Control Systems

The FTC control system is based on using Android phones as a “Robot Controller” and a “Driver Station.” The “Robot Controller” phone is mounted on the robot and connected by a USB cable to a special “Hub”, which in turn is connected to motors, servos, and sensors.

The two major manufacturers of control hubs for FTC are Modern Robotics and REV; however, nearly all teams are shifting over to REV because it is cheaper, simpler, and more reliable.

More information about the FTC Control system can be found below.

Official control system Wiki on GitHub

REV Expansion Hub Documentation

FIRST troubleshooting guide

There are three possible control systems that can be run on an FTC robot legally:

  • RC Phone + Modern Robotics

  • RC Phone + REV Expansion Hub(s)

  • REV Control Hub + REV Expansion Hub

RC Phone + Modern Robotics

(Not included in the starter Electronics Kit). Modern Robotics is quickly being replaced by REV’s control system, as it is less expensive and more reliable than the older Modern Robotics products. It is very likely that you can ignore anything Modern Robotics related, especially if your team is starting from scratch.

A diagram of the RC Phone + Modern Robotics control system

RC Phone + REV Expansion Hub(s)

This is the standard control system for teams starting out in FTC. The REV Expansion Hub is reliable, as long as proper strain relief and wiring is carried out. This includes the USB Retention Mount, as well as 3D printing XT30 stress relief mounts. The Expansion Hub connects to the Robot Controller phone through the mini USB port, and the RC phone is linked to the DS (Driver Station) phone through WiFi Direct. For more information on setting up the Expansion Hub and configuring the robot, head to REV Robotics’ Technical Resources page on their website.

A diagram of the RC Phone + Expansion Hub(s) control system

REV Control Hub + REV Expansion Hub

Note: The Control Hub is currently undergoing a pilot program and is only legal for competition in specific regions throughout the US. It is not legal for all FTC teams for the 2019-2020 season.

A diagram of the Control Hub + Expansion Hub control system