When we found out that FIRST was releasing a shiny new setup for FTC robots, we couldn’t help but get our hands on it and try out the new tech! The new system ditches the NXT and Samantha module in favor of an off-the-shelf Android phone and Modern Robotics controllers.
From a technical perspective, there are a few key changes that will make a notable difference for teams: The new controllers use modular cable plugs which makes plugging in motors easier, but does require crimping.
The same plugs are used for power distribution, which is a great improvement over the old system. The days of daisy chaining motor and servo controllers are gone, now there’s a nifty power rail built into the “Core Power Distribution Module.” Also from the core module are 7 USB ports for attaching all other devices and interfaces. It is pretty clear that some steps have been taken to prevent ESD issues, as there are chokes on every USB cable and the controllers have stand-off plates built in.
We found this thread helpful for installing these three necessary components: the JDK, Android Studio, and the FTC SDK. In following this manual, we found that step 9 was missing one necessary package, which was “Google APIs 19.” Also, accepting every license individual is a pain, so be sure to select the header package license and click accept.