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FIRST ® Tech Challenge - Houston

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FIRST Tech Challenge addendum - Includes program-specific information

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What is FIRST ® Tech Challenge?

FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for students who want to compete head to head using a sports model. Teams design, build, and program their robots to compete on a 12' X 12' field, in an alliance format, against
other teams. Robots are built from a reusable platform, powered by Android technology, and programmed using Java or Blockly. Teams, including coaches, mentors, and students, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles, such as rapid prototyping. Awards are given for the competition, as well as community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

Expand below to learn about FIRST ® RELIC RECOVERYSM Presented by Qualcomm® Incorporated



FIRST RELIC RECOVERY Presented by Qualcomm Incorporated is played on a 12 ft. × 12 ft. (3.7m × 3.7m) square field with approximately 1 ft. (0.3m) high walls and a soft foam mat floor. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by (1) scoring Glyphs into the Cryptoboxes and completing rows, column, and ciphers, (2) transferring Relics to the Recovery Zone, (3) retrieving Jewels, (4) parking on the Balancing Stones, and (5) navigating to specific parts of the Playing Field.

The field is divided in the middle into a “red” and a “blue” side corresponding to the two alliances. In the center of the field is a taped off area that hold the Glyphs. The scoring elements for FIRST RELIC RECOVERY are 48 alliance-neutral Glyphs (24 gray and 24 brown), 8 alliance-specific Jewels (4 per alliance) and 4 alliance-specific Relics (2 per Alliance). There are 4 alliance-specific Cryptoboxes (2 per Alliance) with taped off safe zones in front of each.  There are 4 alliance-specific Balancing Stones (2 per Alliance) on which Robots begin and end the game. There are also 2 off-field alliance-specific Recovery Zones where robots place recovered Relics at the end of the match.

Matches have two distinct periods of play: a 30-second Autonomous period followed by a two-minute Driver-Controlled period. The last 30 seconds of the Driver-Controlled period is called the End Game which adds new scoring opportunities for robots to achieve.


Autonomous Period:

During the Autonomous period, Robots operate using only pre-programmed instructions. Alliances earn points by: (1) selecting and removing opponent colored Jewels from platforms, (2) scoring Glyphs into the Cryptoboxes, and (3) parking their Robot in a Safe Zone in front of their Cryptobox.

Driver-Controlled Period:

During the Driver-Controlled period, alliances earn points by: (1) Scoring Glyphs into their Alliance’s Cryptoboxes and (2) Creating Cipher patterns with their Glyphs in the Cryptoboxes.

End Game:

The final 30 seconds of the Driver-Controlled Period is called the End Game. In addition to the previously listed Driver-Controlled Period scoring activities, alliances earn points by (1) moving their Relics to safety in their Recovery Zone and (2) balancing Robots on the Balancing Stones.