FTC Panels

FTC Panels

Note to GDC

As an FTC team, we on 6832 have worked very hard to meet all the rules relating to LEDs, Team Numbers and Alliance Markers. In the spirit of FTC, we've invested hundreds of hours applying our skills into this practical real world product. We are very much hoping that this product will become a revenue opportunity sufficient to fund our efforts for the next couple of years. We very much look forward to your approval for teams to use this system, both specifically as a team numbering and alliance marking system, and also for other functional and decorative purposes as allowed for LEDs.

Addressing the answer to Q282, we would like to share that the recommended power configuration meets the "Team numbers and alliance markers need to be visible/legible regardless of the powered state of the robot" requirement. There are two possible power configurations. The recommended configuration is to power the LED panel with the vendor supplied internal battery per rule (RE13.d.i) This allows you to power the panel independent of robot power. And it allows you to set the alliance with a physical switch instead of interfacing with the control hub. There is no dependence on the state of robot power or its software when used as a team number/alliance display.

The included battery is a swappable 2000mah 4.8v NIMH and will power the LED panels for up to 2 hours of continuous use, though we recommend powering off when not in use, and powering on when heading to match queue. In practice a single fully charged battery has lasted a full competition day. We do recommend that teams also print their team numbers on a sleeve than can be placed over the display as a backup.

We have updated this page to indicate that the alternate method of powering the LEDs from the 5V on the control hub is not a competition-legal configuration per Q282.

We thank you for your consideration.

Our FTC LED Panel system is an 8 by 32 (128 LEDS per panel) flexible display with a 10 millimeter pitch and displays legally sized alliance markers and up to 5-digit team numbers. You'll need the controller, two panels, the internal swappable battery and some cabling. See the full kit for a quick start. The panels and replacement batteries can also be sourced independently. You'll need to decide how to mount and protect your panels. We recommend you place them behind 1/16" polycarb sheet or something similar to protect them and maintain their shape. While these panels can be curved if desired, they are not designed to be repeatedly flexed. Diffuser/contrast material will help spread the light to improve readability. We plan to offer the diffuser lenses we've developed in the near future.

Feature Set

  • Set your alliance with a switch. Never forget your alliance markers again.
  • Legal sized team numbers for up to 5 digits
  • Pre-programmed with your team number as supplied on your order form
  • Internal 4.8v NIMH battery lasts up to 2 hours of continuous use
The full light control panel kit.

LED display showcasing what the control panel will look like when in use by the red alliance
LED display showcasing what the control panel will look like when in use by the blue alliance

Power Options

We recommend powering the FTC Panels with our internal vendor-supplied battery. It fits into the controller case and will reduce current draw on the main robot battery. It will also make operation of the panels independent of robot power or software state. The supplied battery can last a full tournament when you turn it off between matches. But we always recommend you bring more than one fully charged battery to a tournament.

You can optionally power FTC Panels from 5v Aux port on Control Hub, but this configuration has been deemed illegal for competition by Q282.


  • FTC Panels Full Kit - $129
  • FTC Panels Controller Only - $49 (the flex panels themselves can be independently sourced)
  • FTC Panels Dedicated Battery - $19 (available independently on Amazon)
  • USA shipping - $15
  • International shipping to be paid for by purchaser. Must supply a FEDEX, UPS or DHL account number

Interactive Features Under Development (Approval Dependent)

  • Optionally set your alliance in code. Confirm you've selected the right alliance during Init
  • Control the displays over i2c
  • Full control over font colors
  • 30 second animated auton countdown timer - pixels on bottow row disappear at 1 second intervals and auto reset
  • Voltage meter - know your declining battery level
  • Amp meter - see current spikes as they happen
  • Pulse - you can pulse sections of the display to signal custom events on your robot
  • Simple cabling
    • plug control line into i2c port on control or expansion hub
    • use vendor supplied battery (recommended)
    • daisy chain one panel to the next panel
  • Selectable post-game effects include
    • Fireworks
    • Confetti
    • Fire (red or blue)
    • Afterburner
    • WaWaWa