KOP for 2021 season?

With the replay of infinite recharge, what will be happening to the KOP. Will we have fewer items in return for a lower registration (e.g many teams will not need the KOP drivetrain).

Personally I support the existing voucher system which allows for opt-out supporting the FIRST vendors.


I really want to make jokes and that ends up causing my posts to get hidden… it’s how I deal with stress and frustration. I laugh about things… arguably inappropriately but some find that be an endearing quality.

What with the understanding CD community and all, I’ll avoid the obvious “It’ll cost $5000, an “Igus Brain” game piece will be introduced, and we still won’t get to play” commentary. I suspect the 2021 KOP will be reduced from what it is currently. Possibly some more extrusion items to replace other components but I don’t see AndyMark donating as much as they had previously been… though I could be very wrong.


Enough “Igus Brains” to cover the entire team!


I know @marshall is at least partially joking, but the last thing we would want is a canceled 2021 season and FIRST talking about how they can only refund $1,000 because of the cost of the kit of parts. I suspect that most schools won’t be willing to compete next year, but the ones that will ought to insist on a clearly defined, non-changable refund policy with pandemic contingencies.

People are taking fewer financial risks right now and schools putting $4k-$9k on the line for events, in addition to all the other costs of their program, are going to want assurance that if events don’t happen, that money isn’t gone forever.

Unfortunately, under the present system, a full kit of parts is a crucial barrier for a full refund.

I’d love to see an option of no kit of parts at all in exchange for an AndyMark voucher or a further discount on registration. That’s what teams need to spend money on this year. That and a few more dang Igus brains.


The only teams that would need the KOP are true rookie teams. Everyone that participated in 2020 has what is needed to play the 2021 game.

Maybe there could be some form of tiered KOP available, with different fees associated with each type.

With a district team, a full kit is $5K and 2 events, a voucher only kit is $3.5K and 2 events and a minimum game related kit (no parts or vouchers) is $2.5K and 2 events.

Teams without much money could opt for a game kit, use their existing or modified robot and compete. Teams with more funding could opt for the voucher kit, use vouchers to upgrade their robot and compete. Teams that want to can opt for the full kit.

We have opted out of the full kit for several years. Much of the remaining KOP donated parts are never used or used in mockups but then discarded or inventoried. The vouchers have been put to good use.

Speaking only for my own team, we would be willing to forgo the KOP entirely for the year, including the First Choice items (which we actually really like) and even some of the virtual kit (the software from SolidWorks and other required items to play not included). I would hope that we could support businesses like AndyMark and Vex choosing not to donate much for one year, while they find ways to keep their businesses going. And, if any of the kit items add to the $5000 entry fee, perhaps removing them as an option for all but rookie teams might help reduce the cost to both FIRST and the teams.


I doubt that FIRST actually spends much on the KOP. From the items we receive, the only items that seem purchased is the Andymark KOP chassis and some motors, motor controllers, and the rookie KOP. More then 75% of the stuff in the KOP are sample products to stimulate further purchases IMO. However I may be wrong regarding the wiring, batteries, and other tools for electronics.

From what I believe the savings, will be a $500 voucher for all teams (paid for by slightly reduced registration fee) and lower costs as well as the $1000 refund for many teams that didn’t play such as mine.

In my wild guesses registration will be (for Ontario)

  • $6500 instead of $7500 ($4600 USD instead of $5315 USD) because of reduced field design costs and reduced KOP.
  • $500 voucher (I believe this voucher is not a donation but in fact money given to Andymark from FIRST for a discount e.g $400 cash for $500 gift card) I could be wrong though does someone want to correct me?
  • $1000 refund for teams that did not play (does someone know if the CAD value is higher?)
  • Reduced part fees for actual manufacturing.

I don’t believe that a price reduction more then this will occur. However this is nice as we would still save around $3000.

We are a very old team, and as such we have access to more than a rookie or newer team would, but I would be willing to not receive any KOP in exchange for a larger refund.

If there was no 2021 KoP, it would be extremely important that all of the BOM exclusions that come with a typical KoP (including FIRST Choice) would either still be allowed (e.g. anything in the 2020 KoP is excluded in 2021) or the BOM dollar limit would be raised to account for the actual cost of all the KoP items that are usually excluded.

I’d be very much in favor of reducing the cost of a first event registration in lieu of a black tote KoP and FIRST Choice as long as the registration reduction was a reasonable amount. I’d feel pretty good about $1500 or more. $1000 seems low. If it was only going to be a $500 reduction for both the tote and FIRST Choice, I’d just keep the KoP.


If all we get is $5000 worth of balls, that’d be fine with me. Certainly don’t need a standard KOP.


This is already a rule. See part b of R11, specifically the wording “identical functional replacement,” and example 1 in the blue box.

On a related note: Please try to understand what the registration fees are forand how they are used. FIRST needs to heat a building in NH, and possibly pay rent. Folks who work in there - there are not that many - need to eat and pay their own rent and utilities. Not-for-profit doesn’t mean all-volunteer. Someone buys the computers and mills and table saws and pallets of gaffers tape, repairs the road cases (and pays to store them) and hotel rooms and corn dogs for LRI training (and referee training and…). Then there’s venues to arrange, lead mentors to pay, semi-trucks filled with Field to drive, carpets, FMS, and oh-my-goodentss this just scratches the surface.

Your Kit of Parts is just a small fraction of that cost, keyword small.

So asking for a $2500 discount in exchange for no KoP is a non-starter.

FIRST isn’t happy about this either, and they are not raking in the cash in this situation. They’re trying to survive until 2021, like a lot of nonprofits. Of course they would love to hand you back every cent you paid, but they’ve already spent it, most of it at least.

So please, sit back and think about what you’re asking, and consider the other guy’s side of the whole thing. You don’t know what you don’t know, but maybe some educated guesses might give you an idea.


I would doubt a reduction of more then $300 (the kit items are mostly donated/affordable except the few motors and motor controllers as well as working.

However my team has never use much in the KOP other then the chassis, batteries, motor controllers, and wiring. An opt out for a $500 reduction as well as a $400/500 voucher for Andymark would be worth it.

Maybe every team MORE THAN 5 years old should assemble at LEAST one sudo KOP and give it to a team LESS THAN 5 years old? (5 years is arbitrary of course.)


I think that’s a great idea. One thing I would change is make it a sign up system with lower resource teams signing up to receive one and higher resource teams signing up to put them together.

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Actually, R11B is the exact part of the 2020 rules that is a problem and would need to be modified for 2021.

If it is 2021, R11B happens to be carried over as-is, and there is no “current year’s” KoP or the 2021 KoP is a small fraction of what has been typical in previous years, then many items which would have been exceptions to BOM accounting via the 2020 KoP would not be exceptions in 2021.

Identical functional replacements are irrelevant because if an item is not there to start with in the 2021 KoP, the identical functional replacement for nothing is nothing.

For example, if the KoP had 25 feet of 1/4" pneumatic tubing from Automation Direct, it would be possible to exempt the cost of up to 25 feet of legal 1/4" pneumatic tubing from any other supplier. You don’t have to use the Automation Direct tubing from the KoP to exempt the cost of 1/4" tubing up to the length provided in the KoP. However, if there is no pneumatic tubing in the 2021 KoP, it would not be possible to exempt the cost of any pneumatic tubing on your robot per R11B as currently written.

:man_facepalming: I missed the first part of your post that said “if there was no 2021 KoP,” and just assumed you were talking about the “choose to get the KoP or the fee reduction” plan. My bad.

Most of the Turkish teams use KOP . Because we don’t have vexpro,wcp etc. in Turkey. If you try to buy something from US ,you will have too wait 3-4 weeks and pay tariffs.We have Deküp (distributor of Andymark in Turkey) but the prices doubled because of tax and 1 dolar =6,88 Turkish Lira. So most of the teams go for KOP chassis and kop parts.

I understand what you are saying, but for 2021 teams will be able to reuse the 2020 robot if the team wants to.

If you plan to use the 2020 robot why would you want a complete KOP if there was some type of cost savings available?

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More parts are better. The KOP is less relevant for teams with a fast/cheap supply chain, but it provides many crucial parts to teams less fortunate. It may be significantly cheaper to source parts through the KOP than otherwise in their case.

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