Kit of Parts Drive System Option

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 10:39

Please see the update below on the Kit of Parts Drive System Option from Kate and Collin, the Kit of Parts team:

For the 2013 FRC season, veteran teams had the option to opt out of receiving the Kit of Parts Drive System and instead receive a $450 Product Donation Voucher to AndyMark. Nearly 700 teams took advantage of this option. In the 2013 KOP Survey, 83% of teams who knew that it was an option said it improved the KOP experience. (Unfortunately, 10% of teams said they didn’t know it was an option. We need to work on that!)

Given the positive reception last season, the option will again be available for 2014! Veteran teams can choose to receive a Product Donation Voucher (PDV) from AndyMark instead of the KOP Drive System at Kickoff.  Rookie teams will automatically receive the KOP Drive System.

The PDV will again be worth $450 and can be used on AndyMark parts. To accommodate orders and lead times, the option to opt out of the KOP Drive System for the PDV will be available ONLY from 10/3 to noon eastern on 10/17. During that time, the option to receive the PDV in place of the KOP Drive System will be found in the “What’s New” section on the right side bar of the TIMS main screen. 

NOTE: If teams do not choose to opt out of the KOP Drive System in favor of the PDV by 10/17, they will be assigned the ‘default’ option of receiving the KOP Drive System as part of their Kickoff Kit.

To help you make your decision, we can give you some general information about this year’s KOP Drive System. It will look very different from those of the past and the two major variations include the following:

    • The C-Base is gone. In its place is a redesigned frame using sheet metal and extrusion designed to make it easier to attach superstructures to the drive base.
    • It is still a six-wheel belt drive robot, with an estimated final drive speed of about 10.5 feet per second. But, with the new design, we’ve changed to a direct driven center wheel powered by ToughBox Mini gearboxes.

The KOP Drive System can still be set up as a six-wheel drive “long robot”, but the redesign also now allows a six-wheel drive “wide” robot out-of-the-box. We are excited to continue to increase the competitive level of the KOP Drive System while continuing to give teams the opportunity to make the Kit of Parts as valuable as possible. We thank AndyMark and Gates Corporation for their support in creating this possibility.

Comments

Any chance we can see the drive base before we have to make a decision?

Hi Richard -

The information contained in the blog post is all that we will reveal about the KOP Drive System. The 2014 KOP Drive System is designed to be able to play the 2014. Identifying the components more specifically could - though not necessarily would - reveal details about the 2014 game.

If the rookie teams receive the KOP drive are they lowed to purchase and use something different from Andy Mark if they get funding and use it instead of what is provided?

Your team can certainly use (or not use) anything you want on your robot, provided it fits within the rules. The KOP drive is intended for rookie teams who may not otherwise know where to start. There is NO mandate that says rookies MUST use the KOP drivetrain, it just gives lesser experienced teams something functional to start with on day 1, giving them 6 weeks to focus on other things, like game piece manipulation. If you so desired, you could scrap the whole system and build from scratch.

But if it's revealed to everyone, it'd still be fair. My team is having a lot of trouble debating whether or not getting the drive system is worth the risk, and I'm sure a lot of others are too. Besides, a drive system doesn't define the game. For example, there were many great robots last year with drive systems completely different from other robots that were just as successful.

let us see what we are giving up for a $450 worth of AndyMark parts.

Echoing Richard's comment, will the new KoP drivetrain solution be shown to the teams prior to 10/3? Additionally, will the cost (approximate or exact) and suppliers of the components contained be revealed?

Is there any way to see the base materials (at least a generic mock-up) so that we can make an educated comparison with what we have from last year and this new system?

Weight is one of the most important aspects of designing a successful robot. Revealing the total weight would give a hint about the size of the kit-bot, but revealing the density of the components would be just as useful without revealing other attributes. Teams could compare this density value with the components they would otherwise use, letting them make a more informed decision. Hole/pattern info could be used by teams purchasing extra fasteners to use with the kit-bot. This info would be no different from previous years when the c-channel was a known entity in both of these areas. Thanks!

Will we be able to replace ToughBox Mini or is it built-in the frame itself? Thnx

Can PDV be used on any AM parts or a limited list of of donated parts?
Needed motor controllers last year but were out of stock.

I understand you cannot say much about the frame, but this question shouldn't give away anything secret:

How easy will it be to modify the KoP base? Is it built around the Tougbox Mini/set wheel diameter/set wheel thickness, or would it be easy to swap in a new transmission, new wheels, etc?

Maybe you could give the veteran teams the option to not receive the KoP drivetrain parts that will be a duplicate from last years kit. This would all the veteran teams to save some money and still get the new parts specific to 2014. This way you will not reveal what the new parts are and nobody gets a sneak peek?

Tim

How tall is the bar on the competition field

Have you ever considered reducing the default speed of the Kitbot? Most teams don't get enough practice, and it's pretty common to see drive teams that have real trouble with fine precision tracking tasks (like scoring) with a kitbot. It would to stand to reason if the Kitbot was slower these tasks would be easier for drivers.

One thing teams don't always recognize is the the motor controllers do not provide a linear output throughout their operating range. The Victor's are especially bad.

To compensate, we've given our drivers the option of changing the drive output to a 50% setting. In effect, when they pull the joystick trigger, 100% joystick input will result in a 50% drive output, thereby slowing the robot down for small precision movement near the goal. It is especially handy to have in high pressure moments or when precise positioning near a feeder slot is necessary.

Will we be able to still continue using 1/4-20 screws with the new drive base or will require new screws of a different size? Thanks.

Will the new and the old frames parts be compatable?

Is there any chance you could at least show us a cross-sectional view of the frame member? It would be very helpful for us to decide if we could at least see that.

A small cross-section ISO view could show us without giving away any of the game.

Regarding the Kit of Parts Drive Dystem System Option - you are asking us to choose between a credit with AndyMark and what is in the KOP - without us really knowing what the drive system in the KOP is like. How would you choose between a credit and a complete unknown. Please show us what we are choosing or not chooseing. Intelligent choices require information. What kind of example would I be setting for the students in my club - pick between 'Door #1' and 'Door #2', and I won't tell you what's behind them!

We opted out last year but the ordering system was buggy and would not accept our order. By the time this was fixed anything we would have wanted was sold out. This problem affected many other teams. Any word on supply levels for this year? We would hate to opt out and be forced to order a bunch of stuff we don't want again.

You are not providing enough info to make an opt-out decision. The new drive sounds like an improvement. Is it more maneuverable? Last years system was terrible. Skid steering inputs on carpet cause the wheels to fight each other making for a very long turning radius. Robots with team designed chassis ran rings around us. How many, and what kind of motor controllers will be in the opt-out and opt-in KOP's? Can you allow us to see the full KOP for each scenario?

Just about everything we wanted to order from Andy Mark was out of stock and for those parts that would be restocked, they would have arrived way to late. Unless you know what you want right away and order it right away, the opt out is a bad deal. Yes, we should have decided earlier, but what a surprise when we did order. We had no KOP and the only good things still in stock were batteries.

When will the product voucher be made available? It would be awesome to receive it before kickoff.

I agree, my team needs to know this to help plan out our buying schedule.

Where does it give a team the option to opt out? I have not been able to locate it in TIMS. Do we have to contact someone directly?

Jon - The option was available in TIMS from October 3 to October 17.

Thanks, good to know for next year.

I am a bit concerned as I did opt out of the parts for the voucher. Now I fear that our team will suffer since I did not noticed this site until today 12/24/13. With this in mind, I wonder how many other teams made their decision without knowing the robot frame had changed. Now like many others we might have to pay a lot more. Please provide any changes on to the TIMS site and specifically where we chose the voucher. Thank you in advance!

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