FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Kit of Parts – 2018 Drive Base Kit Option and International Game Pieces

Sep 29, 2017 Written by Jonathan Bryant, Kit of Parts Engineer

Edit 9/29/17: Added start date/time of Drive Base Opt Out period, highlighted in yellow below. 

Drive Base Kit Option

Your 2018 Kickoff Kit will again include a drive base kit! Maybe; it’s up to you.

Veteran teams are invited to choose a $450 Voucher from AndyMark (available 11/16, and yes there will be pre-kickoff vouchers again) instead of receiving a drive base kit with their Kickoff Kit (all other teams will automatically receive the drive base kit). In case you were wondering, pre-kickoff vouchers will be part of the Virtual Kit with details to come later.

To accommodate drive base kit production lead times, this option is only available from Monday, 10/2 at noon (Eastern) until noon (Eastern) on Tuesday, 10/10.

We’ll be collecting teams’ decisions differently this year. Instead of making the selection in a webform, we’ll be using the dashboard! We will only accept selections made using the dashboard. Only the Lead Coach/ Mentor 1 or 2 can submit.

In order to opt-out, a Lead Mentor 1 or 2 must do the following:

  1. Log into you account.
  2. Click the team for which you’re selecting.
  3. Under the “Parts and Products” drop down on the “Team Options” tab, select “Drive Base Opt Out.”

  1. Check the box if you wish to opt out.

  1. BOOM you are done.

If, after you select the opt out (but before the deadline), your team changes their mind about their selection, you can change your selection in the dashboard.

If a team does nothing by the deadline, they will be assigned the ‘default’ option of receiving the drive base kit as part of their Kickoff Kit.

To help you make your decision, we can give you some general information about the 2018 drive base kit.

  • It’s similar to the AM14U3 from 2017, and includes a bumper and battery mounting kit.
  • Features are such that they enable a team to execute basic elements of game play.
  • Design is such that the drive base can be assembled and driving by a small team with limited resource within two days.

We recognize that we are asking you to make a decision about a partially defined product, which can lead to frustration. Our goal is to give you as much information as possible without revealing details about the game. For example, a drive base with significant ground clearance may imply some type of obstacle on the field that robots would likely have to traverse. If we revealed details such as ground clearance, we would be giving away too much of the game.

International Game Piece Option

International teams (i.e. non-United States based teams) experience significant challenges in sourcing game elements from FIRST Choice: both in shipping time (~3-4 weeks for the items to arrive in their home countries) and extra fees associated with importing such items. Just in case you were wondering, FIRST Choice will be part of the Kit of Parts with details to come later.

In response to this issue, FIRST added an option for those teams to devote an inflated number of FIRST Choice credits in exchange for receiving an extra set of game elements with their Kickoff Kits. The number of credits for this option is greater than the number of credits teams spend if using FIRST Choice normally to obtain game pieces (i.e. inflated) because we recognize the advantage inherent in the timing of early receipt.

Teams who exercise this option will have their FIRST Choice credits reduced by 20%.

The option window is open for non-US teams only between 12:00pm (noon) EST on October 26 and 12:00pm (noon) EST on Thursday, November 9.

In order to opt-in, a Lead Mentor 1 or 2 must do the following:

  1. Log into you account.
  2. Click the team for which you’re selecting.
  3. Under the “Parts and Products” drop down on the “Team Options” tab, select “Game Piece Opt In.”
  4. Check the box if you want to opt in.

You can change your team’s selection if you like, but changes may not be made after the window closes.

The default option, and the result if you do nothing, is to not receive an extra set of game pieces at Kickoff and receive the full allotment of FIRST Choice credits.

We hope that this option will continue to mitigate some obstacles faced by non-US teams. As always, we look forward to feedback about the implementation in the post-season Kit of Parts survey.

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I am unable to see the same menu as shown above, I am the lead contact. Is the system up yet/ is it currently down?

The system isn't open yet. You should see the option life at noon, today. Good luck!

What number of hours per day is the 2 day figure based off of?


8 hours per day should be enough time. 

Hello - I am logging in for team 3215 Apollo but don't see the option. We would much prefer the $450 voucher since we don't need the drive base (we didn't need last year's, either, but we were too late to opt out) ... Thanks

For specific questions about your team's status, account, etc., please contact Thank you!

The blog indicates the drive base kit is "similar" to the 2017 kit.  How dissimilar is it?

Hi Mr. Antilla, we aren't releasing any additional information about the drive base kit (for the reasons discussed in the blog).

I am becoming a new mentor for a veteran team. The students want to opt out of the drive kit but I am unable to fulfill that request because my Youth protection/back ground check is not done yet, so I do not have full access to the site to do this. The deadline is tomorrow at 11 am our time. I would appreciate help wth completing the request of my team #6183 R.I.G.S. from Greenland, AR.

Thank you, Erin DeLeeuw

For specific questions about your team's status, account, etc., please contact Thank you!

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