Technical Resources Sep. 14 2022| 0 KB

Content Type: FIRST Robotics Competition
Tags: Mentor, Robot Build/Assembly, Team, Technical
SolidWorks Modeling Solutions Partner FIRST Robotics Competition logo
Disclaimer: Some of the following links lead to external web sites that are not endorsed or controlled by FIRST, and may contain outdated or inaccurate information about FIRST.  Teams should look at the Game Manual on the Season Materials webpage for the most up to date information on what they can use each season.

Mechanical Resources


Computer Aided Design (CAD)

  • Design 101 - this resource is intended to provide the resources that can help team's in the design process.
  • 973 RAMP Designing Robots with Sketches - This video is produced by Team 973, Greybots and covers how to effectively design a robot using CAD sketches to save time in the design process.
  • 973 RAMP Designing Linkages with Sketches - This video is produced by Team 973, Greybots and covers  a process for designing linkages (such as for pneumatics) using CAD sketches.
  • SOLIDWORKS Student Design Team Tools - in this video, learn how to take your design and project planning skills to the next level with apps on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform or tools on SOLIDWORKS Desktop.
  • Getting started with Onshape - in this video, learn how to create your free Onshape Education account, get familiar with the interface, and set up your team.
  • Collaborating Remotely with Onshape - in this video, learn about Onshape’s unique features for collaborating, including Follow Mode to see the real-time actions of another user, advanced commenting capabilities like markup and task assignment, as well as branching and versioning for parallel development.
  • Onshape for FIRST Robotics Competition teams - A collection of Onshape resources compiled by Team 6328, Mechanical Advantage, to help teach CAD and design concepts to students.

Drive System


  • Pneumatics Manual - A guide outlining the basics of what pneumatics are and how they might be used on a FIRST Robotics Competition robot.

Software/Electrical Resources

  • Control System and Programming Documentation (WPLib) - Resources to help with wiring and programming your robot.
  • Programming 101 - This resource covers the basics of programming in FIRST Robotics Competition. It covers C++, Java/Kotlin, and LabVIEW.
  • Intro to Programming Module - A self-paced 5 to 9-week course, students will learn a fundamental understanding of Java programming within WPILib and obtain applicable object-oriented programming skills. Students will learn and apply programming concepts in Java while programming a robot to complete challenges presented in each module.
    • This module is available to lead mentors 1 and 2 through Thinkscape on the FIRST Dashboard. Mentors will be able to add students and other mentors to the course using these instructions.
  • Wiring Essentials by April Riddett of NI - In this video, NI employee and FIRST volunteer April Riddett shares some wiring tips and tricks to help your team be successful.
  • Synthesis - Synthesis: An Autodesk Technology is an open-source robotics simulator built by students for students. Hear from some of the student interns that help create this technology and learn how you can benefit from their work.

Other Technical Resources

  • Guide to Selecting Drivers - This guide lays out some helpful considerations when selecting drivers for your robot.
  • Improving Driver Performance - This guide provides some ideas about how to practice, what to practice, and how to further analyze and improve your cycle times.
  • Effective FIRST Strategies for Design & Competition by FIRST Alum & 1114 Mentor Karthik Kanagasabapathy - This presentation (or view the recorded presentation) focuses on three major areas, Strategic Design, Match Planning/Execution, and Scouting. Rather than spending time on equations and detailed calculations, the Strategic Design gives a more high-level overview of how to design a robot. This portion of the presentation includes sections on such often neglected strategic design areas such as Game Analysis, Chokehold Strategies, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Task Prioritization, and Tradeoffs using case studies from past games. The Match Planning/Execution section of the presentation discusses effective habits and strategies that will help lead a team to victory. The Scouting section deals with effective techniques to collect information on your partners/opponents, and how to make the most of this data.
  • Goal Setting by 1678 Mentor Mike Corsetto - This video discusses the history of goal setting in FIRST Robotics Competition and how teams can set their own goals and use those to improve their team. 
  • Find Robot Parts - This resource was created by Team 1735, Green Reapers, and shares common robot parts and where teams can source them from.