2006 KOP Wish List

As the 2006 season draws near, I’m wondering what people are hoping for in the kit. This can extend into anything, programming, frames, motors, gearboxes, sensors, material, etc. Post away, because I’m sure I don’t have everything in the poll.

(I figured this is a good time for this as any, nothing we say will have an effect on it. The KOP is shipped or will be shortly! Just a little while before sleep deprivation sets in…)

Definitely a larger variety of pneumatics.

I think we’re fine as far as motors go.

The kitbot is fine, the kit transmissions are good as well.

Pneumatics is really the only place we haven’t seen any significant upgrades in years (unless you count the practically useless rotary piston we were allowed).

The kitbot is gold. Let it be–well, unless you feel like dropping in some AM Shifters instead. :smiley: I wouldn’t mind a couple more of the smaller motors, like the Keyang seat motor of 2004 vintage, to make things interesting, but we can do well either way. I’m neutral on pneumatics, as my team has yet to really use them. (Gripe #1: Limited firing ability. Perhaps some larger accumulators would help?)

I’ll be very interested to see what happens in the sensor department. The CMUcam this year felt a bit like drinking from a fire hose, so I’m hoping either for something a little simpler to work with. (Of course, that can be accomplished with the game objectives as well.)

The one thing I’d flip over: Good pots.

Sure would be great if the FIRST Santa put some nice ball-bearing encoders in our stockings. Especially since there is never very deep stock on these things.

Replace everything with FPs and CIMs :wink:

I vote new geraboxes. Some teams cant fford to have a gearbox made or arnt capable of making their own but the ones last year were so HEAVY with 2 cims i think they tipped (or broke) the scales at 22lbs EACH!

It should have been fairly easy for teams to either drill out/find someone to drill out the gears in the gearbox.

That’d be a very simple way to cut quite a bit of weight.

Yep… I remember ours maybe weighing 22lbs combined.

Drilling out the gears = good, as long as you do it right.

I think the kits should include a 2007 game hint.

Haha, nope, once kickoff comes, I won’t care about 2007! Now the closing letter…:slight_smile:

I’ll use my psychic powers…

More RAM in the RC would be a nice gift from the extra-ordinarily nice people at IFI. Also, maybe some PWM cables that like to plug in, instead of being mean and going in beside the receptors.

Also, how about more of those sticky notes that say “Things to do yesterday…”! :smiley:

Black CH FlightSticks.

How on earth could I forget this.

This would be the greatest (re)addition to the kit ever

The KOP last yearwas awesome…

But heres the rundown:
Kitbot = awesome
Kit transmissions = awesome

of motors = awesome

Type of motors = awesome
… anyone else seeing where im heading with this?

The only department I really have no part in, so therefore would know nothing aboutneeding more/different, is sensors. So bring on the '06 KOP and whatever new innovations and headaches (*cough cough * CMU cough cam cough cough) it may include.


Ambidextrous control sticks would probably be the best possible addition to the kit.

Other than that, I like the idea of more pneumatics, maybe some more roller chain and a larger variety of sprockets, so we can see some variation in the teams that use the Kit bots. Also maybe 6 wheels instead of the standard 4 wheels?

How about some “cable chain”… :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Okay guys, time for a quick paradigm shift.
(With or without a clutch, up to you.)

We need to remember that everything going into the KOP costs $$$. A $5 part costs FIRST $5 x 1000ish teams = $5000. This is not trivial.

If they spend money on an item for the kit, the goal is obviously to make it an item which would be as highly utilized as possible, while remaining cost effective. They want as much bang for their buck as possible.

This is why when Paul and I were brainstorming the Kit Transmission, we came up with a highly adaptable ratio, which could be used for a variety of drivetrain speeds. We came up with a housing which could be mounted in many different ways. We came up with a method by which 2 transmissions could be combined to form a high-reduction arm gearbox. We also had to build it to be robust enough to survive life in as many conceivable applications as possible. We had to make it virtuous enough that teams would use it while still keeping the costs low enough that FIRST could afford it.

Why is it ‘too heavy’?
Simple – it needed to be robust, and was designed as such. However, it costs FIRST money to drill lightening patterns in the gears. It costs teams nothing but time to do so.

Not to pick on Conor, but if FIRST put 10 sprocket sizes in the kit, and most teams pick and use 1 size, then they’ve essentially wasted money on 9 sprockets per team. This is not a good thing. Instead, they must strive to include a single size that a lot of teams will use. (This is just an example).

It is all about bang for your buck.

First off, I think the kitbot chassis and kit gearboxes are great for both rookie and veteran teams. They are both robust and flexible while keeping costs low for FIRST. If teams want to modify them like lightening the gearboxes or choping up the frame they are free to do so. I agree that FIRST can’t and shouldn’t put a large variety of parts (wheels, sprockets, etc.) in the kit because a lot of it will go to waste.

What about a voucher program? Let FIRST ship the KoP with the standard stuff (IFI control system, kitbot chassis and gearboxes, motors, batteries, air compressor, pneumatics hose and fittings) but NO “extra” parts (wheels, sprockets, chain, pneumatic cylinders, sensors, etc.). Then teams are given vouchers for X number of wheels, sprockets, etc. just like we do with the 3 free pneumatic cylinders from Bimba in the past. There is no waste for FIRST and teams still sort of get to pick from a limited list of standard parts but still get to design and build to their team specs. The list of standard stuff could even be known before the kickoff (like the prebuild materials list) but the big secret would be the game and what else might be on the “extras” voucher list. Let’s face it. Even a lot of the stuff FIRST included in the KoP last year were not used by many teams (Skyway wheelchair wheels, CMU Cam, gear tooth sensors, latex tubing, those seat motor shafts but no seat motor, the little Mabushi motor, …). How much did it cost FIRST for all those CMU cams last year that only a relatively few teams were able to successfully use? Would that money have been better spent another way? Maybe, maybe not, who’s to say. I think it would be interesting to see what teams would come up with if they could only use wheels, sprockets, sensors, etc from a specified list but get to pick what they think they can use the best.

There are a lot of good points in that post. If they implemented some sort of voucher system, then they would need to buy parts on speculation.

(i.e. “we need to buy 1000x 10 tooth sprockets, but only 50x 25 tooth sprockets because most teams like 10 toothers.”)

This would be a nightmare. FIRST would either buy enough for everyone, and then have too many (loss of money), or not buy enough and cause some teams to get “shutout” of some parts.

Imagine if FIRST bought 1000 widgets at $20 a pop, but only 100 teams bought a widget. How much money are they losing?

Are there other ways to save money?
Would a veteran team say “we don’t need a compressor” and give it up. What if only rookie teams received battery chargers?

Is this unfair? Everyone pays the same registration fees, can there be a rookie/veteran kit?

I hope everyone starts to realize the complications that come with the KOP.
I learned a lot about the tremendous effort involved last summer, during the Kitbot proposal and implementation process.