What is FTC???
FTC is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
Students get to:
- Design, build, and program robots
- Apply real-world math and science concepts
- Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills
- Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments
- Compete for a spot in the World Championship
- Qualify for over $13.5 million in college scholarships
History of FTC
The FIRST Tech Challenge grew out of the existing FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and the IFI Robovation platform. FIRST,Radioshack, and Innovation First collaborated to develop an improved version of the IFI Robovation kit. The kit was significantly upgraded and called the Vex Robotics Design System. For the 2008 season Pitsco developed a platform that uses the NXT Brick along with additional hardware and a new structural framework under the new name of TETRIX. Using aluminum parts that will allow participants to add Lego parts and sensors, the kit includes 4 DC motors and larger wheels. In addition to hardware changes, the system may now be programmed using ROBOTC and LabVIEW.
Fifty teams participated in the FVC tournament at the FIRST Championship in April, 2006. On April 29, 2006 the FIRST Board of Directors voted to extend FVC for the 2006–2007 season.
In Summer 2007, after two seasons as the FIRST Vex Challenge, FIRST announced that the program would be renamed the FIRST Tech Challenge.