Youth Robotics

Introduction to ACP Robotics Program

Author: Shuopu Wang

This level typically involves youth from grade 7-12. Commercial off-the-shelf mechanical parts, 3D-Printing, CNC, or Laser-Cut customized parts are all allowed to forge the robot driven by 12V DC motors and PWM servos. Team members in ACP FTC teams are trained to utilize 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) softwares to sketch and verify their build modules before hands-on exercises. Java is the dominant programming language at this level. Team members are using advanced IDEs or simple Web programming interfaces to implement robot control, computer vision, and Al algorithms, as well as integrate complicated software frameworks

(In photo: Victor X., David H., and Joseph S. tuning the turret of their team robot from last season.)

The robot design and programming in this level often involves youth from grade 4-8. All LEGO parts are allowed to build the team robot driven by LEGO EV3 or Spike core set motors and sensors. Advanced teams in ACP are expertised in LEGO CAD softwares to implement their design ideas into highly extensible and complicated competition robots. Although block (Scratch) is the mainstream programming language at this level, many ACP teams are efficient in Python to implement advanced control algorithms which often lead to more robust and consistent robots in the competition field. 

(In photo: FLL-C level award winning competition robot designed by team 40657 in past seasons.) 

This level is for building up competences and providing an outlook of what FIRST Robotics can be to the junior kids typically in grade 2-4. Less competitive but more fun robots building and regional exhibitions are designed based on LEGO WeDo 2.0 kits and updating to the LEGO Spike Essential set, where basic mechanisms of structures, moving parts with motors, gear transmission and sensors can be learnt.

(In photo: 1st grader Anni from ACP FLL-E team 24414 experimenting with gear rack transmission mechanisms from WeDo sets.) 

Team 8565, Technicbots is the lead mentor for all ACP Youth Robotics Teams. This is Technicbot’s eighth year as a First Tech Challenge Team. Technicbots was selected from all US FTC teams to represent the US as Team USA to compete in 2021 FIRST Global Challenges. 8565 won the grand prize of the tournament, the FIRST Global Discover and Recover Award along with Team Zimbabwe after 12 weeks of hard work.  

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Annual Recruitment

Thank you for your attention to the group. After discussion by the ACP Robotics Working Group, this is our preliminary plan/requirement for the next season:

Potential Team Member Requirement: expecting you to: show a strong interest in robotics and engineering, have a foundation in build or coding, have the ability to self-manage and control emotions, and a spirit of teamwork.

Parental Coaching Requirement: expecting you to: have a suitable professional background, the preparation and willingness to devote a lot of time on the team, and treat all children equally.

August 2021: Competition equipment is in place and the season officially begins. If you are an intentional parent, we expect you to: have a strong commitment to ensure the robotics activity time, have a supportive attitude, and practical ability to support and coach the child instead of just dropping the kid at the team meeting

July 2021: Team building is completed, team registration is closed and completed, hosting of multiple coaching training sessions starts

June 2021: Announcement of the opening. Parents and player interviews for recruiting members to ensure the team’s commitment. 

Team Member registration form:

Grade K-4 Group:

Grade 4-7 Group:

Grade 7-10 Group:

June 2021: Accepting the coaches’ registrations and the interview process starts. Coach registration form:

On the morning of May 31, 2021, ACP robots, all ages echelon, showcase (outdoor in-person) @ Windhaven Meadows Park: 5400 Windhaven Pkwy, Plano, TX 75093

On the evening of May 31, 2021, a presentation on the recruitment process for parents (Zoom), registration: