Category Archives: FIRST

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


World Championship Top Ten for Team Duct Tape!!

This season, we built three robots, put in hundreds of hours designing, building, on outreach and fundraising, and proved our way into the semi-finals to compete against the cream of the crop at the FTC Championship in St. Louis last weekend. And we held our own, helping our Edison alliance stay in the game for three full matches, with towering crate lifts every time!

In the end, the Winning Alliance honor went to Kentucky’s Team 4444, Whitefield Academy Robotics Alliance, which included our Tampa Bay neighbors Middleton Robotics team Masquerade (way to go Masquerade!) and Team 354, Coyote Robotics of Virginia, and we took a top ten finish. Fellow Floridians Team 5454, dent in the universe, earned the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award. So it was a great showing for the Sunshine State!

We’re so very grateful to all our friends, supporters, donors and mentors. Special thanks to Mr. Paul Markun of Tampa Technik, for keeping his door open at all hours and patiently letting TDT work through problems and solutions, and scatter his tools. Thank you sharing the gifts of your experience, and your elegant design tutelage. The lessons and the time you’ve shared with team members will endure far beyond their World Championship experience.

Special thanks to, to our meeting hosting family, who always “left the light on” letting team members meet as often as needed, at whatever hours they could. All of our families are incredible! We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again, without the Team Behind the Team, Team Duct Tape wouldn’t be as successful as it is!

Few teams get to go to the World Championship in the first place,and for TDT to have made it twice in our four years is something to be proud of! Dr. Woody Flowers, in one of his addresses, told us it was more meaningful to say you’re successful because you worked hard, not just because you’re smart – because if you just think you’re smart, you won’t try as hard to be successful. But people who believe they can be successful when they work hard, will always work hard to succeed. We believe our Team Duct Tape students are smart and they work hard, and we hope their class, professionalism and solid work ethic will continue to make them successful all the rest of their lives!

Meeting of Great Minds at STEM Summit III

TDT members with FIRST president, Jon Dudas

Team Duct Tape joined seven other FIRST teams at MOSI in Tampa on Oct. 25, to kick off the 3rd Annual Florida STEM Summit, hosted by the Career Technical Education Foundation (CTEF).

The highlight of the evening was meeting FIRSTpresident Jon

Astronaut Leland Melvin signed photos for students

Dudas and astronaut Leland Melvin, both of whom spent time with students and signed autographs – in the case of Jon Dudas, on everything from team shirts to team members  foreheads!

It was a great opportunity for teams to showcase their work and introduce FIRST to the business community.  For many in attendance, it was their first introduction to the FIRST STEM program.   They examined robots big and small, browsed through engineering notebooks, looked at CAD designs, watched team videos and heard first-hand from students, who sent a clear and powerful message that FIRST ROCKS!  And it also churns out some incredibly accomplished young engineers!