Non Rectangular Frames

In 2013 there was a discussion on non-rectangular frames. I would like to see an update on what robots have been successful with irregular shaped frames since then.

1 Like

2481 from this year is definitely not “normal” shaped.


If I had a boat, I’d go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony, I’d ride him on my boat
And we could all together, go out on the ocean
Just me up on my pony on my boat.

(Lyle Lovett, explaining why a non- rectangular frame can be a very cool idea.)


Back then, adding more sides to the robot was done for defensive purposes, since during that time the Drivetrain Wars made the T-Bone Pin the ultimate form of shutting down a team, sometimes a better strategy than just playing the game. The idea was if you didn’t have a flat side of your drivetrain, you would be T-Boned at an angle, making it easier for you to escape. This continued up to 2014.

Then in 2015, there was no defense. In 2016, the number of good motors teams could use increased and the game had low skill objectives worth ranking points, which made it more useful to spend time pursuing the easy points and objectives than to pursue defense. 2017 also featured a game where most robots would be capable of scoring easily, and the top robots were incentivized to maximize the volume of ball storage and intake width on their robots, so anything other than rectangular frames provided less advantage. 2018 and 2019 had fields and rules that made T-Bone defense difficult to execute effectively. 2019 also introduced brushless motors, which, along with easy low level scoring, made pursuing points over defense an even better choice for most teams. 2020’s field design and safe zones made T-Boning difficult, and then in 2022 everyone had brushless swerve, so the T-Bone became ineffective very quickly.

Hopefully this helps.


1787 usually has some quirky frames (their 2022 robot has an asymmetric/offset shooter, with the adjacent frame corner cut off). I’ve never gotten to ask them about it, so maybe @Halina.m or one of her team mates can chime in.


I can give some information about some of our team’s wacky frame shapes. Our cut corner on the back of our robot this year allowed us to make our robot a few inches longer, so we could make our arm in the center of the robot while still having space for our shooter and also let us have a unique drivetrain shape which we really wanted to do. The cut-off corner is where we got our robot’s name: Floppy Disk :smiley:

Here is top view in AutoCAD of our frame (I have no pictures of the top of the robot in-person, but I can certainly take one tomorrow if anybody would like to see it):


Still waiting for someone to do kiwi drive

1 Like

Simbotics - Team 1114 (2015) - The Blue Alliance they already have


I can die happy now

1 Like

Team 4907 somehow got away with a semi-circular frame in 2020.

Edit: Duh!!! I totally forgot to post the fact that our team (1533) had a non-rectangular frame in 2016. We did this to help make more room for our alliance partners to climb the tower.


1114 2015 was already brought up, but theres a couple even older implementations before then, such as 1425 a year prior.

1501 in 2010 as I recall…

And it bit them when they found themselves stuffed into a goal. Triangular robot, triangular goal.

Kiwis drive in FRC has been a thing since the early 2000s.

1 Like

That is the most beautiful FRC robot ever. It looks like an alien star cruiser that would be in Star Trek.


We built two for 2010. They are Delta Ice and Delta Fire.


857 in the early 2000s too. Or was it 221 at that point? Can’t recall. @ajlapp might remember better since he was involved.

Their solution to a controller was interesting - just link 3 sticks together and feed the joystick value into the motor.

Correct. We did the first Killough Platform in 2002. We code named it kiwi because we didn’t want others to beat us to the punch.


See this thread…


Oh good. We’ve had this exact conversation before.

See you again in 2024 :wink:

1 Like

1318s 2008 Robot remains my personal favorite. “The pirate ship” as I heard it referred to. I believe 2 swerve modules and 4 caster drivetrain.


We (3128) did a circular frame in 2014. It seems like a very smart strategic choice, and in years with very prevalent and aggressive defence (2022)and would be interesting to see how teams would react to such a frame, especially since there is no corner to hit when playing defence against a team without a turret and with a circular frame.
I couldn’t find any great photos/videos, but this one is alright: FRC San Diego Regional 2014 Quarter 3-2 - YouTube

1 Like

Surprised no one mentioned 148’s 2008 robot yet. Here is the robot reveal: Robowranglers 148 2008 Tumbleweed - YouTube

1 Like