FIRST released Rover Ruckus Game Manual Part 1 last week. GM1 is a compendium of all the FTC rules not specific to this year’s game, covering allowed build materials and electronics, tournament rules and advancement criteria.

Here’s a link to the FTC Live episode focused on changes to GM1. It includes an interview with REV Robotics’ Greg Needel who talks about some of the new hardware and electronics that REV is making available for this Rover Ruckus. It’s worth watching and is a fairly thorough recounting of the differences between last year’s game manual and this year’s.

Some of the highlights from this year’s GM1:

  • Robots have a maximum weight of 42lbs/~19kg per <RG04>. There’s a half pound overage allowed to account for differences in event scales, but teams should shoot for being safely under the threshold.
  • Rules <TM01> through <TM04> cover a new “Team Marker.” It’s a component separate from the robot that must be supplied by each team and include team identification. Its purpose in the game remains unannounced.
  • Per Rule <T2>, yellow and red cards may now be earned for off-the-field behavior at a tournament.
  • Teams can now be penalized if they enter the field for any purpose other than placing or retrieving their robot per rule <T3.c>. The rule mentions that repeated violations can lead to match or tournament disqualification.
  • Here are a few of the too-numerous-to-mention hardware/electronics changes:
    • The Core Legacy Module is no longer allowed. (<RE07.h>)
    • REV Spark Mini motor controllers are now allowed. These are a good way for teams to use more than four motors with one REV Expansion Hub. (<RE07.f>)
    • UVC Compatible USB cameras are now allowed, which means that you can use Computer Vision systems including (presumably) Vuforia without having to place the robot phone such that its camera is facing outwards. (<RE13.b>)
    • COTS light controllers without user-programmable microprocessors (such as the REV Blinkin) are now allowed  (<RE12.c>)
  • While advancement order is spelled out in this year’s GM1, award descriptions are not currently in the game manual.