Greetings Florida FTC Teams, Volunteers, and Sponsors:

Please Read this update carefully and completely!

Welcome to the first official newsletter of the 2016-17 Florida FTC season.

The FTC season will kick-off on September 10, 2016 with the announcement of the game objectives and rules. The main focus of our first newsletter of the season is about the two kick-off events being held in Florida. However, I do have a several other important topics to help you prepare for this upcoming season.  Please share this information with your team members and mentors.

1.                  Florida FTC Kick-off Events – September 10, 2016

2.                  Update your Core Control Modules (Repeat Topic)

3.                  Florida Rockwell Collins Grants

4.                  ROBOTICON Tampa Bay

5.                  Upcoming Outreach Opportunities

Newsletter Details:

1.     Florida FTC Kick-off Events – There are two exciting kickoff events schedule for September 10, 2016.  This will give you an opportunity to learn about the new FTC game and also make connections with other teams. To help us prepare for the event, please make sure you register your team for this event by visiting the “Event Registration” page at There is no cost to attend either of the following kickoff events. Therefore, please make sure you register your team in the new FIRST account system and then register for the event by going to the follow web page:

Florida FTC Kick Off Events September 10, 2016:

Middleton High School, 4801 N 22nd Street, Tampa, FL 33620
In addition to the following workshop presentations, we will also have a representative onsite from AndyMark. AndyMark will be showcasing new products designed specifically for FTC teams. This will be a great opportunity for you to ask questions and learn more about the available AndyMark FTC products.
Agenda:            10:00am-10:20am         Understanding the Florida League System – Hans Wolf
                        10:20am—10:30am        Game Reveal for the 2016-17 Season – Review the FTC Game Animation
                        10:30am—10:50am        Outreach Opportunity:  ATMakers: Helping Makers Help Others – Bill Binko
                        11:00am—11:35am        FTC Awards and How to Win Them – Steve Willingham
                        11:00am—11:35am        FTC Control System and Pokemon GO Together – Paul Bresnan and team 6433 Neutrinos

                        11:40am—12:10pm        Lunch Break – Concession stand will be available selling snacks, drinks, and lunch

                        12:10pm—12:40pm       How to Create an Engineering Notebook – Donna Friis and team 5937 Renaissance Robotics
                        12:10pm—12:40pm       Latest Updates to the SDK – Kyle Hoyt

                        12:45pm—1:15pm         Game Animation and Game Q&A
                        1:15pm—2:00pm           Access to Field and Game Elements

Florida Atlantic University, TechRunway, 901 NW 35th Street, Boca Raton, FL 33431 
Engineers from FPL and LexisNexis as well as FTC alumni will be at the FTC kick-off to help new FTC students and coaches. The facility will be open until midnight September 10th and reopen September at 8 am on Sunday. If you would like to have your team participate in the 30 hour build please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with team name and phone number. You will need to bring everything you need to build your robot and we will provide a table and technical support. This is a great way for rookie teams to get have a robot that drives Sunday evening. We will also be collecting used or new Legos for our "Legos for Kids who Don't Have Legos Program" that will be donated at Christmas to at-risk community center programs we are helping get started with FLL
Agenda:            12:00pm—12:30pm       Game Animation and Game Q&A
                        12:30PM—1:30pm         Access to Field and Game Elements
                         1:30pm—6:00pm          Robot Build

2.      Update your Core Control Modules – This is a repeat topic that was first released by FIRST in an email blast to all FTC teams on 6/22/2016. I encourage all teams to take advantage of the service available from Modern Robotics to upgrade you USB modules.  The feedback I have received is that it is taking about 2-3 weeks to receive your replacement modules from Modern Robotics. The following is the notice that was sent out about this topic by FIRST:Update your Core Control Modules to the latest firmware. This upgrade applies to the Core Motor Controller, Core Servo Controller, Core Device Interface, and Core Legacy Module.

Modern Robotics will update and recertify your USB modules with the V2.0 firmware which was released in April of 2016. They will reprogram your modules, test all the ports and the functionality of each module to ensure it is operating correctly.  This upgrade will allow modules to be upgraded with future firmware releases from your MAC or PC.

For more information on how to have your modules upgraded, please visit the Modern Robotics site


3.      Florida Rockwell Collins Grants -- Rockwell Collins will again provide grants to Florida FTC teams this season. We will again be offering $500 veteran team grants and $750 rookie team grants on a first come first service bases.  On September 18, 2016, the Rockwell Collins grant applications will be sent to all teams that have completed the FIRST team registration process including having paid the FIRST registration fee.  The email will be distributed to team coach emails address that are added to the FIRST account system.

4.      ROBOTICON Tampa Bay – October 8 & 9

ROBOTICON is an annual FIRST Cross Program Showcase and FRC Off-Season event intended to provide teams opportunities for early season learning, robot build and practice.  The event is being held at the University of South Florida Sun Dome Arena Oct. 8 & 9.  There will be workshops, a STEAM Educators Conference, Innovation Fair and more.  

Tampa Bay ROBOT League Teams may participate in ROBOTICON at no cost, in appreciation for field use and volunteer support.  It’s $25 for teams outside of the local FTC league to enjoy build, scrimmage, workshops and training opportunities.  A full new season FIRST Tech Challenge field will be available.  

Register at

5.      Upcoming Outreach Opportunities -- Nobody tells the FIRST story better than FIRST teams! Join in any of these outreach opportunities to tell your story, connect with potential mentors and sponsors, and help build support and interest for new teams and programs, and hone our interview skills and rack up some outreach credentials at the same time.  The following are some outreach opportunity scheduled for the next several months:

Register to participate in any of these outreach events at

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