FTC Pre Season Preparation - Extra Materials Aside from GoBilda Kit

Necessary items aside from Gobilda kits?

I’ve been setting up a rookie team FTC for the past year and have come to the point of buying materials for the next season. Currently, we’ve gotten together a list including the GoBilda robotics kit, REV hubs, and necessary items for the Andymark competition field. I’m wondering if there are items I’ve missed. Anything not included in the GoBilda kit. It has been difficult to find documents with recommended items, so I hope this forum post could help someone in the same boat as me. I’m open to software suggestions as well!

Thank you for any suggestions and help you all can provide!


How is your storage situation, both kits and tools? How are the tools? 3D printing?

I’d also stock up on some corrugated plastic, like the stuff campaign signs use. We always find uses for it on the big robots, and I’ve seen a lot of it on FTC robots too. For prototypes and rough work, try to poach old campaign signs. A little hose off and they are ready for a second life.

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Are you getting a GoBilda starter kit or a Strafer bot kit? Our teams really like the Strafer bot. Mecanum drive is good for most FTC games, so that’s what I’d suggest for a rookie team.

Linear motion is useful in pretty much every FTC game, so you could consider getting a linear motion kit such as a Viper slide kit from GoBilda. If your team has time before the season to work on a robot project, getting a kit like this to work would be a good one. It’s also good for the start of the season when the students don’t know where to start designing and building yet.

DC motors - rules allow eight. FTC robots frequently max out the number of motors.

Servos. Starter kit includes 4, which is plenty to start, but you’d need to get some if you went with Strafer instead.

If you do a Strafer kit, you might want one or more of the structure bundles so you have some stuff to prototype and build with (U channel bundle, L bundle, square bundle, flat bundle).

You’ll want a selection of M4 screws. GoBilda has some assortments, and you can also get assortments elsewhere. After you find out what screw sizes you use the most often, you can buy those in bigger quantities in the future. Anything in the range of 10mm to 25mm long will tend to be pretty handy to have around.

Do you have a reasonable list of hand tools that you plan to have? I could put together a basic list if you need one.


Echoing some of the above, a strafer chassis and one of the linear motion kits will get you quite far in most FTC games. When someone asked me this question earlier this year, I recommended those plus a starter kit. Between those you have the parts to approach most games to a better than average degree level.

I’d also recommend a webcam of some sort— last year they were very useful for detecting cones using AprilTags, and there is often a prebuilt ML object detection model for use in autonomous, which can be a great way to expose new programmers to advanced technology.


You’ll want a driver hub, or android phones, to be able to run the driver control app. I also recommend a 3D printer so that you can fabricate your own parts, although you can get on pretty well with just the GoBilda build system starting out.

Good luck with your season!

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The storage is pretty good! We’re working in a school district so I’m sure we can find extra space if ever needed. We have plenty of woodworking tools, hand drills, chop saws, table saws, drill presses, and band saws. I’m not sure how good we are with metal working though. We have plenty of access to 3d printers. We don’t have any special storage dedicated to kits so far. Corrugated plastic is a great idea and I’d never thought of it before, thanks!

We are getting a GoBilda starter kit, as it was recommended by others. The linear motion kit is very interesting, thank you for the recommendation! Are there separate kinds of servos we should invest in, or should we just get extras of the servos included in the GoBilda starter kit? Should we get all of those add-ons for the starter kit, which would you recommend most? We have a decent amount of hand tools, but I’d love to see the basic list in case we’re missing anything.

Would you recommend the Android phones over a driver hub? We plan on getting the driver hub but its availability is concerning.

We personally use the driver hub, however we have had problems and used an android phone for the second half of the season. If it’s possible for your budget, I recommend getting both so that you can have a fallback if something goes wrong. (Driver hub as your main, android phone as a backup)


I talked with Greg Needles at the Colorado Regional. He mentioned that Driver Hubs and Expansion Hubs will be available in June. From the conversation, I walked away feeling like the most of their COVID supply chain issues are behind them.

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