The 2017-2018 season was our first time competing in FTC! We had a great experience as a team and learned a lot about FTC and what we wanted to do for the 2018-2019 season. We went to two qualifiers and one scrimmage. During one of our qualifiers, we won the prestigious Think award, which qualified us for state championships!

The competition theme for the 2017-2018 season was Relic Recovery. To score points, our robot had to balance on a balancing stone, knock off a colored jewel, pick up and stack glyphs in a box, and pick up an idol and place it outside of the field perimeter.
Watch this video to learn more about Relic Recovery:

We built our robot to focus on picking up, stacking, and placing glyphs in the crypto box. Outlined below are the features of our robot’s capabilities.

In the autonomous portion of the game period, our robot can knock off a jewel, read the pictograph, move a glyph into the cryptobox, and park in the safe zone. Our carefully honed code allows our color sensor to detect which color jewel the robot needs to knock off to gain extra points for our team. Our coders created an algorithm that allows the camera on our phone to detect and read the pictograph, which is placed on the side of the field. After reading the pictograph, our additional color-distance sensor is able to detect which glyphs in the pit the robot should pick up to match the pattern encoded in the pictograph. Then, the robot moves toward the cryptobox and, using a touch sensor, is able to move in front of the cryptobox and place the glyph in the correct spot. At the end of the autonomous period, our robot moves to the safe zone in front of the cryptobox and parks there.

The second stage of the game is the driver-controlled period. During this time, our robot focuses on placing glyphs in the cryptobox. Using our fast mecanum wheels, our robot can quickly move to and from the central pit of glyphs and the cryptobox. Our pulley system is made of a drawer slide, so our two pairs of glyph arms can easily move up and down to stack glyphs. We decided to use two glyph arms so that our robot could have a better grip on the glyphs.

Finally, we enter the end game stage. During this time, we grab and place the relic on Zone 3 of the relic game element. Our relic arm is made of several drawer slides that are connected in such a way that they extend linearly. Attached to the end of the linear extensions is a claw that we 3D-printed to fit around the relic. The relic arm should be able to grab the relic, extend linearly, and place the relic upright.

We had a great season, and we planned to improve upon the challenges we faced for the 2018-2019 season. Some of the biggest challenges we faced were with team communication, static electricity on the robot, and random malfunctions/connection issues. We documented all of the problems we encountered and the solutions we came up with in a notebook entitled “How to Solve Problems.” This notebook is available in the Resources page for reference.

Here is the 2017-2018 team: