Tread Design Ideas

These are some inspiring ideas for designing a tread-bot.


Possible Spider design considerations

4 legs-

We’ll have to see how well it does getting over and off of the bars on the ramps.

Andriod phone set-up for new FTC season, 2015-2016

Here’s a video series that shows how to set up the Android phone system for the new FTC season.  Thanks to GEARSinc for posting these videos.


Intelitek has teamed up with FIRST and developed 20 hours of learning modules.  This training is available on line when you want it!
Training will introduce the Android platform hardware, provide training material to master MIT App Inventor programming and Java programming with Android Studio.

Lego night out- April 24th, 5:15- 9:30, Arbor Day theme.

You might not guess that Legos and plants went well together, but they do! We’re using Arbor day, Friday, April 24th, as our inspiration for a nature themed night of Lego play and innovation. We’ll be building full forests, birds, plants, bugs and nature galore out of legos for 4 full hours of fun. Non-competitive play and adventure await our Lego Engineers.


When: April 24th, 2015, 5:15 to 9:30 pm

Where: UUFP, middle Newport News

Who: The Electrical Invaders team and coach, Brandy Bergenstock

Why: To play with Legos. Is there any better reason to get a gaggle of kids together for 4 hours?

Costs: $20 a child, $15 for additional siblings. *Pizza and gold fish provided.

Please write me directly for registration form and sign-up or questions-

CNU STEM day- Mock FTC competition

We are team 6027, L.E.D. Empire and we will be running the Mock Competition at CNU STEM day with the help of Team Electrical Invaders, Team Duck ‘n Cover, and you. Duck and Cover is providing a full field and will not be in attendance the day of the event. If you know of more teams that are interested, please pass along this e-mail to them. Thank you.
Here are some details for this event:
1. Date: May 30th 11am-4pm.  first match will likely start at 11:15am.
3. We will have a full Cascade Effect Field set-up with computer, router, and controllers to run 30 second autonmous and 2 minute driver controllered matches.
The Mock competition will run with matches about every 15 minutes, rotating the teams who are alliances and opponents. The purpose is for people attending CNU STEM day to see how a FTC competition works, and learn about FTC.IMG_0069

Meet the competition for the Kamen division at states.

We will be in the Kamen division of the state tournament, which means we are competing against these fine teams! (Thanks to Justen for compiling this solid list of competitors.) If you have a site and we missed it, please write us!
icatz -4323 FB page
5262 from Battlefield Highschool
Techie tornados-5414 FB page
geek gods-6124  FB page
———FTC-6193 ELECTRICAL INVADERS———– Yeah US!  FB page, like us!
              New Twitter page !  The handle is FTC_6193 url:
6652 Cyber Huskies
Team Impact-6820
duck and cover-7073
Best All-Around Club of Nerds(BACON)-7080/ these guys are legit. they have their own STEM lab and have been to CERN. I’m jealous.
the blockheads-7117  (Hey, Leigh, it’s your old team! 🙂
shockwave-7171  FB page
Rocktown Robotics-7872
The Evil Purple Sox- 8498 Twitter account
As we go through this list, I’m surprised at the number of teams that don’t have any social media or websites. We find it to be helpful for people seeking us out; boy scouts, Navigators, civil groups; as well as helping feel connected to the larger FIRST family, even as we have our bi-weekly meetings held up in a  little house on a culdesac.   Online connections aren’t not hard to maintain, and you create it on any schedule you want. I hope more teams will outreach through the internet in the future.

VA State Qualifying Match- Feb 28, 2015

2015 FTC State Championship update
Congratulations to Virginia State Championship qualified teams!
The State Championship is just around the corner and we are excited that you will be joining

us on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at St Christopher’s School , 711 Saint Christopher’s Road,

Richmond, VA 23226, in the Bolling Field House.
Included in this email is essential information for you and your team to know about the upcoming

Inspections and More
UPDATE: State Champs will hold optional Friday night hardware inspections from

7pm – 9pm. If you are in the Richmond area, please take advantage of the early inspection

time. You may leave your robot at the venue overnight. Inspections will still take place

Saturday from 8am – 10am.
PLEASE self-inspect before coming to the event and turn in document to your inspector! 

Self-inspect is optional but makes the hardware inspection process easier! remember your Bill of Materials
PLEASE look over the Game Forum for clarification and update to rules. Here:

To submit for the Control Award, documentation is due to the judges during your morning

interview. Find the control award document and details in game manual Appendix 3 – Control

Award Content Sheet & Instructions:

Judging Schedule:

8:00 am- 8:20 am    8297    8390    8498    8764    8910    9064    9202

8:20 am- 8:40 am    7084    7117    7171    7176    7309    7844    7872    7953    7955

8:40 am – 9:00 am    6193    6341    6652    6700    6820    6957    7037    7039    7080

9:00 am – 9:20 am    5378    5401    5414    5429    5648    6010    6027    6029    6124

9:20 am – 9:40 am    4592    4634    4924    4970    5086    5262    5264    5272    5308

9:40 am – 10:00 am    194    519    1885    2940    3477    3749     3804      4323    4419

Kamen: 2940    3477    3749    3804    4323    4592    5262    5272    5401    5414    5429    6010

6124    6193    6652    6700    6820    7037    7080    7117    7171    7872    8390    8498    8910    9064
Flowers:194    519    1885    4419    4634    4924    4970    5086    5264    5308    5378    5648    6027

6029    6341    6957    7039    7084    7176    7309    7844    7953    7955    8297    8764    9202

Event Schedule

7:00 AM  Doors Open
7:15 – 8:00 AM  Team Registration & Pits Open
8:00 – 10:00 AM  Robot Inspections, Practice Matches
8:00 – 10:00 AM  Judging Sessions**
10:00 – 10:15AM  Driver’s Meeting
10:30 – 11:00 AM  Opening Ceremony &
Jr FLL Expo Parade
11:00 – 12:00 PM  Qualification Rounds
12:00 – 12:45 PM  Lunch
12:45 – 3:00 PM  Qualification Rounds
3:00 PM  Alliance Selections
3:30 – 5:00 PM  Elimination Rounds
5:15 PM  Closing Ceremony
6:30 PM  Pits Close

*Event times are approximate
** judging times are pre-assigned and cannot be changed! 

Food Options: no food allowed in the gym and no walkable lunch options.
1 – The dining hall will be open for a delicious $7 lunch on a pre-order basis. It will consist of

hamburgers, hot dogs, or veggie burgers, side salads, cookies and a drink. To pre-order your teams’

lunch, please click here:
UPDATE: Pre-order dining hall lunch cut-off date is February 24th. Lunch orders must be paid

by cash – OR – school PO – OR – check, payable to VirginiaFIRST in advance or the day of the event.

Please note, if you order a lunch, you will be responsible for payment of the lunch!

2 – Pizza pre-orders. A local FRC team is graciously hosting a concession stand, which will include

pizzas on a pre-order basis. Pizza is $12 for large. CASH ONLY – DAY OF EVENT. To pre-order your

pizzas, please click here:
Please note, if you order a lunch, you will be responsible for payment of the lunch!

3 – Our lunch options are optional. There are some restaurants nearby if you would prefer to

purchase your team’s meals elsewhere, but please be aware that the lunch break will be around 45

minutes,limiting your time away from the event. There are no walkable options by the venue.

Compass and Promote Award
The Compass and Promote Awards will be awarded at the State Championship. All Virginia teams

can submit for these awards. UPDATE: DUE date is extended to FEB 23 midnight! To read about

the awards please read Game manual part I and click here:

To submit your Compass or Promote video, please click here

FIRST Consent/Release Forms:
All teams must bring a copy of your roster to team check in, located at pit administration. To print

the Team Roster, access the Team Roster using the View button from the Team Summary Page in

TIMS. Click the Printable Team Roster button. If you have a new team member, please read the process here:
If you need a paper copy, please access it here: 

Teams are asked to unload at the circular driveway of the Bollings Field House. Cars can park in

any lot on the map and there is also limited street parking. Bus parking is located behind the Field

House or the lot on Pepper Ave. Please see map for parking options:

Advancement to Eastern Super Regional
UPDATE: Due to our explosion in # of teams, Virginia will advance now 12 teamsinstead of 11 to

the Eastern Super Regional. Thank you to our teams!! See advancement criteria in Game Manual Part I:

No Show Policy
Any teams that for whatever reasons are unable to attend the event need to notify Carol Edelman,  as soon as possible after learning of such reason.
If any teams need any assistance or need to notify us on the day of the event should contact
Carol, Event Manager, at (804) 513-7381.

Winter Weather Advisory
In the case wintry weather prohibits the event from going according to schedule a recorded

announcement with the status of the event will be available by calling the following number:

(804) 464-8945.  The status of the event will also be available on our website,,

by 5am.  An email notification will also be sent to teams in the event the competition is canceled.

(Think no more snow!!)
As always, if you have any questions or need any assistance please feel free to contact us at

Good luck at States and Go Teams!

FIRST creates self-evalution rubric for teams


“Self-Reflection is an essential life skill. Whether it be our own behavior, job performance, or when brainstorming a new invention, learning how to step back and objectively provide self-feedback is invaluable. Not everyone around us will be willing or able to provide the type of feedback that we need to move ahead and improve. Some situations may not even allow for feedback to come our way. Instead of being left wondering questions like “why?” or “what did I do wrong?” or “how did I do?” over and over, we all need to develop the skill of providing our own feedback after objective self-reflection so we will be able to quickly reflect, adapt, and move forward.

Whenever you find yourself at the end of something, take the time to reflect on the experience. Don’t fall into the over-critical analysis, but force yourself to be objective and notice the small successes, too. In fact, learning what you do WELL is important, so that you keep on doing it. Ask yourself:


  • What worked?
  • What went well?
  • What did you like?
  • What would you change?
  • How did you feel?
  • How did the experience help you grow? “

– by


Our team has written about our “end of the year round up” previously.  FIRST created a rubric that can be used by teams to help increase the speed of their improvements and self-evaluate for enhanced performances at future events.  What we learn in robotics is not limited to the field, or engineering, and does not have to be limited to just what we bring to our team. This , as in all good leadership skills, is practice for a better life.


PTC creo, 3d printing and Artemis.

PTC Creo is a scalable suite of design software that allows FTC designers to test concepts before building. It helps create and view designs using 2D CAD, 3D CAD, and parametric. Four Electrical Invaders got the chance to attend a class held at the Chesterfield Library, hosted by the Maker’s lab creator, Doc, with the help of CREO expert, Will. Participants learned basic CAD design elements. Through many struggles and trial and error, the Electrical Invaders replicated the model robot on the Textrix sample book. After 3d modeling of the structure of a robot, they began their work on replicating a common part of a robot, the “L” bracket, from scratch.

During our lunch break, the Electrical invaders discovered the labs’ 3d printers.  This led to many questions about 3d printing, a demonstration of its ability and an offer to come back and take a class on 3-d printing!  Having finished successfully creating model pieces from scratch and being taught how to turn that design into a 3-d printable file we still had an hour left.  Doc and Will showed the Electrical Invaders how to play Artemis, a multi-user networked game for pcs and IOS devices. This was a great teambuilding/teamwork games that develops great communication skills.

PTC creo-




Olivia and Justen work out where to find all the options for creating their own “L” bracket.




Ezra puts the finshes touches on his Textris model before heading off to lunch.


IMG_9376 IMG_9377

Olivia got a 3-d printed octopus!



Thanks for all the helpful hints, Will!