Please take our survey to help future teams!

Ever said, “If I knew then what I know now”? We feel like this phrase may apply well to veteran teams looking back on their rookie year, especially in the area of parts. We would like to compile a list of recommended parts from veteran teams that they feel rookies should have on hand before the season starts so they can hit the ground running.

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I wonder how relevant a question this really is. I mean, yes, you could generate some useful advice here but don’t most rookie teams start out either:

  1. With the help of area veteran teams, who would supply this advice and quite likely some old stock parts, or

  2. From scratch, where a lot of detail like this might be over their heads.

The very last thing starting out teams need is to buy things they don’t end up using. The rookie teams I know about generally don’t have a bank account pre-loaded like a big golden Power Cube!

Just my 2 cents worth.

T. Wolter

I’m not really sure how to respond to the survey questions. The things that I want my team to have on hand well in advance are:

  • Gearboxes for the drive base and mechanisms (these tend to sell out quickly during the season)
  • raw materials (aluminum tube and plate, carbon fiber fabric, polycarbonate, plywood)
  • rivets
  • a variety of 10-32 and 1/4-20 bolts and nuts
  • wheels

The problem is, we don’t build the kitbot and haven’t for a couple generations of students. We manufacture our own gussets and some of our own mechanisms, because we have CNC and metalworking equipment. Each team’s situation is unique enough that it’s hard to say what they will need and what they can do. The kitbot is a great starting point; beyond that, maybe a selection of versa gearboxes and raw materials?

It takes funds to compete, sorry. Base level frames, drives and wheels are just that. There is a reason why items are costly but so worth the money.

Get a mule as soon as you can. While you have to bag the robot, you can keep 30 pounds out of the bag. Pick wisely, mount it on your mule and keep testing/practicing.

Inspect what you buy. Some of the quality is poor and needs to be modded. And some of the components need either major revisions or a complete custom replacement. But you have a sample to use for reference.

A good robot helps, but does not replace drive team experience or practice.

If you can get a Machine Shop, do it.

Hope this helps. Go Gems! ASI WorkHolding, home of the Gems and Miners.