[FRC Blog] Virtual (KOP) is Now Reality

Posted on the FRC Blog, 11/14/19 by Kate Pilotte

Virtual (KOP) is Now Reality

Written by Kate Pilotte, Senior Kit of Parts Manager

Not sure if you noticed… but the Kit of Parts webpage was updated today with some PreKickoff Virtual goodies. Secured (i.e. paid up) teams will also find their respective codes/passwords in their registration accounts at firstinspires.org (visible to Lead Mentors 1 and 2).

For those of you who have enjoyed this virtual extension of the Kit of Parts in previous seasons, you’ll see some returning goodies from long term supporters. Care to thank them? They love hearing from teams. omgrobots kop #virtualkit

Vouchers Software
AndyMark Altium
Armabot Autodesk
AutomationDirect.com Mastercam
Clippard National Instruments
Digi-Key Electronics PTC
Inventables Siemens
REV Robotics SolidProfessor
TE Connectivity SOLIDWORKS

Who can ID the new stuff? Care to thank the new donors too? #welcometotheKOP #arewestillusinghashtags

Vouchers Software
Swyft Robotics Amazon Web Services

We encourage y’all to take some time before the craziness of the build season hits to familiarize yourself with what’s there. It’s all free, and we’d hate for any of it to go unnoticed and unused.

Have fun exploring these various options – and good luck this season!

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This all looks fantastic, including the new stuff. Thank you vendors for your support!

Since the link in the PDF didnt work for me, heres a list of what services are available in the AWS Educate account.

So what is this good for? Running a team website for a year? Mattermost? Private Gitlab server? I’m not very familiar with the specific AWS services or their pricing structure.

AWS can be used for cloud services (think scouting servers) or basically anything you’d stick a server in for (rendering, transcoding, data analysis, etc). Im not too familiar with AWS myself so im not sure what the Educate version loses compared to regular AWS, so hopefully someone can come in and better explain that (for example, Amazon RDS, which looks to be a good solution for storing stuff like scouting data at a glance, has a lot of exceptions that you cant use, but I couldnt begin to explain what any of it is).

One issue i see off the bat is no indication that students can pool their credits, which means each student has their own little work area that cant exactly interact with others if they want their services to last over the $75. This may be by design, but if it gets used in something like a scouting application running out of credits locks you out of your data entirely without any way of accessing it past a $20 fee to get in a get a backup, which may not be fun to do mid-event.

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There is their cloud-based IDE in that list, so maybe that is a potential other area of use. But mostly building web apps, using their database, hosting stuff, etc. Would be my guess. We had IBM bluemix in some prior years and I built a chatbot and was going to use the data science portal for python/R apps for scouting.

Swyft Robotics voucher code gives a 404 when clicking redeem on the Voucher page on their site. Anyone have success with it?

Earlier I didn’t find how to work it. The only possibility I saw was putting the voucher code as a PO number, but I didn’t proceed. The link may have failed but it didn’t take me to 404 but just the main page.

I was able to order the 10 hex bearings with the voucher last night.

This is one of the best additions to the family of KOP voucher codes available in recent years. Thank you Swyft!

Indeed. I am surprised (and glad) that they are doing it. Assume 4000 teams redeem the code. In the wholesale bearing thread from a while back, the price was $1.50. Thus, this is $15 free per team. That come out to $60,000 total. They were just founded last year. This is a big cost to such a small company.

Can you elaborate where the voucher code went during the process? Did you add and checkout, or was there a standalone page? If you had to checkout, was there a voucher code field, or did you use the PO number field? Thanks.

The Virtual Kit page has a link to the page on Swyft Robotics where you enter the voucher code. Go to your list of voucher codes in your FIRST Dashboard to find it (must be lead mentor 1 or 2 to see it). When you click “Redeem” on that page it will automatically bring up a shopping cart with the donated 10 hex bearings added to it. At that point you can continue shopping to add some other items to the order or check out. You will need to cover shipping costs as with most other vouchers.


Thank you for the explanation, this is the correct process. There were some problems with the link and Voucher the first couple of hours but we have them all sorted out now. Thank you to all the people that have claimed the Voucher so far. We are excited to be a part of the Virtual KOP this year.


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