How Do You Give Your Robot It's Signature Look?

Everyone likes to make their robot look spiffy.
How do you give your robot parts their signature look?

I’ll start:
As long as I was on the team, 67 used LPS1 Greaseless lubricant and abrasive Scotch Bright-type pads on the aluminum parts to produce the classy brushed aluminum effect. After the brushing was completed, we used shop towels (kind of like really heavy duty paper towels) to clean off the LPS1.

Since 2006, 67 gained access to powder coating facilities and colored some of their aluminum parts in the team colors.

Yellow Chromoly Steel. We are instantly recognizable. This year we spray bombed the frame but in the past we had time to take it to one of our sponsors (auto body) for painting.

The team I was on in high school (1006)'s signature quickly became having one or more functional hockey sticks on the robot. In Stack Attack they folded down on the two sides to create a bigger surface to hit the tubs with. In FIRST Frenzy there was one on the front for moving the balls around that happened not to interfere with the arm/hook for hanging from the bar. I don’t remember what was done after I graduated, but, I think they kept with it.

…you can tell it’s a Canadian team, can’t you? :slight_smile:

we usually put our logo on it. 2 years ago we cut the logo for our team into the frame (the logo is my avatar) and cut our team name into the frame as well (all of this done by oceaneering [our build site]). last year we cut our logo into the frame and spray painted all of our metal parts either green or left it silver (this was to distinguish one side of the robot from the other).

It was pretty cool.:smiley:

Our team colors are Blue and silver, so we keep the Brushed Aluminum and Blue bumpers/paint look. It’s a nice, clean style, and we like it.

Sheet metal and FDM. LOTS AND LOTS of sheet metal. Oh, and anodizing, powder coat paint.

Usually we do a subdued blue and gold-yellow paintjob, but 2007 we did Highlighter and Rescue Blue and 2006 we did Midnight Black Flat. I don’t know what we’ll do this year… either stay with the new colors, or go back to the old. Not much of a chance of black.


What type of companies do anodizing? We were thinking about finding someone local that would do it (haven’t been successful yet) or doing it ourself.

Look for a metal finishing/plating shop. You should be able to find several in your area. Some shops will do both powdercoating and anodizing.

We powdercoat/anodize pretty much everything aluminum on our robots. It’s a great look, and can be extremely cheap or even free, if you can find the right shops to help you. The only ‘problem’ is it can sometimes take up to 3 or 4 days to get all your parts back.

Blue anodized frame (or yellow painted), paint blue and yellow where wanted otherwise. For example, yellow team logos on our blue plastic ramps.

1293’s signature look (rookie year notwithstanding) has historically been bare waterjet-cut sheetmetal, more recently with orange accents. (Compare 2005, 2006, and (most of) 2007.)

1618 has yet to really nail down a signature look. Most of Uppercut’s look was from laminated paper printed off in a campus computer lab, with type choices made mostly for availability on the Mac that I was using at the time and to make sure we had the proper stroke on our team numbers. (That explains why schools and sponsors were in Gill Sans in varying sizes, while our numbers were 365-point Impact). I might change the layout and choices of font, but the maroon and gold colors (Columbia High’s school colors) did turn out nice. The team did use other techniques before my time, though nothing from those two years proved to become a signature* (2005, 2006, 2007)

*Well, we do seem to find ourselves using a lot of pegboard in our robots…

If the robot is half its weight in Lexan, it’s probably a 190 'bot!

We don’t really have a signature look, so far as I can ascertain, but we tend to have a lot of plastic and bare metal (sometimes burnished for a cool finish) with red highlights.

We worked with negative space created when we cut weight. We cut our signature diamond into our arms and gears into some of the frame components. It was our first year really doing and CNC milling so we had fun with it.

Any where we can put our cardinal chop we do. It’s that cardinal looking thing on the frond of the robot. Our school’s mascot is the cardinal and instead of putting a pic of a bird on there we took the abstract approach.](

Team 228 uses a combination of orange powder-coating with reverse spray-painted Lexan parts on our robots. We had originally planned to anodize our aluminum wheels on our 2007 'bot as well, but the build season schedule became too tight to do so (even though we had acquired everything to anodize the parts in-house).

Our team also owns a three-foot-wide printer which we used to print out panels (which we laminated) for our 2007 and 2005 robots.

And through our school, we also have access to a vinyl-cutting machine, which basically works by taking a giant roll of vinyl stickers (usually two feet wide) and cuts stickers out of it using vector images from Adobe Illustrator. These work great on Lexan, Robot Batteries, windows, painted plywood, and robot carts.

1714 uses as much clear polycarbonate as possible.
Here is our 2006 robot.
I don’t have a picture of our 2007 robot, but here is our inventor submission.

Green. Lots of bright green (and blue).

One of our main sponsors (FANUC Robotics) has a paint booth that uses the same powder coating technique that you see on shows like American Chopper. We got all of our shee metal painted for free, I believe :slight_smile:

We take 1/32" polycarbonate and spray paint the inside orange. Then we print up stickers and stick them on the outside. Because the paint is on the inside it doesn’t scratch, and looks shiny. Its easier and cheaper than powder coating, and the plastic helps protect the robots electronics - so its functional too.

We started making this “armor” in 2006, and it looked really good so we took it a step further in 2007 by covering the whole robot with it.

Painting eyes and fangs on your robot also helps :smiley:

Not that it matters but… the new colors are the best IMO.
Your bot really stood out on the webcast! :smiley:

Full out monocoque construction. This was the first year we used a steel structure with the robot. Probably won’t happen to often, depending on the game.

Well we always have the big raindrop on the robot:) . Sonny’s our main sponsor has a raindrop as their logo. Also Lots of Blue,silver and Orange. Custom plastic wheels, custom machining everywhere. The stuffed tiger that usually gets ziptied to the robot. We have become known for our outrageous ,metallic flake ,blue shiny paint and metal brushing alumnium parts too. Finally, ACM which is a material that stands out thats pretty interesting that not many teams use except for us. Ohh ya and lots of uhmw pink bushings at pinch points to be OSHA certified and safe. Past years we’ve had 1251 machined into the Alumnium for cutouts on the robot.