Category Archives: FIRST Updates

N.U.T.S. Takes the Prize!

The Orlando Science Center’s  FTC Team 5070 N.U.T.S. (Nerds United for Technological Superiority) won our “Guess the Game” Game at the Florida FTC Kick-off on Saturday, with their remarkably spot on guess. Handwritten and submitted prior to the kick off by a team member, their entry read:

“This year’s game pieces are red and blue colored rings. Alliances will need to pick their rings and place them onto posts elevated above the field. Rings will need to be put into rows and columns of continuous color to score points. Teams will need to pick up their rings and carry them across the field to score. An IR beacon at the top of the field will help teams do so.”

For their PDC (Pretty Darn Close!) guess, N.U.T.S. earned a duct tape American flag, completely handcrafted by new TDT team member, Bennet.

Second place went to 4228, Lyman Robotics Team G.O.O.D. (Gears of Other Dimensions) , who guessed the game would involve lifting rings and placing them on platforms or in a certain pattern, like tic-tac-toe.

Our out-of-state winner is “Amanda the Ninja” with Team 5875 out of Atlanta, GA –    GENIUS (Girls Exploring New Ideas Using Science) a rookie FTC team, transitioning from a successful FLL program.  Amanda the Ninja shared a pretty well thought out and also PDC guess:

There will be PVC poles in the middle of the field in a three by three pole spaced out square, like a tic-tac-toe board. Right outside the field, will be two PVC stands designed to be and L shape so they hang over the field. One contains blue rings and one has red. In two parallel corners of the field will be baskets, one for the red team and one for the blue. The robots will start in red and blue “home” zones, each with one gold ring.

“To score points robots can place their color rings on the tic tac toe board, attempting to score tic tac toe. If someone places their ring over yours your ring no longer counts. Gold rings are neutral, and can be used to score tic tac toe for either team, but scoring tic tac toe with a gold ring is more points. At the end of the game refs count the number of tic tac toes each team as at the time (three in a row that would be visible is looked at from an overhead view. Only the top ring on each pole counts.) The scoring would be something like ten points for each tic tac toe, twenty is it includes a gold ring.

“Another way of scoring points during a match is to place your rings in your teams basket, each ring will be scored (something like) two points per a ring, or five per a gold ring. These rings will be counted by the ref at the END of the round, during the round robots are allowed to remove rings from their basket if they want to. Putting another team’s ring in your basket will be a penalty, a even larger penalty would be if you took a ring out of the other team’s basket.”

Congratulations to our great winners, and many thanks for playing along with us.  We see some future GDC (Game Design Committee) members among the game guessers!

Now it’s time to get down to the serious business of game play – robot design.  Our first mega brainstorming session is this coming Saturday, but team members have a bunch of homework between now and then, from familiarizing themselves with the new game docs to reviewing the Ring it Up! game video a couple of more times.

Can’t wait to get started!




Ring It Up! Game is Live

So here’s what we gotta do in Ring it Up!

The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent’s alliance (good idea in a competition!) by placing plastic rings onto pegs on the center rack. Teams will also be challenged to detect special “weighted” rings to earn a special multiplier bonus.

There are a total of 52 plastic rings available (26 per alliance) as scoring objects in the game. Each Alliance will have 18 regular, 6 weighted and 2 pre-load autonomous rings. 48 rings (12 per
dispenser) are placed on side dispensers at the beginning of the match. The weighted rings are visually identical to the regular rings and are placed randomly on the dispensers.

Each robot is given 1 pre-load ring to be used in the autonomous period. An IR Beacon is placed randomly on the second level of the rack at the start of each match. A bonus is earned for placing the pre-loaded ring on the column with the beacon during the autonomous period. During the driver control period, teams must retrieve rings from the dispensers and place them on a center rack consisting of two independently scored 3×3 grids of pegs. Peg ownership is determined by the alliance with the most rings on a single peg. Three or more owned pegs in a row (vertical, horizontal or diagonal) are eligible line score bonuses.

The field includes two alliance neutral corner goals. Weighted rings placed on the corner goals are eligible for the multiplier bonus calculated on matching alliance rings that are placed on the center rack.

End Game:
The final thirty (30) seconds of the Driver Controlled Period is called the End Game. Each Alliance attempts to lift their alliance partner’s robot off the floor by at least 1” up to a maximum height of 24”. Lift scores are calculated from the lowest point of the lifted robot and must be completely off the floor to count.

It’s a ringer!

Get full game details at


Time for the 2013 FTC Season Kick-off!

It’s time…

All’s that left is a road trip to Orlando this Saturday for the 2012-13 Game reveal!  And that’s exactly where we’re headed!  Can’t wait – what COULD it be?