FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Expanding the Kit of Parts

May 15, 2023 Written by Collin Fultz, FIRST Robotics Competition Senior Program Director and Ted Hood, Kit of Parts Engineer




We are so excited for CRESCENDOSM presented by Haas, but before we get there, we have off-season events to attend, game details to finalize, and an exciting announcement to make!

The FIRST® Robotics Competition Kit of Parts for has evolved to meet the changing needs of our teams. These changes have included rolling out FIRST® Choice, Product Vouchers, and the ability to opt-out of both the Drive Base and the Black Tote.

We use feedback from our Partners, talking with teams at events, and each season’s Kit of Parts survey to help guide the changes made for future seasons.  

You can continue to help us make improvements to the kit of parts by filling out this year’s Kit of Parts survey! The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete, and if you include your team number, your team is eligible for a chance to win your choice of goodies. We ask that no more than one student and one mentor from each team fill it out. You must be at least 13 years old, and it closes on Friday, May 25, 2023 at noon (Eastern Time).

One of the most requested additions to the Kit of Parts, from both Partners and teams, is the Everybot.

(For those who don’t know, Team 118 started the Everybot in 2014 with a goal of being an “affordable, competitive, and elegant robot intended to play the FIRST Robotics Competition challenge. Everybot can be built with nothing but basic tools and items found in either the kit of parts or purchased from your local hardware store or online [FIRST Robotics Competition] retailers.”)

Some of the folks that create each year’s Everybot also work with Team 118 and did not want the advanced knowledge of the game that would be required to put materials to build an Everybot in the KOP. As an alternative, we worked with a member of the community to design a base robot specific to CRESCENDO that will be included in the 2024 Kit of Parts.

This robot will be a guided build and will be able to accomplish some of the basic game challenges. It is not intended to be a “bolt together” solution, and it will still require some manufacturing by the team.

The team may need to purchase some materials (e.g. raw stock and fasteners) from a local hardware store. Harder to source items (i.e. parts that are only available from a few specific suppliers) will be included in the Kickoff Kit. Veteran teams will need to reuse some electronic components. Rookies will receive what they need in the Gray Tote.

We’re still working on the support resources that will be available to help teams through the build and programming process. We also know that the capabilities of this robot could drive a team’s decision about opting out of the Black Tote. We’ll share more information on the relative capabilities of the robot later this summer.

We want to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to Team 118 for pioneering this resource for teams. Our hope is that Team 118 (and all those creating resources for teams) continues their work in 2024 and beyond. The robot in the Kit of Parts is designed such that functionality to accomplish more of the game challenges can be added without having to start over on the robot design.

Just like the goal of the Everybot, our desire is that adding a base robot to the Kit of Parts makes FIRST Robotics Competition a more affordable, accessible, sustainable, and scalable program.

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With the kit of parts opt-outs, will there be an option to opt-out of most of the black tote, except for the items required for the Everybot? This seems like a great option for many veteran teams who will want the Everybot, if nothing else, as a project for underclassmen, but don't need all of the random components in the black tote that gather dust in their shop.

Right now, the plan is for all of the Kit of Parts robot parts to be in either the Black or Gray tote. So, if a veteran team opted out of the Black Tote, they would not receive the robot parts. The team would still have access to the guides, build plans, etc. for the robot.

Super happy to see this get added to the KOP! I've been one of the (apparently many) people requesting the everybot be included. Really think this is going to do a ton to raise the floor and give lower resource teams an improved experience! Thanks so much for staying in touch with the community and giving serious consideration to their suggestions. Also huge shout out to 118 for developing the everybot and doing so much to further the program!

Everybot authored by Team 118 has allowed teams accelerated learning and effective competition for years now. Their support and dedication to the concepts of FIRST has enabled system level innovation to the extent that it is hard NOT to see aspects of Everybot in any robot in competition. this has enabled new levels of innovation as teams stand on their prior work.  Wonderful example of community competition that would have made Woody proud, I imagine.

I understand that smaller team needs help, but one of the great things about FRC is to see what other teams are coming up with for design. For me, the design challenge is where students learn the most; winning is nice but not the main point. I really hope FRC will not turn into a kit bot competition because of this. On the other hand, this was somewhat already happening so it may even things out for teams on low budget. Hopefully, we'll still see a lot of diversity in the designs.

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