KOP Drive Questionnaire

In the interest of science, request that folks on this forum out this form and share with your friends: KOP Drive Questionnaire

Obviously the data is probably going to be skewed toward the CD population, but we’ll figure that part out later. Don’t have time to watch hours of grainy match video to figure out who’s running KOP drives.


Does “Did you use the Kit of Parts drive” ask mostly about the kit chassis? i.e. does “AM14U4 6 in. SR Mecanum and Toughbox Micro Bundle” count as using the KOP drive?

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That would be a modified KOP drive, since it has non-standard wheels and gearboxes

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I answered the survey, but am interested in why you chose to ask about 2019 (Deep Space) rather than one of the Infinite Recharge versions (2020, 2021). Was there a purpose to restricting the question this way? For my team, we used a modified KoP for 2019 and 2020, but used a custom welded frame and WCD for our 2021 off-season robot (which competed at THOR 2 just a few days ago.) So I guess what I’m asking is why the emphasis on old information?

If I had to ask:

2019 was the most recent full competition season, and the one the most teams competed in.


I want to use a kitbot, or some version of it, where we have everything on day 1 and a couple students can throw it together in a few hours. The reason we haven’t in the past is because we don’t have as much experience applying our tube and plate robot design style to the AM14U-style sheet metal chassis. It’s certainly doable, and something we plan on practicing more this off-season, but we really like the WCD drive style and designing around it, especially with all the mounting holes and advantages that come with a WCD. I like the versachassis, but even that is a decent bit more effort than the kitbot.



3940 has used the AM14U4 (and previous versions) for several seasons now. The rest of our robot structure is tube and plate. We take advantage of the 2" square mounting pattern on the inside (and outside) plates of the AM14U4 as our mounting interfaces for tubing structures:

We basically just bolt tubes vertically to the inside face for structures now. Here’s a couple photos of the last two robots midway through build so you can vaguely see the structures:

Works well for us. Using the KOP drive (usually in an 8WD configuration of some sort) really lets us focus on actually playing the game without compromising much on drive performance. Currently our 2020/2021 robot is 8WD with the front 6 wheels being 1.5" wide AndyMark 6" performance wheels, and the rear set being 6" 60A SmoothGrips for just a little extra turn-ability.



I was like you, once. Then I noticed that the Kitbot also has a very functional hole pattern which is easy to design around and mount stuff to. What am I missing?




I don’t mean to say the kitbot chassis is bad, I’ve seen greater things done with it than anything I’ve ever made - it’s just different from what I’m used to, and admittedly change is hard. Hopefully time and practice with using it will make it just as easy for us to design around as a WCD.

For mounting, I have to agree that the kitbot excels. All those patterned holes in the horizontal flanges are ready made for easy bolted attachment of almost any mechanism or belly pan. The vertical surfaces leave a bit more to be desired, but overall mounting options are plentiful. Trying to mount to WCD tube seems like much more of a design challenge, especially for subsystems intended to be removable for repair or swap.

From a design perspective, the flexibility of positioning gearboxes and wheels seems like a pretty big advantage for WCD compared to the limited options with the kitbot. Is that advantage critical compared to the simple build and easy mounting on the kitbot for most teams? I wouldn’t say that it is. For teams that have plenty of skilled design resources and take extra pride in a full custom design rather than just custom subsystems, going with WCD is a fine option.

Interestingly, where the primary question was kitbot vs WCD, it looks like the question may be changing to kitbot vs swerve. It will be fun to watch that play out over the next few years.


75 teams submitted so far–keep them coming!

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Sure. I didn’t mean to come off as implying you said the chassis was bad - just wanted to give examples on how we use it.



I mentored 2012-2018, here’s what we did:

  • 2012: Kitbot (c-channel) modified with AM shifting gearbox (Super Shifter?)
  • 2013: Welded aluminum frame, Boe-bot like drive, two omnis in back.
  • 2014: C-channel and gussets, mecanum drive.
  • 2015: Kit bot with omnis, attempted H-drive.
  • 2016: Kit bot with 2 direct drive 4" wheels and 8 chain drive (reduced 2:1) 8" wheels
  • 2017: Two-thirds kitbot (4 wheels, cut off rear 11")
  • 2018: Kitbot, no significant mods (maybe we changed the gear ratio?)
  • 2018 post-season: Two-thirds kitbot again.

To mount relatively light duty superstructure to the chassis in later years, we’d secure some 3" segments of Versaframe channel to the inside rail, open face up, with screws or rivets, then put (usually right angle) gussets to create the risers. For heavier superstructure (e.g. a combo climber/high arm for 2018), we did what @Nick_Lawrence describes above.

–though sometimes with channel rather than tube.