E&R Unit 7
FTC Robots 2
FTC Robots 2 Introduction
Welcome to Unit 7

We spent the first semester learning about the engineering design process, how to use the tools in our lab, and how to build robots.  With this unit, we’ll revisit the larger FTC robots, with a goal of accomplishing tasks during the “Tele-Op” phase of the game. In this part of the FTC game, we can control our robots with video game controllers, and program them more easily to use various arms and attachments.  The goals in this unit is are follows:

  • Rebuild your robots with a specific teleop task in mind
  • Program your robots to drive and function with the handheld controllers
  • Prepare for our 2017 Lathrop FTC Robo-Showdown

Your new team will need to start by sharing ideas from last semester, brainstorming new robot ideas, and working toward completion of a driver-controlled task.  As we do this, we’ll need to work with our teams to accomplish the following tasks:

  1. STEP 1: Work with your team to make a plan for a drivable robot that can accomplish a driver-controlled task from the FTC game.
  2. STEP 2: Work with your team to design, build, and program an FTC robot that you can drive with the controllers and that can accomplish at least one driver-controlled task.
  3. STEP 3: Evaluate & Test your design to get it fine-tuned.  The best designs will go through multiple revisions before they’re ready for competition.
  4. BONUS STEP:  If your team can get a reliable (95%) driver-controlled scoring mechanism, add an autonomous program to your robot for maximum scoring potential!

At the end of the unit, you and your team should have created a robot that can compete in the driver-controlled portion of the FTC competition.  You should have a group of careful notes from your team on design and programming, and you should be able to share the process your team worked through.


Part 1: Brainstorm & Plan

FTC Challenge Video

The first part of any build process is to think, brainstorm, and plan.  You’ll start this unit with your robotics team by reviewing the rules of the FTC driver-controlled game.  Next you and your team will need to research and brainstorm at least 20 ideas for your robot. Eventually you’ll need to decide which driver-controlled task you want to try and tackle.  Once you’ve decided, you and your team need to make some careful drawings and diagrams of what you want to build and how it will work!


 As a group, watch the three videos linked below and take notes in your engineering notebook

 Brainstorm at least 20 ideas for what your robot could do

 Agree as a group which driver-controlled task you want to tackle

 Draw a careful diagram of what the robot will look like as well as any attachments

 Have Mr. Benshoof approve your plan before building

Robot Example 1

Robot Example 2

Robot Example 3

Part 2: Build & Program

FTC Challenge Video

Once your plans have been approved, it’s time to get to building.  You’ll need to build a sturdy and reliable robot that can be easily controlled to do what you need it to do.  Your team will also need to program your robot to be controlled by the hand-held controllers. You can either use the default program – if you only have two or three motors – or you can make a custom program that will do very specific things.  This stage of the unit is done when your robot successfully scores points one time under driver control.


 Work with your team to build and wire the frame for your robot

 Work with your team to program your robot

 Document your team’s work daily to demonstrate the process

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your robot successfully completing your driver-controlled task



Rigid Structures

Preventing Dropouts

Gears & Chains

Lifting Mechanisms

Wheel Bases

Shooting Mechanisms

Part 3: Evaluate & Test

FTC Challenge Video

Once your robot works the first time, it’s important to keep practicing with the controls and keep adjusting the mechanics so that it works every time!  Your main goal this unit is to get your robot successfully accomplishing the driver-controlled task at least 90% of the time – or at least 9 out of every 10 trials.


 Work with your team to evaluate and test your driver-controlled robot

 Record changes you make to your robot or the program as you continue to test

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your success rate out of 10 tries

 Complete your short reflection on the FTC Robots and our process

FTC Challenge Match 1

FTC Challenge Match 2

FTC Challenge Match 3