By Andy Choi
Established by Dean Kamen, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) has declared that the newly-revised FIRST Tech Challenge(FTC) robot-build rules are expected to come into effect during the period of 2012-2013.
As per the new revision, FTC teams can select between two mechanical robot kit options. During the next season, the MATRIX Robotics System will be installed in particular areas. The TETRIX Robotics System can be deployed by any FTC team.
The MATRIX Robotics System is highly compatible with the FTC proprietary Samantha Wi-Fi Communications device and the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT controller. The teams’ expertise in robot communications and programming will continue to be unchanged and stable with the existing configurations.
According to the Director of FIRST Tech Challenge, Ken Johnson, in spite of its diverse nature, FTC teams came up with a common appeal to alter the options with regard to construction of FTC robots. Every year, FTC has modified the options such as the inclusion of aluminum, sheet plastics, and commercially available structural materials. In addition, the teams can select from two building systems. During the next season, the teams anticipate installing the MATRIX kit in many areas, while FTC teams can have a trial with the kit. TETRIX will remain as a major contributor to FTC.
The MATRIX Robotics System is a 3D metal building system made up of aluminum containing drive train materials, an NXT compatible motor controller, servo motors, DC drive as well as battery and charger. It supports rapid prototyping and multiple operating environments.