Hey, does the battery have to be mounted vertically, or can it be mounted horizontally, or whichever we choose?


I don’t think it matters to the judges (or inspectors), so just fit it in with your robot design and you’ll be fine.

Keep in mind there is a strategy on the location of the battery.

Either orientation of the battery is fine both from a rule standpoint and from a safety standpoint. A few things to keep in mind when designing your battery mount are:

  1. Make sure the battery is completely insulated from the chassis/frame at all times.
  2. Make sure the battery is mounted securely so that it will not come off during the heat of competition.
  3. Make sure that your battery is easily removed for changing/charging.
  4. It is not recommended (and may not pass inspection) to mount the battery upside down (terminals pointing towards the floor).

Also, always charge the battery in an upright position.

As long as the battery is secure, it should be fine.

Could you further explain #1 please?


Make sure you mount the battery so that the terminal connections do not make contact with any part of the frame, or any other metal assembly on your robot. This could cause current to flow through your frame and cause injury or damage to the electronic components of your control system.

it would be nice if the battery cables are not anywhere near metal parts, if you can make that happen. Lexan (polycarbonate sheet) is a great material for building battery mounting stuff, and a wide nylon strap with a plastic buckle is a nice easy quick way to secure the battery into a box, as long as the box holds the battery securely so it cannot move sideways. If you do run the battery cables along a metal surface, it would be nice to secure them to it with some type of cable clamp.

(in this picture the battery box is made of Lexan, which is painted black, normally it’s clear)



The battery may be used in any orientation. Terminals up or on the side is preferred. We have used the battery in the suppine or laid down position in the past. When charging the terminals should not be pointed down. If you take a close look at the top of the battery you will notice a small plastic strip across the top. This hides the cell vents. If you charge the battery with the top facing down, the vents may leak some gell. Highly unlikely but possible.

Electrical current may not flow through any part of the metal frame of the robot…
<R51> All wiring and electrical devices shall be electrically isolated from the ROBOT frame; the
ROBOT frame must not be used to carry electrical current (this isolated ground arrangement
is necessary due to polarity reversals that occur under certain operating conditions such as
during motor direction reversals).
Yes inspectors do check. The common causes are improper insulation, improper mounting of custom circuit, mounting without insulation for sensors or pinched wires. On occassion, teams run wiring through robot frame and other team members will then unknowingly drill or machine the frame and damage the wire.

Good advice from Al.

Just to clarify: robot inspectors will be using a checklist similar to the one currently available on the FIRST site. Electrical insulation and mechanical fastening of the battery will be checked per item 22 on that list, and electrical isolation will be checked per item 36.