The “Block Party!” FTC Competition

Want to know more about the details of the 2013-14 FTC Challenge? Read on…

All teams registered for the 2013-14 FTC season compete in the same robotics challenge. The object of the challenge is to score more points than your randomly chosen opponents. Points are given for completing various tasks within a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field. (click the image for a larger view)

FTC Playing Field

Four robots compete at the same time in each match. Two robots are controlled by each “alliance”: the red alliance and the blue alliance. The red and blue alliances battle against each other to score the highest number of match points.

Each alliance is made up of two randomly chosen teams. The paring of alliance teams changes with each match so your alliance partner in the first match may be your opponent in the second match!

Matches last 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Alliances control their robots in two different ways within this time. During the first 30 seconds (the “autonomous” period), robots run via programs created and preloaded by the team. In the remaining 2 minutes after the autonomous period, robots are controlled via “tele-op” using a game controller communicating with the robot over a wireless network.

Match points can be scored in a number of ways. Alliances capture yellow plastic blocks with their robot and put them into baskets attached to a pendulum on the center ramp in the playing field. Points are given for each block placed in a basket. If, at the end of the match, your alliance’s pendulum is balanced, additional points are awarded. (click the image for a larger view)



Additional high-value scoring opportunities exist within the playing field during the last 30 seconds of each match. The first opportunity is raising the Alliance Flag. If an alliance robot can raise the Alliance Flag by spinning the flag raiser bar, 30 points are awarded. The second opportunity is having your robot hang on the Hanging Bar. If your robot can hang from the bar across the center of the ramp without touching the ramp, 50 points are awarded to the alliance.

More information about the scoring opportunities  in the “Block Party!” challenge can be found in THIS one-page (PDF) summary sheet. You can also view an animation explaining the game HERE (advance to the 2:17 time mark).

 HERE is a video of a match in an FTC competition.

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