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Greetings Florida FTC Teams, Volunteers, and Sponsors:

 

Please Read this update carefully and completely!

 

It has been a busy 6 weeks for teams, volunteers, and the Florida FTC league leaders since the 2015-16 game announcement on September 12th.  Leagues have started hosting practice/scrimmage events and the FIRST official league meet will be held on October 31, 2015.  Please make sure that you visit the www.flfirst.org website frequently to read about the latest FTC news.

 

The following are the topics contained with this Florida FTC email blast:

 

1.            Control System Issue Being Evaluated by FIRST

2.            New Control System Tips

3.            Florida FTC League Structure

4.            Register for you League Events

5.             Florida Rockwell Collins Grants Still Available

6.            Florida State Championship Date and Location

 

 

Newsletter Details:

 

1.                     Control System Issue Being Evaluated by FIRST – There have been reports in the technical community about the Android phone mounted on the robot (i.e, the robot controller) losing communication with the Modern Robotics USB modules that are used on the robot.  We suspect that these reported losses in communication can be attributed to a variety of causes.  Some of the suspected causes include loose wiring and low battery voltage.  FIRST is also working with QualComm and Modern Robotics to look for other potential causes of these communication errors.

 

Modern Robotics brought to our attention that there is a potential problem with some of the early manufactured Core Power Distribution Modules (PDM) that will cause communication errors on their robot.  There is a post on the issue tracking database for the FTC SDK that describes the problem and suggests that if teams encounter this problem they should contact Modern Robotics to have the device repaired.  Details on the issue can be found at the following link:

 

https://github.com/ftctechnh/ftc_app/issues/41

 

FIRST is continuing to investigate the reported communication errors and will post updates on the FTC Technology forum as new info becomes available.

 

2.                     New Control System Tips – As teams and leagues gain experience with the new Android based control system, it is important that we share what we learn with other teams to help teams be successful.  In addition to the standard FTC forum, we have also included key tips from teams and FTC on the www.flfirst.org website.  Please visit the following web page to find some of the key recommended new technology recommendations and tips:
http://ftc.flfirst.org/index.php/helpful-links/tips

 

3.                     Florida FTC League Structure – We currently have 155 registered FTC teams in Florida and the 2015-16 league structure has been finalized.  The 158 teams have been organized into the following 7 leagues:

·   Space Coast League – teams located in Brevard, Orange, and Osceola counties.

·   Tesla Robotics League – teams from Seminole, Lake, and Sumter counties.

·   ROBOT League – teams from Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Hernando Citrus, Hardee and Highlands counties.

·   Pinellas County League – teams from Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties.

·   South Florida League of Unstoppable Gatorbots – teams from Broward, Miami-Dade, Collier, and Monroe counties.

·   North East Florida League – teams from Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Flagler, and the Florida panhandle counties.

·   Palm Beach League – teams from Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties.

 

4.                                Register for you League Events – The league volunteer committees have been busy trying to finalize locations and dates for league meets, match play meets, league championships, and judgment days.  All of the finalize league event locations and dates are now available for teams to register to attend the events on the www.flfirst.org website. Please remember that league teams will have first priority to attend events up until 7 days prior to the event and leagues can charge an fee for out of league teams to attend their event. Please register for the events by going to the following web page: http://ftc.flfirst.org/index.php/season/event-registration

 

5.                                Florida Rockwell Collins Grants Still Available – It is not too late to submit an application for a Florida FTC Rockwell Collins grant. Please submit the attached RC Grant Application Form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Grant Terms and Conditions:

 Restricted to FTC Teams in Florida that are in good standing with FIRST and Tampa Bay Robotics Foundation, Inc.  Good standing includes completing the requirements of past grants.  There are a number of teams in Florida that did not complete the prior conditions that are no longer eligible to receive the Rockwell Collins grant. The most common reason is that teams did not complete the end of season thank you letter and team summary.

 

  •  The $275 team registration fee must be paid to FIRST prior to receiving the grant award.  Teams may apply for the grant before paying the registration fee.  Funds will not be dispersed until the team has paid their registration fee.
  •  The team must fully participate in at least one Meet tournament during the 2015-2016 season.
  •  The team must have three or more middle school or high school aged student team members in any combination.
  • Display the Rockwell Collins logo on their robot, team website, team marketing materials, etc.
  • Write start-of-season thank you letters to Rockwell Collins that should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  •  Write end-of-season team summary and thank you letters to Rockwell Collins that should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  •  The grant award must be spent on items that directly benefit the team.  Examples of acceptable uses of grant funds are: robot parts, tools and equipment, ROBOTC licenses, tournament and league fees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Award Selection Criteria:

 

 

  •  All of the grant terms and conditions listed on this form have been satisfied.
  • Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis.
  • Organizations with multiple teams are only eligible for one grant.
  • Rookie teams in regions with a low density of FTC teams receive priority.

 

 

 

 

 

The following items are required elements of the grant submission.  Check the box to indicate completion.

·         Attach a copy of the IRS exemption letter verifying 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for the Sponsor Organization.  This item isn’t required for Sponsor Organizations that are public schools.

·         Attach a copy of the Federal form W-9 for the Sponsor Organization.

·         Names of the team’s mentors and coaches.

·         Names of the students on the team.

·         Attach a thank you letter addressed to “Rockwell Collins.” The thank you letter can be turned in after the grant is awarded.  The grant award check will be issued after Tampa Bay Robotics Foundation, Inc. receives the thank you letter. Thank you letters can be sent as a PDF document in email toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

·         Team and Sponsor Organization Representatives have signed this form.

 

6.                     Florida State Championship Date and Location -- I am happy to announce that the Florida FTC state championship will again be hosted by Saint Leo University on February 13, 2016. Saint. Leo University is located near Dade City, FL just north of Tampa. The 24 top ranked teams will be invited to attend the event based on the state ranking that will be published on the www.flfirst.org website.  In the coming months we will send out additional information about hotel information and a call for volunteers.  I look forward to another exciting Florida FTC state championship.

 

 

Hans K. Wolf

Tampa Bay Robotics Foundation, Inc.

Cell: 813-477-4595

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Follow Florida FTC at:

Florida FIRST Tech Challenge website: http://www.flfirst.org

Florida FTC Facebook page:   facebook.com/FloridaFTC

Florida FTC Twitter page: twitter.com/FLFTC   #FLFTCRocks

Florida FTC Forum:   http://flftc.forumotion.com

FIRST Tech Challenge Blog: http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.com

 

Visit FIRST in Florida at FIRSTFL.org for more information and resources about FIRST statewide.

 

 

 

Hans K. Wolf

Tampa Bay Robotics Foundation, Inc.

Cell: 813-477-4595

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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