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This page contains resources for many topics regarding electronics and the control system in FTC. They are separated by category, use the navigation panel on the left to find what you need!
The resources below each cover a wide range of topics related to electronics and the control system.
Official information from FTC regarding the control system and various electrical components.
Official rules from Game Manual 1, which outlines the rules regarding robot electronics in section 7.3.3, the Driver Station in section 7.3.4, and robot software in section 7.3.5.
Electronics and wiring information from GM0.
The control system includes the core components used to control a robot. In FTC, the 2 primary components of the control system include a Robot Controller and Driver Station. These are Android devices that communicate with each other wirelessly.
Official control system information from FTC.
Official control system information from Rev Robotics.
Control system information from GM0.
The Robot Controller is an Android device on the robot that runs all the team code, and interacts with all the other electronics. Rev Control Hubs and/or Expansion Hubs are the only legal components for interfacing with other electronics, in addition to an Android phone (if used).
According to a note in Game Manual 1 (<RE06> in section 7.3.3), Android phones will no longer be legal for the 2024-2025 season; only the Rev Control Hubs will be legal. Teams may still use Android phones for CENTERSTAGE, but it is recommended that teams do not purchae any new Android phones since they won’t be legel in the future.
Official Robot Controller information from FTC.
Rev’s product pages for their Control/Expansion Hubs. Scroll down to Documentation section for official manuals and guides from Rev.
Robot Controller information from GM0.
Detailed information about the Rev Control/Expansion Hub internals from GM0.
The Driver Station is an Android device that drivers use to remotely control the robot. USB gamepad controllers are connected to it for drivers to control the robot during TeleOp.
Official Driver Station information from FTC.
Rev’s product page for their Driver Hubs. Scroll down to Documentation section for official manuals and guides from Rev.
Driver Station information from GM0.
Rev Hardware Client
The Rev Hardware Client is a software tool installed onto a computer that helps with managing Robot Controllers and Driver Stations (inlcuding Android phones). It is recommended that teams use it to keep the control system software updated, since there is a minimum software version required for each season.
Official download page and documentation for the Rev Hardware Client.
Official information from FTC regarding legal robot power components (eg. batteries and switches).
The Robot Controller needs to know what components have been connected to which ports in order to control them correctly. This is done through a configuration process on the Driver Station.
Official hardware configuration information from FTC.
Control/Expansion Hub Ports
The Control Hubs and Expansion Hubs include several different ports for connecting various devices.
Official information about Control/Expansion Hub port pinouts from Rev.
Official digital port information from Rev.
Official analog port information from Rev.
Official I2C port information from Rev.
Official information from Rev regarding usage of other sensors, especially those that use a different voltage. It describes the use of logic level converters to safely use 5V sensors with the 3.3V Control/Expansion Hubs.
Actuators are devices that manipulate mechanisms and objects, with common examples including motors and servos. Resources for various actuator types have been separated below.
Sensors are devices that measure physical properties of an environment, with common examples including encoders and limit switches. Resources for various sensor types have been separated below.
Official sensor information from FTC.
Official sensor information from Rev.
List of popular sensors from GM0.
Touch Sensors / Limit Switches
Touch sensors and limit switches are digital sensors that complete a circuit when closed. Typical applications include detecting when the robot has hit a wall, or detecting when an actuator has reached the end of its motion.
Official information from Rev about their Touch Sensor. Information is specific to that product, but general ideas still apply to other sensors.
Official information from Rev about their Magnetic Limit Switch. Information is specific to that product, but general ideas still apply to other sensors.
Potentiometers are analog sensors that measure a fixed range of motion. They usually measure rotation, but some can also measure linear motion.
Official information from Rev about their Potentiometer. Information is specific to that product, but general ideas still apply to other sensors.
Encoders are digital sensors that measure rotation, and are often built into motors. Encoders can measure rotation continuously, there is no limit to how far they can rotate.
Distance sensors measure the distance to an object or surface in front of it. Distacne sensors typically have analog or I2C interfaces. Distances are typically measured with sound or light, both of which have their own pros and cons.
Official information from Rev about their 2m Distance Sensor. Information is specific to that product, but general ideas still apply to other sensors.
Color / Light Sensors
Light sensors measure the amount of light hitting them. Color sensors are similar to light sensors, but separate colors by wavelength, and typically return RGB measurements.
Official information from Rev about their Color Sensor V3, which is also an optical distance sensor. Information is specific to that product, but general ideas still apply to other sensors.
IMUs (Inertial Measurement Units)
IMUs are sensors that measure motion, and typically include a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-xis gyroscope, and 3-axis magnetometer. The Control Hubs include an internal IMU, so it’s uncommon to need additional IMUs.
Official wiring guide from FTC.
Cameras are devices that take images, and require advanced image processing algorithms. Cameras are typically used in FTC to detect AprilTags and identify objects with TensorFlow.
Official camera information from FTC.
Electrical components are connected by wires and cables. Poor wiring practices can lead to numerous issues with robot performance and reliability.
General Wiring Guides
The resources below offer advice and recommendations on best practices for robot wiring.
ESD (Electrostatic Discharge)
ESD is a spark between 2 objects. Robots can build up a charge as they drive around and discharge to other objects or robots, which can cause robots to exhibit odd behavior or stop working. ESD is more common in dry climates.
Official guide for ESD mitigation