The Steel Tracks

Looking at the FIRST choice list, there are a lot of steel tracks. In all shapes and sizes. Why? What are they used for? Is it something for the game this year, or has it been a thing for years?

Steel tracks are in FIRST Choice because someone donated a bunch of steel tracks to FIRST.

They appear to be cut offs from the tracks used for linear motion. They are normally combined with v groove bearings. You would need to affix them to a rail in some way.

They are all very short though, so I’m not sure what teams will be able to do with them.

We ended up with 2 of them. Woo hoo.

I bet we will eventually find a use though, and then we’ll be thankful we have them. Probably not on a competition bot though, I would guess.

It definitely does not have anything to do with next years game. Anything that would tip people off to what the game is will be released during round 2 after kickoff.

Like others have said they are to be used with special v-groove bearings. You can get an idea of how they work here.

We used them on our rookie year robot in 2012. They carried our ball bucket on an inclined elevator ride.

V-groove bearings are a great way to do linear motion, because the provide support in 2 directions automatically. The steel rails donated into FIRSTchoice are way heavier duty (designed for large automation machines) than FRC robots need. The new REV robotics building system we launched this year uses the same bearings on an aluminum extrusion. Take a look at the system on If you got some of the steel already our bearings and bushings (available at AndyMark) are compatable and are much lower cost than getting straight from bishop wise-carver.