Are there any official FIRST robotics kits you can buy to host a camp over the summer? Any help welcome. Thanks!
If you are asking if there is a way to buy a full Kit of Parts from FIRST like we get every season, the answer is generally no. You may be able to call/email FIRST HQ and ask if they have any extra KoPs they would be willing to sell you, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
If you’re just looking for a set kit of parts from an FRC vendor that includes a lot of the parts you need to build a robot, AndyMark sells a number of different “Getting Started” kits, as well as different versions of the KoP chassis. Check them out here.
Not official ones as far as I’m aware, but we do have a basic kit here and are working on a more complete version (not the exact Kit of Parts, but with appropriate substitutions) that should be on the site soon.
If you just want a drivetrain for the camp, it’s hard to beat the value of the Peanut Chassis. If the end result is going to go on a FIRST STEAMWORKS field, the AM14U3 Square Deal Edition is a good $200 cheaper than the standard AM14U3.
If you want the official roboRIO-based control system, we’ve got all those bits and pieces as a kit or as separate things. If it doesn’t have to be a roboRIO, the HERO development board lets you do a ton with the Talon SRX (as demonstrated in this white paper)](https://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/papers/3286). The Cheap and Dirty control system is less capable, but sometimes lower function and higher idiot-resistance* gives your camp a better chance at success. (I say that from experience–when I taught camps with old RCX bricks, I learned quickly that the IR remote can bail you out if the hardware’s there, but there’s no software bailout when you don’t have hardware!)
Hope this helps!
Not sent from my desk at AndyMark, but I have one.
*I’m not calling it idiot-proof, because then someone starts working on a better idiot.
Billfred may have beat me to this info but here’s my take anyway.
If you really want to use only FRC control system components your options are fairly limited to the FRC Rookie Basic Startup Kit from AndyMark. But its $2,825
If your willing to supply the CS components and motors I think the AM14U3 is the best option for versatility in a camp setting. I particularly like the square deal but anything from the AM14U3 family is pretty great. This will run you $399 to $599 and then the upgrade kits are also a bit pricey.
If you don’t want to spend that much money WCP’s VersaChassis is also available for less than $150. [Personal Opinion]Let’s just say you get what you pay for. I like AM better.[/Personal Opinion]
If you’re more in this for the robot aspect and not necessarily the using FRC parts thing, than I think the Kiwi Drive Kit with Cheap & Dirty Control System will be your best bet. It’s relative obscurity adds an additional engineering challenge after assembly of the chassis of having to find a good way to mount everything then make mechanisms for it that you can’t necessarily google examples of as easily as for a kit chassis.
Not sent from my desk at AndyMark either. I don’t work for AndyMark is the main factor in that I just like their products.