016-07-11 - 2016-07-15, SMU Lyle Engineering Camp

UIL Robotics Training FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)

This is the first year that Robotics is a Varsity Sport in Texas! Be one of the first schools to compete in the new events. During this training you will learn about the fundamentals of coaching a robotics team in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Learn how to organize your team, understand project management for the season, implement the most effective ways to build and program a robot. We cannot promise you a winning team, but we will promise you will learn a lot in this training that will make you a better coach and give your team a leg up on the competition. Activities will include building a robot chassis, robot programming, and robot attachments.

Tuition: $550, includes supplies and snacks.

Registration: This professional development course is open to all teachers at the 9th through 12th grade levels.  Register here!

UTD Coaches Clinic – Intermediate FTC mechanics, programming, & competition

2016-07-21 @ 1:00pm - 4:30pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

REGISTRATION IS LIMITED!

Calling all FTC coaches, mentors, and educators! Come brush up on your knowledge & skills during the summer break and hear proven tips for improving team performance. Sessions are facilitated by Dr. Patrick Michaud, renowned FIRST coach with several world-ranked teams. Space is limited – first come, first serve. Pre-registration is required and all sessions will remain open for registration until filled.

This session examines the FTC competition in more depth, analyzing common season and game element components. The session also presents strategies and mechanisms commonly used by highly successful FTC teams. Topics include:
– FTC competition structure: robot game, judged awards, advancement
– Engineering notebooks
– Other common building materials
– Successful and unsuccessful robot designs and mechanisms
– Principles of leverage, gear ratios, center of gravity
– Additional sensors and programming

UTD Coaches Clinic – Programming FTC Robots

2016-07-20 @ 1:00pm - 4:30pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

REGISTRATION IS LIMITED!

Calling all FTC coaches, mentors, and educators! Come brush up on your knowledge & skills during the summer break and hear proven tips for improving team performance. Sessions are facilitated by Dr. Patrick Michaud, renowned FIRST coach with several world-ranked teams. Space is limited – first come, first serve. Pre-registration is required and all sessions will remain open for registration until filled.

FIRST Tech Challenge robots use an electronics control system designed around Android smartphone technology. This session presents the common control system components and provides hands-on training in FTC application programming using Android Studio and the Java Programming Language. No prior knowledge of Android or Java programming is needed for this session. Topics include:
– Introduction and connections of control system components
– The Android Studio / FTC application programming environment
– Basic gamepad programming for robot navigation
– Arm and servo programming
– Touch and other sensors
– Autonomous mode programming
– (time permitting) Motor encoder sensors

UTD Coaches Clinic – Intro to FTC and TETRIX robots

2016-07-19 @ 1:00pm - 4:30pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

REGISTRATION IS LIMITED!

Calling all FTC coaches, mentors, and educators! Come brush up on your knowledge & skills during the summer break and hear proven tips for improving team performance. Sessions are facilitated by Dr. Patrick Michaud, renowned FIRST coach with several world-ranked teams. Space is limited – first come, first serve. Pre-registration is required and all sessions will remain open for registration until filled.

The session introduces coaches to the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics competition and provides some hands-on training in building FTC robots using the standard TETRIX robot construction kit. Topics to be covered include:
-Introduction to FTC and season overview
– Basic components of the TETRIX robotics kit
– Key robot mechanical principles: channels, motors, axles, wheels, gears
– Hands-on build of a simple competition robot

FTC 2016 Season Kickoff and Workshop (UTD)

2016-09-10 @ 10:00am - 1:00pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

 

Kickoff registration: https://goo.gl/forms/cULyiM0Bp8G9RFWN2
Location/Parking: UTD Cecil Auditorium / campus map
Parking permit: 2016-09-10-permit

This season the North Texas Region will be holding an official Kickoff and Workshop event at UT-Dallas on September 10th from 10:00am to 1:00pm.  The purpose of the kickoff is meet other teams and provide an overview of the FTC 2016-2017 season for North Texas.  The kickoff event is free of charge, but because space for the event may be limited, we’re asking coaches/teams to pre-register for the event.

Overview: Doors will open at 9:30am.  The kickoff will begin at 10:00am with a review and overview of the upcoming FTC season, including tournament structure, league play, and robot tips. At 11:00 CDT (12:00 EDT) we will watch the official game reveal video and unveil a full, official field setup complete with game elements. This will give teams an opportunity to see, feel, and touch the game to get a head start on the season. After the field reveal we will then provide an review of the rules in Game Manual Part II and answer any initial questions teams have about the upcoming challenge and how to get started.

Location and Parking: The kickoff will be held in the Cecil Auditorium in Hoblitzelle Hall on the UTD campus — see this map for location and car/van parking.  The closest places to park are Lot H and Parking Structure 4 (PS4) on the west side of campus; you can use this parking permit to park in either the GOLD (yellow) or GREEN spaces of Lot H or PS4.  To get to these lots, enter from Waterview Parkway on the west side of campus using either Frank Johnson or Franklyn Jenifer drives.

If your team is arriving via a school bus, please drop off attendees in Lot H and then have the bus park in Lot B, Lot U, or Lot V.

Agenda/Topics:  League play and qualifying tournament details; common robot building systems; Android control platform overview; updates, upgrades, and changes from 2015 season; resources for new teams; grants; game reveal; review of 2016 game scoring and rules; practice fields and scrimmages; questions and answers.

Beacon upgrades:  This year’s challenge will use upgraded versions of the beacons from last season.  If you have FTC beacons from the RES-Q season, you can bring them with you (or at least the logic board) to the kickoff for reprogramming with this season’s game software. We will have AndyMark’s Beacon Programmer Tool (am-3280) on hand to upgrade FIRST RES-Q beacons into beacons that can be used for this season’s game.

Anderson Powerpoles:  We will also have stations, equipment, and people on hand to help teams convert batteries and wires to use Anderson Powerpole connectors.

Battery checks: If you have any older batteries, charge them up and bring them with you, as we will also be providing “battery health checks”. These are the same checks that are performed at the World Championship, they let teams know in advance which batteries are having difficulty supplying power or holding a charge.

Again, please pre-register for the event so we can keep track of space requirements.

If you have any further questions, please contact Patrick Michaud at <pmichaud@pobox.com>.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at the kickoff and throughout the upcoming season!

FLL 2016 “Animal Allies” Mission Model Building Instructions released

2016-08-01 @ 11:00am

The FIRST LEGO League Mission Model Building Instructions for “Animal Allies” will again be released at the beginning of August.  (This is in contrast to the 2015 “Trash Trek” season, where model instructions weren’t available until the challenge release date.)

Instructions will be available at http://www.firstlegoleague.org/missionmodelbuildinginstructions .

Many teams that register and purchase a field kit early in the summer will receive their LEGO parts and field mat during the last week of July.  With the release of the Building Instructions on August 1st teams can begin assembling the mission models and looking at the field, although the actual game challenges won’t be released until August 30th.  Building the mission models is an excellent way to start a FIRST LEGO League season, and can also be used to “break the ice” with new team members.

When you receive your field kit, don’t open up the bags of LEGOs or otherwise mix them up until you’ve looked at the mission model build instructions.  The numbers on the bags correspond to the build instruction files, and the models are much easier to build if the pieces aren’t all mixed together.

FLL 2016 Kickoff / Team Dynamics Clinic (UTD)

2016-09-10 @ 1:30pm - 4:30pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

 

This event is intended for coaches and mentors only.  Please pre-register for the event.

We are having a Kickoff and Team Dynamics clinic on Saturday, September 10, at UT-Dallas from 1:30-4:30. The kickoff will be held in the Cecil Auditorium in Hoblitzelle Hall on the UTD campus — see this map for location and parking.  The closest places to park are Lot H and Parking Structure 4 (PS4) on the west side of campus; you can use this parking permit to park in either the GOLD (yellow) or GREEN spaces of Lot H or PS4.  To get to these lots, enter from Waterview Parkway on the west side of campus using either Frank Johnson or Franklyn Jenifer drives.

The kickoff event is free of charge, but we ask that participants pre-register for the event so that we can communicate event details directly and have an estimate of attendance size.

What are the Kickoffs?

  • These are introductory meetings/presentations where we go over many things you’ll need to know about participating in FLL this season.
  • Generally there are at least two Kickoff sessions each season (one at UTD and one at FCA).  Each coach/mentor only needs to go to one, and it doesn’t matter which one.  Rookie and veteran coaches are welcome at both events.
  • These are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for new coaches/mentors.
  • We will go over exactly how the events and competitions run (rules, policies, what to expect), and there will be Robot Game tables and fields set up with experts there to explain the Robot Game missions and rules.
  • It’s a great opportunity to meet the North Texas FLL community, get your questions answered in person, and figure out exactly what will be happening for us this season.

 

For more information about the event, please contact Patrick Michaud at pmichaud@pobox.com .