Does anyone know if and robot designs have been copyrighted? Is this a consern for FIRST. Let me rephrase, If someone has copyrighted a drive trian or track design, I assume a First team would not be able to use it, right?

I do not think that is an issue in FIRST. Everyone helps everyone here. I’m not too positive, but as far as I know, if someone wants to know about a part on a robot that was built from scratch or personally designed for the robot, then the team member can either answer the person or not. I don’t think it matters, but you may have to ask some oldies in FIRST, like Lavery or someone :wink:

As far as I know, the only drive system patented at this time is Team 217’s CCT. They have stated that if you want to use their design, that is fine, you just need to credit them for it.

Im not sure, but I thought I heard talk of team 45 patenting their ball drive. I’m sure they have the ame philosophy as team 217 though.


Cory is right, from what I can tell.

The neat thing about FIRST is that teams gladly show off their designs only to see other people copy these designs and improve upon them in the future.

In the case of 217’s CCT, patenting it is a great thing. Being the gracious Tunderchickens as they are, they have given all of us in FIRST to use this design for our needs as long as we don’t try to profit from it. I even recall a different FIRST team winning technical awards for using a similar design to the CCT.

However, if a company went out and tried to sell gearboxes with 217’s patented technology included with their design, they would need to ask and pay 217 for the rights to that protected technology.

As for our “ball drive” on team 45, teams can use this design as they wish for FIRST. We were directed, by Delphi, to apply for this as a patent to protect this technology in the commercial world, not FIRST. This design is protected just as the 217 CCT is.

Andy B.