Team Updates

Team Updates
2015 FIRST ® Robotics Competition (FRC®)
Team Updates
Team Update 2015-01-23
Team Update 2015-01-20
Team Update 2015-01-16
Team Update 2015-01-13
Team Update 2015-01-09
Team Update 2015-01-06
Team Update 2014-12-19
FIRST ®, the FIRST ® logo, FIRST ® Robotics Competition, Coopertition®, and Gracious Professionalism®, and Sport for the Mind™ are trademarks
of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST ®). © 2014-2015 FIRST. All rights reserved.
Team Update 2015-01-23
General Updates
Java Library Update
A recommended, but not required, update has been posted for the Java version of WPILib (note: this is only relevant if you’re programming in Java, C++ and LabVIEW teams
should ignore this notice). This update allows the Java Installer program for putting Java on the roboRIO to work with Oracle’s updated website (as well as some small fixes for
Information about installing updates can be found near the bottom of this document:
A complete changelog can be found here:
Power Distribution Panel Firmware
A recommended, but not required, update (v1.40) has been posted for the Power Distribution Panel firmware. This firmware corrects an issue where the robot motors could
be very briefly disabled (“hiccup”) if the robot was quickly switched from Enabled to Disabled and back to Enabled. It also corrects the calculations of Power and Energy in the
PDP. The update and additional information is posted on Cross the Road Electronics’ site here:
Talon SRX Firmware
An optional Talon SRX Firmware update (v1.4) has been released. This update includes various improvements for analog encoder support. Teams using analog encoders are
encouraged to apply this optional update. See the Talon SRX Software Reference Manual for additional details. The update and Software Reference Manual can be found
Admin Manual
This note is from Frank Merrick, Director of FRC
Hi Teams. We recognize some teams have concerns about the changes to the Chairman’s Award feedback process this year. I talk in detail about this here. We will be
fundamentally staying with our intended approach for 2015. However, in today’s update, we are making a change to allow a mentor to be present during a team’s Chairman’s
Award presentation in addition to, rather than instead of, a third student. We had some internal miscommunication on this specific detail within FIRST before the manual was
published. This miscommunication was just brought to light. We have made a process change to help reduce the chance of this happening again. I apologize for the stress this
added to the situation. Interview Process and VIDEO Requirement
All teams submitting for the Chairman’s Award will need to sign up at pit admin in order to be interviewed by the Judges at the event. If a team does not sign up for an
interview slot, they will be considered ineligible to earn the award at that event. Chairman’s Award interviews are limited to ten (10) minutes total; up to seven (7) minutes for
a presentation by the team (which includes set-up) and up to five (5) minutes of question and answer led by the Judges. Not more than three (3) student team members,
of which plus one (1) may be an adult mentor, are allowed to attend the interview. Only student (non-mentor) team members are allowed to present information or answer
questions from the Judges. The one (1) adult mentor from the team who may attend may observe and later provide feedback to the team, but the mentor is not allowed to
provide any assistance during the interview itself. If the mentor provides any assistance during the interview, the team will be downgraded. Exception: If necessary, an the
adult mentor/ assistant may provide translation services for students needing foreign language or sign language translation so the students and Judges may communicate.
This adult mentor/assistant may be in addition to the three (3) Team members noted above, but may provide no assistance to the team other than translation service.
Game Manual
This note is from Frank Merrick, Director of FRC
Hi Teams. In this update, you will see we’ve added a blue box to G14 to explain what we mean by ‘tethering’. I’ll tell you how this came about. Someone asked a question (Q216)
about using an external control box to drive a motor after a match. It wasn’t stated in the question, but we’re assuming the intent was to reset a mechanism and possibly get the
robot into Transport Configuration. This approach raised safety concerns for us. At the end of a match, teams and volunteers are rushing around trying to clear the field and get
it set up for the next match. They may not necessarily be paying attention to robot mechanisms activating near them. If we allowed custom control boxes, without a number of
additional rules that would add significant complexity, teams could be creating controls that slam motors on at full speed. They could potentially lose control of the situation, in
a crowded, busy environment. Broadening the traditional FRC definition of ‘tethering’ seemed the best way for us to solve this issue. It’s true that teams can still, for example,
leave hex shafts on mechanisms accessible to be mechanically driven externally, using hand tools or battery operated drills, so mechanisms could still be activated on the field.
However, using hand tools or battery operated drills to drive mechanisms struck us as more controllable situations. Most battery operated drills are variable speed, and – unless
locked on – if a team member’s finger slips or the tool is dropped, the mechanism in many cases would stop moving. We’re trying to balance the need to make sure teams can
do what they need to do to play the game with helping to ensure everyone stays safe.
3.2.2 Pre-MATCH and Post-MATCH
G14 ROBOTS will not be re-enabled after the conclusion of the MATCH, nor will Teams be permitted to tether to the ROBOT.
Tethering includes any wired connection used to electrically energize and/or control elements on the ROBOT.
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Team Update 2015-01-20
General Updates
No Updates
Admin Manual
No Updates
Game Manual
Section 3 - The Game
A STACKED TOTE SET exists if all three (3) Yellow TOTES from an ALLIANCE are arranged such that, at the end of AUTO:
A. the Yellow TOTES are stacked one on top of another in a single column,
B. only the bottom-most Yellow TOTE is in contact with carpet in the AUTO ZONE,
C. the entire structure is fully contained by the AUTO ZONE, and
D. the entire structure is free of contact from ROBOTS
Section 4 - The Robot
4.3 Safety & Damage Prevention
R8 ROBOT parts shall not be made from hazardous materials, be unsafe, cause an unsafe condition, or interfere with the operation of other ROBOTS.
Examples of items that will violate R8 include (but are not limited to):
A.Shields, curtains, or any other devices or materials designed or used to obstruct or limit the vision of any DRIVERS and/or
COACHES and/or interfere with their ability to safely control their ROBOT
B.Speakers, sirens, air horns, or other audio devices that generate sound at a level sufficient to be a distraction
C.Any devices or decorations specifically intended to jam or interfere with the remote sensing capabilities of another ROBOT,
including vision systems, acoustic range finders, sonars, infrared proximity detectors, etc. (e.g. including imagery on your
ROBOT that, to a reasonably astute observer, mimics the Vision Guides)
D.E xposed lasers other than Class I.
E.Flammable gasses
F.Any device intended to produce flames or pyrotechnics
G. Hydraulic fluids or hydraulic items
H.Switches or contacts containing liquid mercury
I. Circuitry used to create voltages in excess of 24V
J.Any ballast not secured sufficiently, including loose ballast e.g. sand, ball bearings, etc., such that it may become
loose during a MATCH.
Teams should provide MSD Sheets for any materials they use that might be considered questionable during ROBOT
4.8 Power Distribution
R24 Non-electrical sources of energy used by the ROBOT, (i.e., stored at the start of a MATCH), shall come only from the following sources:
A. compressed air stored in the pneumatic system that has been charged in compliance with R68 and R69,
B. a change in the altitude of the ROBOT center of gravity, and
C. storage achieved by deformation of ROBOT parts,
D. closed-loop COTS pneumatic (gas) shocks, and
E. air-filled (pneumatic) wheels.
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition || Team Updates
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R42 Each power regulating device may control electrical loads per Table 4-4. Unless otherwise noted, each power regulating device may control one and only one electrical
Table 4-4: Legal Power Regulating Device Use
Electrical Load
Motor Controller
Relay Module
Pneumatics Controller
Up to 2 per controller
Pneumatic Solenoid Valves
Yes (1 per channel)
Electric Solenoids
Yes (1 per channel)
AndyMark 9015
Automotive Window/Door/Windshield
Wiper/SeatDoor Motors
AndyMark PG
Bosch Motor
Snow-Blower Motor
Denso Throttle Control
Pneumatic System
R66 The only pneumatic system items permitted on 2015 FRC ROBOTS include the items listed below.
A. Items available in the KOP (except as noted in I),
B. Pneumatic pressure vent plug valves functionally equivalent to those provided in the KOP,
C. Solenoid valves with a maximum 1/8 in. NPT port diameter,
D. Solenoid valves that are rated for a maximum working pressure that is less than 125 psi rating mandated above are permitted, however if employed, an additional
pressure relief valve must be added to the low pressure side of the main regulator. The additional relief valve must be set to a lower pressure than the maximum
pressure rating for the solenoid valve,
E. Additional pneumatic tubing, with a maximum 0.160 in. inside diameter, functionally equivalent to that provided in the KOP,
F. Pressure transducers, pressure gauges, passive flow control valves (specifically “needle valves”), manifolds, and connecting fittings,
G. Pressure regulators with a maximum outlet pressure of no more than 60 psi,
H. Pneumatic cylinders,
Pneumatic storage tanks (with the exception of White Clippard tanks P/N: AVT-PP-41), and
J. Compressors compliant with R68.
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Team Update 2015-01-16
General Updates
C++/Java Library Update
A recommended, but not required, update has been posted for the C++ and Java versions of WPILib (note: this is only relevant if you’re programming in Java or C++,
LabVIEW teams should ignore this notice). This update contains example programs for locating totes using vision, optimizations and fixes to the camera and vision libraries,
and a number of other minor fixes.
Information about installing updates can be found near the bottom of this document:
A complete changelog can be found here:
Virtual Kit of Parts
Information about the NI development software applications available in the Virtual Kit, Ultiboard and Multisim, has been posted to Virtual Kit section of the Kit of Parts
Admin Manual
No Updates
Game Manual
Section 2 – The Arena
The process for preparing game elements for a MATCH, 2015 Game Piece Preparations, has been documented and posted here.
Section 4 – The Robot
The following rows in Table 4-1 were edited:
Motor Name
Table 4-1: Legal Motors
Max Qty Allowed
Motor Name
Part Numbers Available
AndyMark PG
am-2161 (alt. PN am-2765)
am-2194 (alt. PN am-2766)
Automotive Window Motors
Automotive Door Motors
Automotive Windshield Wiper Motors
Automotive Seat Motors
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition || Team Updates
Max Qty Allowed
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Team Update 2015-01-13
General Updates
This note is from Frank Merrick, Director of FRC
Hi Teams. In this update, you will see an important change to G27. We originally wrote the rule in an attempt to help ensure the safety of volunteers and others who were field side.
However, as several of you made us realize with your questions, the rule was so broad it effectively created a violation for robots grabbing/touching/holding litter and totes that
were being introduced by teams through the human player station. This was not our intent. We think team members introducing these game objects are already well protected by
other rules and the physical barrier of the human player station itself. So, we’re fixing this. We apologize for our mistake, and thank the folks who helped us realize it!
Admin Manual
5.3 Bag And Tag And Robot Transport
All teams must “Bag and Tag” their robots. Teams are also required to transport their bagged and tagged robot to their competition event(s). For convenience, teams may
disassemble their robots and use two bags to “Bag and Tag” them. However, no more than two bags may be used and each bag must have its own numbered tag and
entry on the Robot Lock Up Form described below.
5.8 Crate Shipping Instructions For Robot Transport Exemption Approved Teams And Those Attending FIRST
Important Information:
1. All Robot Transport Exemption granted teams and ALL teams attending the FIRST Championship must build a crate to ship their robot in.
a. Robot shipments in crates must abide by standard freight shipping processes. This applies to any team moving their robot within a crate.
b. FedEx will not pick up a robot that is not in a crate.
2. See the “Shipping Crate Construction (hyperlink added)” document posted with the FRC Administrative Manual on the Robot Shipping website for more details. As a
reminder these minimum guidelines must be followed:
a. Keep your FILLED crate weight below 400 pounds. Teams are expected to use their crate to ship their robot and to minimize any additional components or tools
included, in order to keep the crate weight below 400 pounds.
b. Do not include any tools, luggage or additional materials that will cause your crate to exceed the maximum weight. Any teams exceeding 400 pounds will be
charged overage fees accordingly.
The Main or Alternate contact for your team must assign at least one (1) and up to four (4) student award submitters in FRC TIMS. Those students will be notified of their
status via email and may then log into Youth Team Member Registration System (formerly known as STIMS) and be able to view the awards submission section on their main
Chairman’s Award, Entrepreneurship Award, Media and Technology Innovation Award, Safety Animation Award, and Woodie Flowers Award must be submitted through the
Youth Team Member Registration System (formerly known as STIMS) The FIRST Dean’s List Award must be submitted by the team’s
main or alternate contact through TIMS,
6.3.1 Submission Dates
Submission open and close dates will be as follows (All award submissions will open and close at Noon Eastern Time unless otherwise stated):
Open Date
Close Date
Safety Animation
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Chairman’s Award
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Entrepreneurship Award
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Media & Technology Innovation Award
To Be Announced Saturday, February
1,2015 at Midnight EST
Saturday, February 28,2015 at 11:59 pm
Woodie Flowers Award
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Tuesday, February 12, 2015
Dean’s List
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Thursday, February 19, 2015
FIRST Future Innovator Award
To Be Announced
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition || Team Updates
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6.7.2 Award Criteria
Teams are asked to develop a marketing strategy complete with rationale for digital channels/devices to disseminate content. Digital media still includes websites, but can
and should be augmented with digital media for disseminating content including social, viral* and rich media.
*Viral media defined as low/zero budget and homemade content. Professionally produced content will be disqualified. Viral content is something that premiers and is spread
person-to-person on the Internet. 6.7.3 Judging Criteria
Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by a Comcast executive judging panel. This award is independent of current FIRST Program competition season judged
The winner of the Media and Technology Innovation Award will be announced at the 2015 FIRST Championship.
Submissions will be judged on the following criteria, with the following weighted scale (out of a possible 100 total points):
■■ Strategy (15 points)
■■ Targeting the right audience with a message that aligns with the FIRST mission.
■■ Developing a clear strategy and choice of distribution channels and content creation.
■■ Teams must use at least two channels. More channels are not necessarily better, but will be considered if appropriate.
■■ Setting and meeting clear objectives.
■■ Communicating a clear strategy on your website and on your written submission.
■■ Overall Experience (15 points)
■■ Do content and channels fit together in look and feel?
■■ Are you promoting a positive impression of FIRST and its mission?
■■ Do your website and other digital media have a cohesive look? What is the overall digital user experience?
■■ How does your overall story come together online? Do you share a unified message and mission?
■■ Is the website intuitive and easy to navigate?
■■ Does the digital experience tell a story about the team and its FIRST experience?
■■ Visual Design (10 points)
■■ How appealing is your design?
■■ Is content easy to read?
■■ Do you use videos and or graphics in a visually appealing way?
■■ Visual fit with FIRST – Even though the team has its own identity, is it clear that this team is a part of FIRST?
■■ Navigation (10 points)
■■ Content organization and prioritization is being judged in this category
■■ Is your website simple to follow?
■■ Is it intuitive?
■■ Does is have a structure that makes sense?
■■ Content (20 points)
■■ We are looking for whether the information shared is compelling and optimized for consumption. ■■ This should be a robust digital experience, so think about including text, sound, video, photos and social media. ■■ Good content should be engaging, relevant and appropriate.
■■ Was original content created?
■■ Is content kept up-to-date and refreshed regularly?
■■ Is content action-oriented?
■■ Does your site use live links?
■■ Do your site or digital media appropriately cite sources and not infringe on others’ trademarks or copyrights?
■■ Does your website/channel adhere to the FIRST Branding and Design Standards?
■■ Functionality (15 points)
■■ Does content load quickly? ■■ Does your site work with multiple/major browsers and mobile devices?
■■ Is the site easy to use?
■■ We will also consider the efficiency and utility of the site.
■■ Engagement (15 points)
■■ Did your digital media engage an audience to find out more about your team or about FIRST and FIRST Progression of Programs?
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■■ How did you track the results?
■■ Did you leverage your site or digital media for fundraising and/or other purposes outside of the normal scope?
6.7.4 Submission Process
Teams should upload their PDF-formatted submission through the Comcast Media and Technology Award website at Submission will be
accepted during the dates listed in Section 6.3.1.
Submissions are not to exceed two pages including graphics. The maximum allowable size for the PDF document submission is 50MB. Submissions should include and
address all judging criteria addressed above. We encourage teams to clearly communicate both strategy and any results that have been tracked (include web site traffic, # of
friends and/or followers, likes, etc.). This document must include applicable links, urls and hashtags that provide access to the digital properties you created. This includes,
but is not limited to, web and video sites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, mobile apps, etc.
By making a submission, the Submitter irrevocably grants to FIRST and FIRST designees the right to use any or all of the submission in any and all media for the purpose of
describing the submission, describing the Award, and/or otherwise promoting FIRST and FIRST programs.
6.7.5 Submission Dates
Submissions will be accepted during the dates listed in Section 6.3.1.
You may submit your PDF more than once if you need to make revisions. The last version submitted prior to the deadline will be considered your final submission.
Game Manual
Section 2 – The Arena
The following drawings have been revised.
■■ FE-00038 – Added Notes and View for Placement of Chute Plastic
■■ GE-15015 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15016 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15017 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15018 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15025 – Added Tape Notes
■■ GE-15026 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15027 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15028 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15029 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15030 – Added Material Finish Notes
■■ GE-15031 – Added Material Finish Notes
The HUMAN PLAYER STATIONS connect the end PLAYER STATIONS to the GUARDRAILS. Each HUMAN PLAYER STATION is constructed of two (2) 6 ft.
6 in. tall by 3 ft. 7 in. wide clear polycarbonate panels, attached to an aluminum frame with cable ties, and the CHUTE DOOR. The panels adjacent to the
GUARDRAIL are is a solid panels adorned with the FIRST logo.
Teams feed the litter through a 3 2.875 in. diameter hole in the shield.
Section 3 – The Game
G6-2 The CHUTE DOOR may only be operated by a DRIVER or HUMAN PLAYER.
G27 ROBOTS and anything they control (except for LITTER in the LITTER CHUTE and TOTES in the TOTE CHUTE), e.g. a TOTE, may not contact anything outside
the FIELD.
VIOLATION: Offending ROBOT will be DISABLED. Section 4 - The Robot
LRI Training
On Saturday, January 10, we hosted more than 50 Lead Robot Inspectors (LRIs) at FIRST HQ as part of LRI Training. Their feedback resulted in some of the changes
in this Team Update and are an attempt to clarify the true intent behind each rule. We thank them for their time spent as volunteers and for their feedback as we strive
for continuous improvement of the Game Manual.
R25 has been amended to clarify that only a single pair of Andersen Power Products connectors (as depicted in Figure 4-2) are allowed.
R37 has been amended to help clarify that there is no requirement that a PCM be wired to the VRM/PCM connectors indicated in Figure 4-5; teams may choose to
wire the PCM through a 20A breaker if desired.
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While there is no corresponding change to the Game Manual, the LRI’s also wanted to make sure that all teams are aware that ROBOTs must fit in, and be transported in, a single
TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION volume at the event. This doesn’t mean the exact configuration of the robot within that volume must be the same every time, but that every time
a team is moving their robot as required under T6, they must do so using only one contiguous volume of the size and orientation specified.
R25 The one (1) ROBOT battery, single pair of Anderson Power Products (or APP) 2-pole SB type connectors, the one (1) main 120-amp (120A) circuit breaker (Cooper Bussman
P/N: CB185-120), and the one (1) Cross The Road Electronics Power Distribution Panel (PDP, P/N: am-2856, 217-4244) shall be connected with 6 AWG wire or larger as shown in
Figure 4-2.
R37 Each branch circuit must be protected by one and only one circuit breaker on the PDP per Table 4-2. No other electrical load can be connected to the breaker supplying
this circuit.
Table 4-2: Branch Circuit Protection
Branch Circuit
Circuit Breaker Value
Quantity Allowed Per Breaker
Motor Controller
Up to 40A
Up to 40A
Relay Module
Up to 20A
Additional PCM – with compressor
Additional VRM (non-radio)/Additional PCM (non-compressor)
3 total
R41 The only power regulating devices for actuators permitted on the ROBOT include:
A. Motor Controllers
A. Jaguar Motor Controller (P/N: MDL-BDC, MDL-BDC24, and 217-3367)
B. Talon Motor Controller (P/N: CTRE_Talon, CTRE_Talon_SR, and am-2195)
C. Talon SRX Motor Controller (P/N: 217-8080), equipped with firmware version 0.28 or newer if using via PWM. See R59 if using via CAN.
D. Victor 884 Motor Controller (P/N: VICTOR-884-12/12)
E. Victor 888 Motor Controller (P/N: 217-2769)
F. Victor SP Motor Controller (P/N: 217-9090)
B. Relay Modules
A. Spike H-Bridge Relay (P/N: 217-0220 and SPIKE-RELAY-H)
C. Pneumatics controllers
A. Pneumatics Control Module (P/N: am-2858, 217-4243)
Please see’s%20Guide.pdf for more information about the Talon SRX firmware update, determining the
firmware on your Talon SRX, and instructions on how install.
R61 The PDP CAN interface must be connected to the CAN-bus on the roboRIO (either directly or daisy-chained via another CAN-bus device). The firmware on the PDP must
be updated to at least version 1.37.
Section 5 – The Tournament
Section 5.5.2 - Eligibility and Inspection
If a ROBOT will not report for a QUALIFICATION or PLAYOFF MATCH, the Lead Queuer should be informed and at least one (1) member of the DRIVE TEAM should report to
the FIELD for the MATCH to avoid receiving a RED CARD, with the exception of a Team that has not passed Inspection, per Rule T8.”
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Team Update 2015-01-09
Game Manual
General Updates
This note is from Frank Merrick, Director of FRC
Hello Teams! You will see that several of these updates relate to the Noodle Agreement I talked about in the update from January 6th. As
I said in that update, game design, like robot design, involves many trade-offs. These changes are not perfect, but I believe they will help
ease the controversy over the Noodle Agreement, and encourage more enjoyable game play.
Section 1 - RECYCLE RUSH Summary
Figure 1-1 was updated to reflect the change to the LITTER description in Section 2.3.3: LITTER.
Alliances that unscored leave unscored Litter marked in the other Alliance’s color on their side of the Field at the end of the match add
points to the score of the other Alliance, as it is considered unprocessed and not properly disposed of.
Section 2 - The ARENA
Figures 2-1, 2-2, 2-21, and 2-22 were updated to reflect the change to the LITTER description in Section 2.3.3: LITTER.
2.1.4 - STEP
The STEP is a wooden platform that bisects the FIELD. It is painted white and is 6.25 in. tall and 2 ft. 1 in. wide. Mounted to the sides of
the STEP facing each ALLIANCE WALL is a 0.25 in. thick by 6.375 6.625 in. tall HDPE sheet (colored to match the ALLIANCE). This HDPE
forms a .375 in. lip along both sides of the STEP. This lip is to help prevent the TOTES from being pushed off the STEP too easily.
2.1.5 - Zone Markings
Each ALLIANCE’S side of the FIELD contains the following zones:
■■ AUTO ZONE: Marked by, but does not include, 2 in. lines of Red Burgundy or Blue Navy gaffers tape corresponding to the
ALLIANCE COLOR, each AUTO ZONE is a 6 ft. 62 in. wide area infinitely tall volume that spans the width of the field and is
located between each ALLIANCE’S Platform Ramps (each edge is 3 ft. 1 in. from the Landmark).
■■ ■LANDFILL ZONE: Bounded by, but does not include, the STEP, GUARDRAILS, and a 2 in. line of White gaffers tape running
between the GUARDRAILS on either side of the FIELD. Each LANDFILL ZONE is an infinitely tall volume that extends 4 ft. 3 in.
from the edge of the STEP towards their ALLIANCE WALL.
The language from the Game Manual is as follows:
Each ALLIANCE WALL includes three (3) PLAYER STATIONS. Each PLAYER STATION is made from a 3 ft. tall diamond plate panel
base topped with a 3 ft. 6 in. tall transparent plastic panel. An aluminum shelf is attached to each PLAYER STATION to support the
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DRIVE TEAM’S OPERATOR CONSOLE. The shelf is 5 ft. 9 in. wide and 1 ft. deep. There is a 4 ft. 6 in. long by 2 in. wide strip of hook-and-loop tape (“loop” side) along the
center of the support shelf that may be used to secure the OPERATOR CONSOLE to the shelf.
This section of the Field Tour Video says that the “hook” side of hook-and-loop tape is installed on the player station shelf. The video is incorrect, and it is the loop side as stated
above. Our apologies for any confusion.
Teams feed the litter LITTER through a 3 in. diameter hole in the shield.
2.3.3 – LITTER
Each ALLIANCE starts the MATCH with ten (10) LITTER, all of which are located in a white Bin. The LITTER is marked 1 in. from each end and in the middle with 2 in. “Red”
and “Electric Blue” gaffers tape to match the ALLIANCE STATION in which it starts.
LITTER will be removed from play if, in the judgment of the Head REFEREE, the LITTER is unsuitable for gameplay. Examples include but are not limited to: the length shortened,
or a chunk more than approximately 1.5 in. deep and 3 in. long is removed, or tape has been removed. Small cuts or small pieces removed will not cause LITTER to be replaced.
(Caption) Figure 2-22: LITTER and Litter Bin Starting Locations
Section 3: The Game
Figures 3-5 and 3-6 were updated to reflect the change to the LITTER description in Section 2.3.3: LITTER. AUTO
During AUTO, each ALLIANCE can earn points are awarded for a ROBOT SETS, TOTE SETS or STACKED TOTE SET, and CONTAINER SETS, and STACKED TOTE SETS. Coopertition
“Support” in reference to TOTES, for COOPERTITION, AUTO, and TELEOP, is transitive through other TOTES. For example, a Yellow TOTE is “fully supported by the STEP” if it is resting on top of another Yellow TOTE that is in turn resting
directly on the STEP (and thus both Yellow TOTES are “fully supported” by the STEP). TELEOP
When REFEREES are assessing final scores at the end of the MATCH, if it is unclear whether a TOTE, RECYCLING CONTAINER, or LITTER (with the exception of LITTER in the LANDFILL ZONE) is being even partially supported by a
ROBOT, the assumption will be that the ROBOT is supporting it (and thus it does not score). As such, it is highly recommend that DRIVE TEAMS make it very clear that their ROBOTS are not supporting any scored TOTES, RECYCLING
CONTAINERS, or LITTER at the end of the MATCH.
Additionally, LITTER is considered scored in a LANDFILL ZONE when it is fully contained within a LANDFILL ZONE, with each ALLIANCE credited for the LITTER scored in the
LANDFILL ZONE on their side of the FIELD. For example, in Figure 3-6 LITTER A and B are fully contained within the Red LANDFILL ZONE, regardless of whether they’re marked
with Red or Blue and whether or not they are resting on top of TOTES. However, LITTER C is not entirely contained by the Red or Blue LANDFILL ZONE as it is hanging over
onto the STEP and does not score. Litter D, E, and F, and G are not fully contained by the Red or Blue LANDFILL ZONE and do not score as LITTER in the LANDFILL.
Figure 3-6: LITTER within the ARENA at the end of a MATCH
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Finally, ALLIANCES earn an UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus for each LITTER that is fully contained by the opposite side of the FIELD, marked in their ALLIANCE’S color, and not
scored in the LANDFILL ZONE or scored in a RECYCLING CONTAINER.
For example, in Figure 3-6 (above), LITTER C is not fully contained by the Red or Blue side of the FIELD and thus does not score as either LITTER in the LANDFILL or an
UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus for either ALLIANCE. LITTER D scores as an UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus for the Blue ALLIANCE because it is a Blue marked Litter
fully contained by the Red ALLIANCE side of the FIELD and not scored in the Red LANDFILL ZONE or a scored RECYCLING CONTAINER. LITTER E does not score an
UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus for the Blue ALLIANCE as it is not Blue marked LITTER. Additionally, LITTER EF also scores as an UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus for the
Blue ALLIANCE for the same reasons as LITTER D, even though it is partially within the Red LANDFILL ZONE. Finally, LITTER FG remains in the Bin and does not score as an
UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus as it is not on the FIELD.
3.2.3 General Rules
G16 The following actions are prohibited with regards to interaction with FIELD elements (items A-D exclude TOTES, RECYCLING CONTAINERS, and LITTER):
A. grabbing
B. grasping
C. grappling
D. attaching to
E. becoming entangled
F. hanging
G. damaging (exception: unintentional damage to LITTER)
H. tying
I. removing or repositioning LITTER tape
VIOLATION: FOUL. If the Head REFEREE determines that further damage is likely to occur, offending ROBOT will be DISABLED. Corrective action (such as eliminating sharp
edges, removing the damaging MECHANISM, and/or re-Inspection) may be required before the ROBOT will be allowed to compete in subsequent MATCHES.
Section 5: The Tournament
Table 5-2: Quarterfinal and Semifinal MATCH Ranking Criteria
Table 5-2: Quarterfinal and Semifinal MATCH Ranking Criteria
1st order sort
Playoff Average
2nd order sort
Cumulative sum of AUTO points
3rd order sort
Cumulative sum of scored RECYCLING CONTAINER points
4th order sort
Cumulative sum of scored TOTE points
5th order sort
Cumulative sum of scored LITTER points (LITTER in a scored RECYCLING CONTAINER +
Section 6: Glossary
AUTO ZONE – the infinitely tall volume area bound by the GUARDRAILS and carpet between the SCORING PLATFORMS. The AUTO ZONE extends the full width of the FIELD, even
though the SCORING PLATFORMS do not.
LANDFILL ZONE – the infinitely tall volume area bound by the plastic lip of the STEP on the ALLIANCE’S side of the FIELD, the GUARDRAIL on each side, and the landfill line
(including excluding the tape).
SCORING PLATFORM – the elevated wood and polycarbonate HDPE structures, two (2) per ALLIANCE, on which ROBOTS stack TOTES.
UNPROCESSED LITTER – LITTER which is fully contained by an ALLIANCE’S side of the FIELD, marked in the opposing ALLIANCE’S color, but not scored in their LANDFILL ZONE
or scored in a RECYCLING CONTAINER. Each ALLIANCE receives an UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus for the UNPROCESSED LITTER on the opposite ALLIANCE’S side of the
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition || Team Updates
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Team Update 2015-01-06
Admin Manual
General Updates
You will note this change identifies the eight fields we will have at the FIRST Championship as ‘Subdivisions’. At this time, our intent is to
keep the current four Division names – Archimedes, Curie, Galileo, and Newton - as Subdivision names, and add four new names to identify
the rest of the Subdivisions. Divisions, which will consist of two Subdivisions combined, will be identified by the two Subdivision names
joined by a hyphen. As an example, if the Curie and Newton fields, as Subdivisions, are joined to make a Division, the Division names would
be Curie-Newton.
Section 6 - Awards
Section 6.1 - FIRST Robotics Competition Awards
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is about much more than the mechanics of building a robot or winning a competitive event. It is about
the partnership among people who are part of the FIRST community and the impact on those who participate in FIRST programs with a united
goal of achieving The FIRST mission. The FIRST mission is to change the way young people regard science and technology and to inspire an
appreciation for the real-life rewards and career opportunities in these fields.
This chapter contains descriptions of the FIRST Robotics Competition Awards. Unless otherwise noted, all awards are earned at Regional events,
District events, District Championships and the FIRST Championship.
For the purpose of awards at the FIRST Championship, all awards are given out at the Division level except the Finalist and Winner, which are
given at the Subdivision level. Two Subdivisions are combined to create one Division.
Section 6.2 - Complete Awards List
Selected By
Celebrates the alliance that makes it
to the final match of the competition
Celebrates the alliance that wins the
final match of the competition
*These awards are given at the Subdivision level instead of the Division Level. All other awards marked “FIRST CMP Division” are given
at the Division level.
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition
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Game Manual
General Updates
This note is from Frank Merrick, Director of FRC
Hello teams! For this part of today’s update I wanted to include a note directly from me, rather than generically from the Game Design
Committee. I lead the GDC, so all information released by the GDC ultimately has my OK, but I thought it might help to let you know I’m
writing this particular note myself.
There has been significant discussion and some anxiety on the Chief Delphi forums over what some are calling ‘The Noodle Agreement’, in
which the two alliances in a Recycle Rush match could agree to collude, legally under the current rules, to simply drop their own litter on
their side of the field, then not touch it, effectively giving both alliances easy bonuses to their score. The GDC talked about this specific
possibility before the game was released. We actually talked about two different ways alliances could collude regarding noodles.
We had briefly considered, then quickly rejected, having the opposing alliance receive a bonus for ALL litter not in scoring position in the
possession of an alliance. In other words, an alliance would have received a bonus for litter still sitting in the other alliance’s bin. This was
rejected right away, as we realized passive collusion would be easy – both alliances simply needed to agree to not touch the litter in their
own bins, and it would be immediately obvious if one alliances was not holding up their side of the bargain. This led to the current rules, in
which any litter remaining in the bin has no effect on the score.
The second form of collusion we had discussed was what is being talked about on the forums – both alliances dumping all their own litter
on their side of the field and leaving it. This form of collusion is more difficult to pull off, as both alliances need to take some physical action
to bring it about, and there would be some natural concern over whether or not the other alliance was going to follow through with their
commitment. A game of chicken could ensue. Also, it seems that getting all six teams on both alliances to agree to take a physical action
like this, that many would perceive as being contrary to the spirit of the game – if not the rules – would be trickier than taking no physical
action, as in the option above, and simply letting the points accumulate passively.
This year we worked hard to keep the rules simple, and to keep both penalties and rules to a minimum number. I’ll give you a specific
example of an approach we occasionally used. You will note there are no rules in the manual giving penalties for teams building stacks
of totes more than six high. Very high stacks are still somewhat of a concern, however, as they are harder for field reset to deal with and
potentially could lead to game pieces exiting the field if the stacks are tipped over. Rather than telling teams they can’t build over six totes
high, and assigning a penalty to that, we simply said, per Section, that if any portion of the tote extends over the backstops on the
scoring platforms, they won’t be counted as scored. In this way, teams have no incentive to build high, as it’s a waste of resources they
otherwise could have turned into points. Will we still occasionally see high stacks? I think so. Some teams will have not picked up on this
element in the manual, as it’s not a ‘G’ numbered rule and has no penalty assigned to it. For those teams, we think they’ll quickly get up
to speed at events. The cost, though, of more aggressively working to prevent these outlying actions within the rules is a more complex
manual, more nuisance penalties, and something else the refs have to watch for. We essentially were willing to keep the manual simpler in
exchange for likely more often seeing stacks higher than we would like to.
We took a similar approach with the second form of collusion with the litter. We don’t know how often this would happen at actual events,
and actively preventing it likely means more complicated rules. However, looking at the forums, the possibility of this noodle agreement
happening at events looks as if it’s creating some concern in the community, and distracting from other strategic elements of the game. This
still may not be likely to happen often at events under the current rules, but if it does, I think they will be less enjoyable.
So, in this case, we will be making some changes to the rules to discourage this activity. They won’t be perfect, but they should be an
improvement. Game Design, like robot design, means working through many trade-offs. The changes are not ready for today’s update, but
will follow shortly.
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition || Team Updates
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National Instruments has alerted us that they have received reports of the power terminals on some roboRIO’s not being completely screwed in. Teams are encouraged to check
the power connector’s connection to the roboRIO.
The Kickoff Kit Checklist for the Separate Items has been updated with a new “Where to get more” for the Recycling Containers and Pool Noodles.
Section 2 - The ARENA
Each SCORING PLATFORM is adjacent to a BACKSTOP and positioned such that the bottom edge of the Platform Ramp is 3 ft. 3 in. from the center of the Landmark. Please
see Figure 2-5 for more details.
Section 2.1.5 - Zone Markings
■■ Taped Boxes STAGING ZONES: Each ALLIANCE has three (3) STAGING ZONES…
Section 2.1.6 - The Landmark
Each AUTO ZONE contains one (1) Landmark, which is centered across the width of the zone and located 15 13 ft. 7 in. from the ALLIANCE WALL.
The lids are secured to the RECYCLING CONTAINERS garbage cans using cable ties, and each lid has a 4.75 in. diameter hole in the center.
Section 2.3.3 - LITTER
Each LITTER is a solid core, green Pool Noodle, manufactured by Tundra (Part Number: SR20C). They are between 4 ft. 7 in. long and 4 ft. 10 11 in. in length and have an
outside diameter of approximately 2.6 in. Given that the manufacturing process for Pool Noodles is not tightly controlled and the Pool Noodles used and distributed for the
2015 season were made in different production runs, teams should expect some variation in rigidity, length, diameter, and surface characteristics.
Section 3 - The Game
When REFEREES are assessing final scores at the end of the MATCH, if it is unclear whether a TOTE, RECYCLING CONTAINER, or LITTER (with the exception of LITTER in the LANDFILL ZONE) is being even partially supported by a
ROBOT, the assumption will be that the ROBOT is supporting it (and thus it does not score). As such, it is highly recommend that DRIVE TEAMS make it very clear that their ROBOTS are not supporting any scored TOTES, RECYCLING
CONTAINERS, or LITTER at the end of the MATCH.
Section 3.2.1 - Safety
G6-1 DRIVE TEAMS may not use any object to prop the CHUTE DOOR open.
Section 4 - The ROBOT
Section 4.2 - General ROBOT Design
Size constraints specified in part B may be met with additional aids such as bungee cords, minor disassembly, etc., provided transition from/to the TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION does not risk violation of other rules, particularly G5 and G6
G10 and G11.
Section 5 - The Tournament
Playoff Tournament MATCH nomemclature in Sections 5.4.4 and 5.6.3 was corrected to be consistent with nomenclature used in Figures 5-2 and 5-5.
Section 6 - Glossary
BACKSTOP – an aluminum structure positioned between each SCORING PLATFORM and the GUARDRAILS, primarily used to determine the LEVEL of a scored
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition || Team Updates
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Team Update 2014-12-19
Admin Manual
General Updates
The Tables of Contents for Sections 2 and 4 have been updated to reflect the content of those sections.
Section 4 - At the Events
Section 4.9.1 - All Teams Should Attend
Should a team need to remain in their pit to continue to work on their robot during the Opening or Closing Ceremonies, they are allowed to.
However, the team should must follow the rules below.
Section 5 - Robot Packaging and Transporting
Section 5.5.3 - Robot Displays
To assist teams with their promotional and community relations activities, robots may be unbagged and operated briefly after “Stop Build Day” for
display purposes only.
The intent of this option is to allow teams to briefly show their robot to their community, sponsors, or potential sponsors after “Stop Build
nbagging a robot and putting it on display for many hours (i.e. more than four (4)) at a time would not be considered a “brief”
The Robot Lock-Up Form must be used to track the unbagging and rebagging of the robot during this period. In the “Explanation” column
of the form, enter “Robot Display”.
No activity that could be considered “work on” or “practice with” the robot is allowed.
Brief displays of robot functions - driving for example - are allowed, but not to the extent that they could be considered practice.
A good way to avoid turning a robot display period in to a practice session is to have non-drive team members operate the robot,
and only for as short a time as necessary to show the robot’s capabilities.
If you have any questions about this new Robot Display option, please email [email protected]
Section 6 - Awards
Section - Submission Process
■■ Enter in a link through YouTube for your official Chairman’s Video. This link does not need to be entered by the February 19th
submission deadline. FIRST requests that the Team submit their video before the Team attends the first event at which it is eligible to
compete for the Chairman’s Award. Failure to submit this link will not preclude a Team from earning the Chairman’s Award. (You will still
be required to bring a copy to each event you are eligible at.)
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition
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Section - Interview Process and VIDEO Requirements
Tips, Timelines & Tools
Guidelines and Tips video by Paul Lazarus of White Dwarf Productions
Chairman’s Award Video Helpful Tips and Guidelines
Chairman’s Award Video Suggested Shot List
Chairman’s Award Video Tape Log (example)
Chairman’s Award Video Tape Log (blank)
Chairman’s Award Video Consent and Release Form
2015 FIRST Robotics Competition
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