Useful Resources

Here is a page dedicated to useful resources around the interwebs. Enjoy!

Note

The links with an asterisk (*) are resources that are especially pertinent or helpful. We highly suggest you check out these links.

General Resources

FTC Discord* — The unofficial FTC Discord server is a discussion-based community server that has teams ranging from first-year rookies to Winning Alliance Captains at the World Championships. It also has a channel for direct access to vendors.

FTC Forum - FIRST* — The official forum for FTC. Importantly, the FTC game Q&A system is here, where clarifying questions about game rules from teams are asked and answered.

Game and Season Materials* — Where to find the information for the current season, including the Game Manuals.

FTC Blog — The official FTC blog; important updates are typically posted here.

FTC Tutorials — (Unofficial) FTC Tutorials, covering the robot, competitions, and team management.

FIRST Resource Library — FIRST’s resource library (filtered for FTC resources). These includes robot/field inspection checklists, robot building and programming resources, team management resources, the FTC mentor manual, and more.

REV Robotics FTC Documentation — Covers REV’s hardware and software. The control system documentation includes an introductory FTC programming tutorial.

Spectrum’s Recommended Reading — A list of resources collated by FRC 3847, Spectrum. While these resources are aimed at FTC, many are directly relevant to FTC.

Team Management

Running a FIRST Team* — A guide by Karthik Kanagasbathy, former lead mentor (and current advisor) of Hall of Fame team FRC 1114, Simbotics, on running a FIRST team. While some details are FRC-specific (namely the 6 week timeline), much of it is applicable to running a FTC team.

Team Management Resources — FIRST’s FTC team management resources, covering budget, engineering notebook, etc.

Strategy

Effective FIRST Strategies* — A championship conference presentation from Karthik Kanagasabapathy, former lead mentor (and current advisor) of Hall of Fame team FRC 1114, Simbotics, on effective design and competition strategies.

Simbotics FRC Philosophy and Game Analysis* — A presentation by about strategic and functional robot design in addition to common tasks robots have to do.

Weighted Objectives — A guide by John V-Neun, mentor of FRC 148, the Robowranglers, to using weighted objective to decide on a strategy.

CAD

Autodesk Education Account — Autodesk’s education account sign up. An education account gives access to both Fusion 360 and Inventor.

Creo Education License — Creo’s education license application form.

Onshape Education Account — Onshape’s education account creation page.

SolidWorks Sponsorship — A link to the application form for free Solidworks licenses for robotics teams.

Part Libraries

10650 Hazmat Robotics Public CAD Library — A multi-vendor part library that works across CAD software due to its use of STEP files.

2901 Purple Gears Onshape Parts Library — A multi-vendor parts library specifically for Onshape.

REV Robotics Official CAD Library — REV’s official CAD library for its FTC parts.

ServoCity Official CAD Library — ServoCity’s entire STEP file catalog. This includes Actobotics parts.

Generators

HTD Pulley Generator — A HTD3 and HTD5 pulley generator, with many options. This allows you to make custom pulleys which you can 3D print. Made by Henopied from FTC 18255.

GT2 3mm Pulley Generator — A GT2 3mm pitch pulley generator with many options. This allows you to make custom pulleys which you can 3D print.

Rendering

Blender4FTC — A Blender addon and material library designed to make CAD rendering simple and easy, while being fully customizable for advanced users.

FTC Rendering in Fusion 360 — A guide to rendering FTC robots in Fusion 360, assuming little experience in Fusion 360.

Mechanical Design and Build

Mechatronics* — A document about technologies, principles, design, and analysis of complex electro-mechanical systems. It covers topics including fasteners, manufacturing processes, fabrication paradigms, power transmission, mechanisms, design principles, and more.

Simbotics FRC Mechanical Design Principles* — An overview by FRC 1114, Simbotics, covering mechanical design principles. While the presentation was aimed at FRC, it is highly applicable to FTC as well.

VEX Robotics DC Motor Testing* — Provides performance data for many FTC legal motors. It also explains how to use this data when designing mechanisms.

8644 Brainstormers Tips and Tricks — A playlist of videos comparing different implementations of various mechanisms, gears and chain, and various other FTC robot-related topics.

9794 Wizards.exe — A channel containing many useful FTC videos, especially for rookies.

Designing Competitive FTC Robots (paid) — This book describes the overall approach to designing a robot including strategy, brainstorming, and prototyping.

Fastener Guide — A guide explaining the different types of fasteners and where they are useful. It also includes printouts with drawings of various to scale fasteners to help identify them.

FIRST’s Building Resources — A collection of FIRST’s official design and build resources, including TETRIX/REV build guides.

goBILDA with TETRIX — Documentation covering how to use goBILDA together with TETRIX.

NASA RAP Design Guide — A guide for competitive robotics covering topics such as manufacturing, design styles, power transmission, mechanism design, and more.

Power Transmission

SDP-SI Timing Belt and Pulley Handbook* — A detailed handbook about belts and pulleys. Some of the things mentioned also apply to chain.

SDP-SI Timing Belt Drive Design Guide* — A one-page guide to designing belt and pulley drive systems.

Gears Educational Systems Guide to Chain Drive Systems — A guide to roller chain, featuring some useful equations.

Gear Efficiency Comparisons — A comparison between different types of gears (spur, bevel, worm, etc).

How Gears Work — An interactive visual guide to how gears work.

KHK Introduction to Gears — A handbook covering fundamentals about the mechanicis of gears.

Calculators

ILITE Drivetrain Simulator (v2020) — A drivetrain calculator that puts an emphasis on time to target. Input a target motor, number of motors, gearing, and a wide range of elements about the drive train and electrical system. The output shows estimated peak speed, estimated sprint time, minimum system voltage, and maximum voltage while the drive train is at full speed.

JuliaDesignCalc — A spreadsheet design calculator based on JVN’s calculator, notably adding a hooded flywheel design calculator. However, it does not include FTC motor data, so you will need to add that manually using the data from VEX’s motor testing.

Pulley Center-to-Center Calculator — A fully featured belt pulley center-to-center distance calculator.

⎰ReCalc — A collaboration focused mechanical design calculator, currently in alpha, which provides sharable links.

Sprocket Center-to-Center Calculator — A chain sprocket center-to-center calculator, either using the number of links to calculate center distance or using the center distance to calculate the number of links.

Thad’s EveryCalc — A mechanical design calculator which covers a wide variety of mechanisms, while also providing some utilities like belt sizing, a trajectory calculator, and more.

Programming

Learn Java for FTC* — An introduction to FTC programming, assuming no preexisting Java knowledge. It is also available for sale as a paperback book (paid).

FTC Robot Controller Repository* — The home of the FTC SDK. Also check out the associated wiki and JavaDocs.

REV’s Introduction to Programming* — REV’s introductory programming documentation, covering both Blocks and Java programming. Linked here is also the rest of REV’s documentation for the control system.

Controls Engineering in the FIRST Robotics Competition — A book that introduces students to the broader field of control theory.

FIRST’s Programming Resources — A collection of FIRST’s official programming resources, including introductions to each programming tool.

FRC 4613 Software Workshops — FRC 4613’s workshops that are used to teach their new programmers Java and FTC programming. It goes from the very basics of data up to more complex concepts such as Polymorphism and Functional Interfaces.

Intro to Control Theory — A series of blog posts about control theory.

Libraries

Easy Open CV — A straightforward way to use openCV on an FTC robot. With this library, you can go from a stock SDK to running a sample openCV OpMode, with either an internal or external camera, in just a few minutes!

FTC Dashboard — FTC Dashboard is a websocket-based React dashboard designed for FTC. It is very useful for debugging, including features such as displaying and graphing telemetry live as well as tuning configuration variables in real-time while opmodes are running.

FTCLib — A fairly comprehensive FTC library, notably providing a command-based programming paradigm and vision pipelines.

Road Runner — Road Runner is a motion planning library. Designed primarily for autonomous robotic movement, it allows for complex path following and generation while maintaining control of velocity and acceleration. This enables bots to have more accurate and advanced path following capabilities. Also see Learn Road Runner, a guide to setting up Road Runner.

Electronics

Robot Wiring Guide* — FIRST’s guide to wiring FTC robots, including ESD mitigation options.

An Analysis of ESD Mitigation for the FIRST Tech Challenge — An analysis of different methods to mitigate electrostatic discharge (ESD) issues, which can cause robots to disconnect. The paper has great recommendations on what to do to help mitigate these issues in its conclusion.

Team/Event Results

FTC Events — FIRST’s official team and event result database for FTC. However, it lacks information from before Skystone.

The Orange Alliance — A community-run team and event result database.