Computer needed for FIRST

We are a rookie team and my school district is an Apple district. What kind of computer will we need to compete? Will we need additional computers beyond what came in the Kit of Parts? If so, what minimum requirements will we need? We went to the quick build and Kick off events, but did not get the programs installed at the kick off and did not program our robot at the quick build as we were short students.

you can do a lot with most any Windows 7 or 10 computer that has at least 2gb of RAM. It does not have to be new, I think the computers we have are mostly 3-6 years old.

Having an Ethernet connection is nice, though.

…and as many USB ports as possible.

The Lenovo netbook you received in the rookie kit is all you need to control the robot.


Might be helpful to run Parallels or VMWare to get a windows Virtual machine up for testing, although networking is tricky on VMs

They should give you a rookie laptop for the driver station, and I believe you can program in java and C++ on MacOS

I use Visual Studio Code on my Mac (Not for FRC related programming) and it works very well

Before you buy any laptop I would give the white paper “driver station best practices a read.” the link fails try opening it in a new tab)

You should have a Windows PC, as Apple and Linux machines are not fully supported (or work well) with FIRST’s software and tutorials.

If you’re going to use Mac hardware, you need to install Windows with Boot Camp to work as a driver station. I wouldn’t recommend running Windows in a VM for driver station use.


Running it in a VM would cause a lot of problems with latency and WiFi issues connecting to the bot also.

1 Like