Android Studio Setup

For many teams, getting Android Studio up and running will be the first step towards testing hardware, demonstrating a proof-of-concept in motion, or driving a robot. It can take some time (and bandwidth), so be prepared to see the process through to the end.

There are many resources available to help in the process, this guide being one of them. You may also be interested in tutorials:

This guide isn’t comprehensive, but it can point you in the right direction. Good luck!


There are a few different items to install. Following is an overview of the various pieces and what they do:

  • The Java Development Kit (JDK) is our translator. We’re going to write programs in the Java language, and the JDK will translate our code into something the robot can understand. This needs to be installed on the computer in order for Android Studio to work correctly.
  • Android Studio is our pen and paper. We’ll use it to write our programs, compile them, and download them to the Robot Controller phone.
  • The FTC App SDK is a set of pre-written code that makes robots work. When we write programs, they’ll be added to this app in order to make the robot do what we’re saying. To get the latest “stable” release, you can use the green “Clone or Download” button and say “Download ZIP.” If you want a beta version of the SDK, you may wish to go to the selection that reads “Branch: master” and choose “beta” first.

In general, you’ll want to install everything in the order listed above. Getting the latest versions of everything is a good idea. Save the FTC App in a smart location with other FTC-related files.

SDK Packages

After Android Studio is installed, there are several add-on components which also need to be installed. These are libraries which help the FTC App work on various Android Devices. To install them, you can open Android Studio (go ahead and import the FTC App SDK as an Eclipse/Gradle project, if it asks), and head to Tools > Android > SDK Manager. After that, use the “Launch Standalone SDK Manager” link at the bottom.

When you open this Standalone SDK Manager, it will automatically check a bunch of packages it would like to install by default. We don’t want any of them, so start out by hitting “Deselect All.” At the time of writing, the following list will work for the latest version of the FTC App SDK (16.03.30). Check them, and then go through the installation.

  • Under Tools,
    • Android SDK Build-tools (21.1.2)
  • Under Android 4.4.2 (API 19),
    • SDK Platform
  • Under Extras,
    • Android Support Repository
    • Google Repository

If you find that these aren’t working for you, please let us know.

AJ Foster

AJ is a Field Technical Advisor in Orlando, FL. He enjoys teaching concepts related to the FIRST Tech Challenge, helping teams at competitions, and making the things he learns accessible to everyone.