FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
FTC was originally called FIRST Vex Challenge, or FVC. In 2008, Pitsco developed a system that displaced the original VEX system, called TETRIX.
In 2006 FTC presented their first challenge: Half-Pipe Hustle. This game revolved around claiming specific areas on the field as your own by placing your robot or colored raquet balls in specific locations.
"Hangin'-A-Round" represented FIRST 2007 game challenge. The game challenge consisted of scoring softballs into various goals, and suspend your robot from a center bar for extra points in the end. In addition, a single large ball could swing the points significantly if it was on your side of the field at the end of the match.
2008's Quad Quandary focussed on placing rings over wooden pegs that could be moved around the playing field.
"Face Off", in 2009, used hockey pucks that needed to be placed in specific positions on the field to score. In addition, robots that were in specific field positions scored at the end of the game as well.
"Hot Shot!" was introduced to competitors in 2010. In stuck with the theme of placing objects in locations to score, but this year whiffle bars were the object of choice.
2011 saw the introduction of "Get Over It!" New games pieces called 'batons' were introduced, but the game still used the tried and true theme of placing them in specific locations to score points, along with allow the robots to be parked in locations to score extra points at the end of a match.
In 2012 FIRST rolled out "Bowled Over!" to teams. It saw a return of racket balls along with bowling balls. The balls needed to be placed into goals to score points.
"Ring It Up" was announced by FIRST in 2013. It consisted of hanging small rings on pegs located in the center of the field.
In 2014, FIRST created "Block Party!" This game consists of robots placing blocks into crates or pushing blocks into designated zones.