Not a rookie team, but we are. HELP! PLEASE!



I apologize I am just seeing this post now. I am a mentor for Lightning 1444 in Affton. We should be able help you with whatever you need. We’ve had our share of rough seasons over the years, but we’ve made it through and we’ll make sure you get through too! :slight_smile: 1706 in Wentzville and our “sister” team, 4329, in St. Charles are also very helpful.

We can get you going with the kitbot, basic electronics, and some basic programming. We can certainly spare some time in our machine shop to help you build some mechanisms. I like the idea of going with something like the 118 Everybot or some other simple design. We have built several field elements and have a decent practice space you are welcome to use when the time comes as well.

Please reach out to us at

Lightning 1444


These jack stands or other similar products also work really well for this.


Where can I find any robots that have some type of directions we could use to build? Does this exist? Thanks!


One of the mentors is a computer programmer, I forwarded this message. Thanks! :robot:


Thank you very much. I appreciate all of the assistance I have received, especially over the last two days. Thanks again! :robot:


Everybot is as close to this as you’re likely to find.


This is amazing news! Thank you for your support. I will pass this info along to the other mentors. Your team is one of the closest to us. I’m so thankful that there are amazing teams out there willing to take time to help us.
Thanks again!
Janel Eckelkamp


Thanks for the reply. I thought there were builds with videos on how to assemble, like FIRST put out for the chassis. We have no one that understands cad.
Thanks again!



Please remember that the best way for a team to help or be helped is to be there in person. Take up offers from teams who are offering to host you for a few nights or weeks, or invite them to your own shop. Building robots is an involved process and having another team at the ready to jump in is better than help over the phone or internet.


I agree 100%. We had 2 different mentors from here show up the last 2 days. #Thankful
We finished the chassis and are better understanding how to prototype.
Yeah progress!
Thanks again!


Awesome to hear! Teach your kids that asking for help is a good thing!


I think something worked, we had mentors show up at our last 2 meetings.
So thankful!


Thanks for this info DaveL! I will take ask of this into consideration. We just finished building the long chassis.
Thanks again,
Janel Eckelkamp


Dave L,
Thanks for all of this info! I’m curious how to go about asking local hardware stores for materials etc. Right now I’m just buying things out of pocket. This would be a huge help.
Thanks again,
Janel Eckelkamp




Walk into the store with a student. Ask to speak to a manager.

Explain to the manager that you represent a First Robotics HS team.

Have pics to show of your team building a robot, explain tools used and skills gained.

Explain robots are expensive and buying tools is a never ending fun part of this activity. So they know you plan to return and buy more stuff. Another motivator is that students that learn how to build things, will become your best customers.

Print and leave with manager, a letter signed by your school book keeper listing your Tax ID number and explaining that your school is tax exempt.

You may get anywhere from $50 to $150 in stuff.

We have received gift cards, which are great when you need a last minute bolt, sanding belt or paint.

Another time the manager walked us around as we picked up material.

We ended up buying a band saw from Home Depot and a drill press from Lowes. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount on the things you buy. Bought a belt sander from Sears. Have bought chop saws, routers (for cutting metal), portable drills, wrenches, vices, tape measures, rulers, angle measuring tools, extension cords, safety glasses, thin plywood, PVC pipes.

Avoid plexiglass as it breaks, instead pay extra for polycarbonate plastic.

As you add tools try and buy the same ones. Standardize on 3/16 hex bolts. In rare cases use 1/4" hex bolts. A bunch of 3/16" rivets are way lighter than one bolt. Rivets are better for attaching sheet alum to an aluminum box section, because the bolt can easily crush the alum box section and reduce holding power.


I don’t think you’re going to find anything that gives you instructions for an entire robot, as that would partially defeat the purpose of the challenge we’re given.

I suggest you look at early versions of robots that have come out, like the Everybot, breaking them down into individual mechanisms/functionalities, and looking for resources on how to make those. Looking at the Everybot CAD, it looks like there are only 2 moving parts besides the drive motors. Even if you can’t quite understand every detail of what they did, I would recommend that you think about how you might go about achieving the same underlying tasks.


Also, if there is a fabricator nearby, even if they don’t give you money/credits, you may be able to get “scraps” from them which are large enough to be cut down to robot parts. You’ll still need to put them on your BoM at fair market value, but the money won’t be coming out of your account or pocket. Got some great 3x1 channel last year - wasn’t quite long enough for the competition robot, but was great for the prototype.


Thanks! Can’t wait to share this info! :robot:

St Louis area? Team in DESPERATE need for mechanical and electrical assistance

If you have a University near you, you may want to ask them if they would be willing to help with resources, FRC alum students, professor mentorship, space, etc. Colleges are tremendously helpful to FRC and can be really great for helping you get a solid footing. Remember: starting new isn’t a disadvantage, it’s a different perspective. Seize your opportunity to show how your team is different. Good luck and welcome to FRC!

PS feel free to reach out if you have questions