Start a FIRST Tech Challenge Team

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams can register throughout the year, but it’s better to get the team registered in the spring/summer and all the equipment ordered over the summer.  Kick-off is in early September and the competitions start in November.  

FIRST has created a summary page with links to help when starting a new FTC Team that has lots of resources and steps to follow to register a new team.  

FTC Winning Alliance

Teams are welcome to create some of their own robot parts, but usually purchase a FTC Kit as a starting point.  All teams order the Control Communications Set and the Electronic Modules and Sensors Set. The best price is from the FIRST Storefront where you registered your team.

From there, teams can choose from either of the two kits offered in the FIRST Storefront, or order a FTC Competition set directly from a supplier.   Here’s some info about the different choices for 2021-22.

Price (US$)$495$580$477$545
Where to purchase?ServoCitygoBILDAFIRST StorefrontFIRST Storefront
Starter Kit QualityGoodGoodOKOK
Easy to learn to useGoodGoodOKBest
Can the kit build a competitive robot?PossiblePossibleNoPossible
Measurement systemImperialMetricMetricMetric
Parts can be customizedSomewhatSomewhatBestSomewhat
Connector MaterialMetalMetalPlastic(some metal)Metal
Axle TypeD shaftHexHexD shaft
Will need power toolsOptionalOptionalYesOptional

Ordering the FTC Kit through the storefront means teams can take advantage of specialized discounts FIRST has negotiated for REV or Tetrix kits.  Or you can choose to order directly from a supplier who offers discounts to FTC teams (Actobotics or goBILDA).  AndyMark is a great place to find parts including motors and wheels.

Some Canadian teams order their equipment through Studica who carries parts from Tetrix and AndyMark, or through the Robot Shop. Rev has a Canadian distributor to make it easier for Canadian teams to order their products.

Teams often ask which kit they should start with.   There’s no easy answer to that question.  Each team has a unique set of resources (mentors, equipment, and finances).   You will have to pick the kit that is right for your team.   Here is some information that can help you with that choice.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t been updated in a couple of years but it does provide more description about each of the choices.

The FIRST Tech Challenge Season starts with Kickoff is in September with competitions starting in November.   In the fall, we run workshops that can help your team learn how to build their robot and get ready for the League events.  Videos of our past Workshops are available on Youtube.

If it all seems confusing, ask for help.   FIRST BC has volunteers who are familiar with starting FTC teams and can help you.  Many of our experienced FTC teams are happy to meet with new teams and answer questions.    Use the Contact Us page with the message directed to FIRST Tech Challenge to ask your questions.