Friday, September 28, 2018

Tournaments are filling up FAST!

It looks like everyone is Ready to Ruckus, because the qualifying tournaments are filling FAST!!! 
As of 11:30 am on Friday, there are only 5 spots left in Arizona Qualifying Tournaments!  

There's still plenty of room to compete in New Mexico! Please be aware that if a tournament does not reach a minimum of 12 teams competing, we may be forced to cancel the event. 

If your team is only signed up for 1 or 2 events and you'd like another play, please consider registering for the White Mountain or Queen Creek events ASAP before they also are full. Hey New Mexico teams, we're offering you the chance to play twice without needing to go out of state - please take advantage of this opportunity! 

We will also allow out of region teams to register for our qualifying tournaments starting in mid-October. Any spots not claimed by Arizona or New Mexico teams may be taken by an out of region team. 

Open registration will start on October 6, where teams can take any available spot regardless of how many events they are registered for. Please keep in mind that FIRST Tech Challenge rules state that teams may only advance or win judged awards from their first three events. Teams are welcome to play in more than 3 events with the understanding that they do so for fun and the experience, not to win awards. Teams may still be on the Winning or Finalist alliances at events after their 3rd. 

Many events now have wait lists. Teams are welcome to join the wait lists by filling out the registration form for an event. Movement off the wait list may not happen until the week prior to the tournament, so watch your email! 

There are only a few reasons that we will allow teams to drop out of an event without penalty. A cancellation policy will be included in your invoice and will be posted here. 

Teams will be sent a personalized invoice the week of October 8. In the meantime, if you need to start a PO for your events, please make them out to: 

Coconino High School Robotics
2801 N. Izabel St. 
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

White Mountain Robotics Conference
What are YOU doing October 27? Consider coming to the 1st Annual White Mountain Robotics Conference, hosted by the Juggerbots and the Jaegers! Hands on workshops, 3D printing, and more to be had...and it's free! Click the link to the right under Team Resources to find out more and to register. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

3rd Event Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for 3rd Events
Starting today, teams may now sign up for their 3rd qualifying tournament.

Please be sure to check the list to the right for updates on tournament capacities. Phoenix and Tucson are full already. 

If you'd like to be added to the wait list for a full event, fill out the registration form. It's highly recommended that teams take available spots first rather than joining a wait list. The wait lists will be prioritized based on when a team was added. 

Don't wait until the season starts to register for your events. If you want to play 2 or 3 times, register for those events now before they fill up! It's highly unlikely that there will be many (if any!) open spots available by the time the season gets underway. 

Teams will be sent a personalized invoice the week of October 7, and payment is due mid November for the season. 

FREE Stress Reduction Prints
Valley X and Plus 3 Robotics are offering free 3D printed stress reduction clips for the REV Expansion Hubs. The link to request yours is to the right under Team Resources. This offer is available to all Arizona and New Mexico teams. Thank you for your generosity!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Kickoff Flashbacks, Programming & Tournament Registration

Qualifying Tournament Registration
Over 80 Arizona and New Mexico teams have already registered for at least one qualifying tournament! Help us reach our goal of 100 teams competing in our region this season by registering for your events! 

  • Teams can register for up to two events through Friday. 
  • Starting on Sat. September 22 teams can select a 3rd event. 
  • After October 5, teams may register for any available event. 
  • After mid October, out of region teams may register for available tournament spots on a case-by-case basis. 

If you haven't registered for your 1st two events, please do so ASAP!!! The Phoenix tournament is already full, and there are six other events with 10 or fewer spots available! Don't plan on waiting until the season is underway to register for additional events - we expect many to fill in the next week!

Control System Tips from Head FTA Eric!
FTC has recently provided an update for the new Control System software version 4.0 for the 2018-2019 season. We highly recommend that you download this update as it contains new features, improvements, and bug fixes. 

You can your install Version 4.0 of the Driver Station app and Robot Controller app by going to the Google Play Store. 

The update contains 1) support for UVC cameras, 2) 5GHz wireless channel changing (Moto G5 and E4 phones), 3) improved REV Expansion Hub firmware update support, 4) Robot resiliency and auto reset, 5) Vuforia Vision Processing updates for this season, 6) improvements in BlocksProgramming along with many other updates.

Programmers using Android Studio must also down load the FTC 4.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) at this web site.

Happy Programming!

And...just in case you're reminiscing about Kickoff...

Thursday, September 13, 2018

2nd Event Registration Now Open!

A HUGE Thank You to everyone who attended at last weekend's Arizona and New Mexico Kickoffs!!!

2nd Event Registration is now Open!

Teams may now sign up for a 2nd event for the Rover Ruckus season! A few things to keep in mind:
  • Please only register for one additional event if you're in one already. 
  • Teams that accidentally register for more than 2 events will be asked their top choices and be deleted from the additional events. 
  • Teams can sign up for a 3rd event starting on September 22. 
  • Emails will be sent to teams within a couple of days confirming your spot in a tournament. 
  • Invoices will be sent to teams in early October. 
  • Be sure to check the status of the tournament capacities on the list to the right. This is updated 2-3 times per day. 
Kickoff Workshops
We can't express our gratitude enough to the teams that presented at the Arizona and New Mexico Kickoff events last weekend! Thank you to the Gear Masters, Zia Robotics, Griffin Robotics, Brain Hackers, CocoNuts, MechaHawks, Jaegers, Beep Patrol, Knights of the Lab Table, Dragons, Team Viper, Valley X, and the Juggerbots!!! Thank you also to the Arizona & New Mexico Planning Committee members and our awesome venues Arizona State University and Nex+Gen Academy! 

PDFs of many of the workshops that were presented at Kickoff are available to the right for download. 

Electrostatic Discharge
Tom Eng (head engineer for FIRST Tech Challenge) wrote an awesome article on ways to mitigate electrostatic discharge on your robots. Please read the article here (and posted to the right) as you plan your robot design. Special thanks to the teams that helped out with the ESD testing in August: Valley X, Dragons, Knights of the Lab Table and Beep Patrol! 

Enter to Win a Game Set!
FIRST Tech Challenge is giving away Rover Ruckus game sets!! Click this link (or go to Quick Links) to learn more!!!

Friday, September 7, 2018

T-10 hours till Rover Ruckus!!!

We can't wait to see you all soon at the Rover Ruckus Kickoff on Saturday!!!

Don't forget to register and pay for your season with FIRST, RSVP for Kickoff, and Register for your 1st qualifying tournament. Some events are over half full already!

New Mexico Kickoff
New Mexico Kickoff will be at Nex+Gen Academy in Albuquerque. See the last blog post for the address. Check out the amazing schedule of workshops here!

9:00 - Doors open
9:30 - Welcome remarks and season overview (Jim Jackson and Ford Davis)
10:00 - Rover Ruckus game reveal!!!!
10:30 - Game key points
10:45 - Field available for measurements
11:00 - Best practices throw down & share out
11:45 - Potluck lunch
12:30 - Rover Ruckus Analysis & Sharing
1:00 - 4:00 Workshops

4:00 - Extended work time for teams in assigned spaces

Arizona Kickoff
Please see the blog post from Monday for directions to parking. The AZ Kickoff is upstairs in the Arizona Ballroom of the ASU Memorial Union. Please plan to arrive in the ballroom no later than 8:30 am so don't miss anything. 

If you plan to have your team work with the CocoNuts during the configuration help time, please be sure to label everything with your team number (tools, kit, parts, phones, computers.) If you're a rookie team and would like assistance getting a basic robot together, please bring your kit and some basic tools. Teams are also welcome to bring robots from previous seasons and work on new programs on the Rover Ruckus field. 

Lunch is on your own. There are numerous vendors in the Memorial Union, or plan to bring or get lunches for your team. 

There are so many amazing workshops being offered! A good strategy is to split your team up into small groups to attend each of the workshops and share what you've learned at your next team meeting. 

Can't make it to our Kickoff at ASU? Watch the webcast here - it's going to be out of this world!


Monday, September 3, 2018

T minus 4 Days until Rover Ruckus!

Gather your crew and get Ready to Ruckus!!! 
Kickoff is a less than a week away! 

Rover Ruckus Mission Control
Check out all the great content and get excited for kickoff by visiting the Rover Ruckus homepage. The page has downloadable content, links to the teaser videos, links to the official FIRST kickoff, and more! 

Don't forget to tune in to TWITCH at 7 pm Eastern on Tuesday, September 4 for a special pre-kickoff show with FIRST Tech Challenge Director Ken Johnson! The broadcast will feature a game hint and a special announcement - don't miss it!

RSVP for Kickoff!!
Join dozens of other teams as we celebrate the start of the Rover Ruckus Season! 

Click here to see the Arizona Kickoff Schedule, complete with the workshop line up and descriptions. The Arizona Kickoff is at the ASU Tempe Memorial Union (1290 S. Normal Ave. Tempe, AZ 85287). Parking is available at the Apache Parking Structure located at 1112 S. Normal Ave. See a campus map for Kickoff location. Doors will open at 7:45 am with season information presented at 8:30 am and the game reveal at 9:00 am. Workshops will go until about 4:00 pm. 

The New Mexico Kickoff will be held at the Nex+Gen Academy (5325 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albququerque, NM 87109). Doors will open at 9:00 am with season information at 9:30 am and the game reveal at 10:00 am. There will be a potluck, along with numerous workshops for students and mentors until about 4:30 pm. 

1st event Registration Now Open!!
Teams may register for their first qualifying tournament now until 2nd event registration opens on September 13. Don't wait, some events are already a third full or more! 

We can't wait to Kickoff the season with you soon! Until then, enjoy this video of the weather in Flagstaff, which was prominent while we were making our Kickoff preparations this weekend!