Event: Mentor Workshop
Host: Tricia Nguyen, Coach FTC 8644
Time: 10:30 – 11:20
Duration: 50 mins

Description: FIRST Tech Challenge during Covid has been difficult for teams. This meeting will be a meet and greet between mentors to establish contacts that can help each other with resources during this time of rebuild. Bring your needs for help and ideas to help on topics such as outreach during Covid, rebuilding expertise on teams, buddy teams for Rookies, fundraising, etc. Output expected to be a mailing list of team mentors with lists of teams who can help in certain areas and those who could use a hand with something. We expect many teams to have lost segments of their institutional knowledge usually passed from kid to kid and thus some teams could use a bit of targeted help from others to get back up and running with things like the control system, CAD, etc. Rookie mentors can be buddied up with veteran coaches for additional support. Opportunities for joint outreach with Boston Tech Initiative (BTI) and NE FIRST to target growth will be discussed with special emphasis on bringing graduating FIRST Lego League teams to FIRST Tech Challenge.

Event: Agile Design and Building with The Brainstormers
Host: Andy Nguyen, Captain FTC 8644 and John Nguyen, Coach FTC 8644
Time: 9:15 – 10:05
Duration: 50 mins

Description: The Brainstormers have used Agile as their design/build methodology for the last nine years. Known as a ‘free build’ team, we will use time lapse video of the processes and examples from previous robots to illustrate our process. This technique relies on a fast-prototyping technique that is cheap and inclusive of all the kids on the team. Both mechanical design and software can be run using Agile. Unlike Waterfall Design, Agile focuses on building and testing subsystems and combinations of subsystems in a basic bot to quickly evaluate and discard ideas without excessive CAD or material investment. These activities are organized into ’sprints’ that result in evaluation and decision making to discard concepts that don’t show promise while identifying concepts that should be refined. The use of simple and cheap electronics (servo and motor controllers available from Amazon) allows multiple team members to test and evaluate subsystems without the need for programming. A heavy use of cardboard, plastic corrugated sheet, and fiber board as well as ‘free building’ with the building sets reduce the need for time consuming and expensive CAD-fabrication of parts, allowing teams to get to system testing fast and reserving those labor/cost intensive activities to the final robot builds when fine tuning performance. Our goals have always been to include the maximum number of students in all facets even if they later specialize during the season, reduce cost and waste, eliminate time consuming activities that are not directly related to performance, and focus on performance vs being wedded to a particular idea. This method is particularly useful this year as it uses $15-20 servo/motor controllers to make progress if a team is waiting on delivery of the regular system electronics or wants to save their systems from unintentional damage.

Event: Engineering Notebook and Portfolio Workshop
Host: Team Unlimited, Team 0001
Time: 9:15 – 10:00 Second Session 10:10 – 10:55
Duration: 45 mins

Description: Team Unlimited will be holding a workshop during this year’s Kickoff on the engineering notebook and portfolio! With 20 years of experience and numerous awards for documentation over the years, the team will present helpful information on how to create and improve your documentation for new and veteran teams alike. The presentation will include an overview of how the portfolio and notebook work, changes to the notebook this year, and tips on how to make and succeed with your documentation.

Event: How to Manage Three Teams Within a Club
Hosts: 10331 ARC Hailstorm, 4410 ARC Lightning, 5273 ARC Thunder
Time: 9:15 – 10:00 Second Session 10:10 – 10:55
Duration: 30-45 mins

Description: The Andover Robotics Club will be hosting a workshop on successfully managing and running multiple FTC teams. Members from ARC’s three teams will explain their club’s organization systems and splitting resources, as well as how they recruit as a school club to ensure the club’s sustainability.

Event: How to Silicone Mold for FIRST Tech Challenge
Host: The GearTicks, Team 6055
Time: 10:00 – 10:30
Duration: 30 mins

Description: In this workshop we will talk about using silicone molding in FIRST Tech Challenge. The presentation will cover applications of silicone molding, uses of different types of silicones, how to make molds, and demo actual molding. We feel that teams will find that silicone molding is fun, easy, and it will allow teams to make useful custom parts for their robots.

Event: Libraries and Sensors Workshop
Host: Wolfpack Machina, Team 18224 and Lupine Robotics, Team 18438
Time: 9:30 – 10:10. Second Session 10:15 – 10:55
Duration: 40 minutes

Description: It’s sometimes really hard to find code and tutorials that have already been written, mostly because it’s hard to know what to look for. Searching for ‘how to make sensors more accurate’ will return a million results that might not be useful but searching for ‘Kalman filtering for FTC’ will give you exactly what you need. The Libraries and Sensors workshop will help you avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ and level up your programming by introducing many of the best libraries and resources for FTC and how to install dependencies in a Java project. From remotely graphing sensor outputs, to easily scripting complex autonomous movements, to even speeding up the robot processor, a ton of super useful code is already at your fingertips! This workshop will be most beneficial if you have a bit of experience with Java, but you should get something out of it no matter what your skill level, especially if you haven’t yet learned to code but plan do during the season, and though we recommend coming with a laptop with Android Studio so you can follow along, nothing is required to attend. We hope to see you there!

Event: Prototyping & Design Process
Host: Wolfpack Machina, Team 18438
Time: 9:30 – 10:10. Second Session 10:15 – 10:55
Duration: 40 minutes

Description: In this workshop, we will talk about the prototyping process in FTC. We will talk about the advantages of prototyping, when to CAD designs vs. free-building them, and how to effectively test your designs to make improvements. We hope this will be helpful for FTC teams as they develop a design process to attack the Power Play challenge.

Event: Rookie Workshop
Host: Canton Robodogs, Team 6040
Time: 9:15 – 10:00
Duration: 45 mins

Description: This workshop is for new teams. From membership drives and registration to designing/building, engineering notebooks/portfolio, and competition preparedness/awards, we’ll give you an overview and help get you on your way!


Bring your entire team and see the 2022-2023 game reveal live.