Resources


Welcome.  This is intended as a tool for students and mentors to assist in locating material suppliers and handy knowledge bases to help speed design and improve robot performance.  These links are updated infrequently so if you discover one broken please report it to us at the Contact Us page.

Robot Specific Equipment

Vendor

Description

Andymark Everything First robotics related.  Wheels, motors, electronics....they have it all.
VEXPRO Almost everything FIRST Robotics related.   They have awesome gearboxes, controllers, pnuematics and drive train components.  The Versplanetary Gearbox is among the best small motor boxes you will find.   Really cool West Coast Drive parts!
West Coast Products Great transmissions and specialty parts to make a world class drivetrain with limited resources.  Partners with VEXPRO, check out both sites for some of the best transmissions around.  Awesome calculators for belts, gears, and drive trains.
Banebots Economical resource for RS775 and RS55x Motors and really cool soft hex drive wheels.  They also offer a few planetary gearboxes.
Hansen Hobbies Everything you ever wanted to make your own PWM cables economically.  Video instructions on how-to if you are new to the art of crimping tiny wires.
McMaster-Carr Every piece of hardware every made by man...ok, not that much but a lot.  Quick shipping to the West Coast and Midwest make these a go-to source for hardware.
Digi-Key All things electronic including awesome encoders such as the Grayhill 63R.  Also an great source for potentiometers and other sensors for custom application.
Vulcan Spring They have a huge supply of constant force springs very useful for making attachments and mechanisms "Neutrally Buoyant" or providing compact power sources.
Spearit Tired of flimsy latex power bands?  These guys have real spear gun power bands and some engineering manuals to help you decide where effective ends and danger begins!

Calculators and Handy References

Item

Description

JVN Mechanism Calculator General purpose calculator for drive train, mechanisms and gearboxes.
WCP Drive Train Calculator Pre-loaded with VEXPRO / West Coast Products gearboxes.  Really good estimator of total power consumption and determination of whether you will brown out / blow your breakers in a shoving match.  This is almost a must have for new designers!
 Pneumatic Calculator Push / Pull forces along with flow calculators so you won't have to guess how much air your mechanism need.
Ballistic Trajectory No need to guess how far that object will fly.  Use a calculator to determine required exit speed and angle to hit your target.
Drive Train Voltage Modeling Very good discussion of acceleration profiles with electrical considerations of voltage drop.  Nice graphing to estimate true "sprint" distance speeds encountered in FRC vs. "top speed" when considering gear combinations.
Idiots Guide to FRC An encyclopedia of build and design knowledge covering a little bit of everything FRC.  This is a great place to start learning.