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Never forget you are building a robot to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition.  It is in your team’s best interest to routinely check the rules to ensure that your game strategy, robot design, parts, and material selection still conform to the rules in the official FIRST documentation.

When you arrive at the regional competitions, your robot will be inspected, weighed, and checked for conformity to the volume and cost thresholds before being allowed to compete on the field.  The last thing your team needs to find out at that time is that your robot is out of specifications.  This requires constant vigilance during the build phase.  

Team members should familiarize themselves with the rules, but to ensure everything remains in order, consider tasking two team members the be the point people for all rule and material questions.  It should be their job to ensure that all materials and parts used on the robot conform to established competition rules.


Estimate and monitor your robot weight.  Keep a record of the current weight and ensure that weight is a factor in major design modifications.

*DOWNLOAD* Component Weight Table


Keep a scale in the robot build area so that you can constantly weigh the robot and all components / parts that will go on the robot.  Up to this year, the closest we got to the maximum weight after the first weigh-in was 5 pounds over!

Tip -> An often overlooked way to keep unnecessary weight off the robot is to design your electrical system to limit the distance you have to run heavy gauge wire. Try putting your battery as close as possible to the breaker and fuse panel.


Keep checking that weight.  


Every few days, measure the volume of the robot in starting position.  Ensure that the robot will fit within the starting envelope (28 inches by 38 inches by 60 inches).  


Before sealing the robot in it’s crate, check the robot weight one last time with all components on the scale.    


Also, before your bot is crated, run one last pre-competition check of the starting envelope  (28 inches by 38 inches by 60 inches). Pay special attention to appendages that may protrude past the envelope dimensions.


Check the FIRST Documentation (robot rules) and Robot Rule on the Fix It Windows to understand the rules regarding the creation of spare parts and upgrades.


Check the FIRST documentation. All costs of all non-2011 Kit parts and materials used in the construction of the ROBOT must be recorded (in US dollars) be the team.  You must submit a list of all such items and their costs at your robot inspection at the competition.

It is best to complete this list prior to shipment of the robot.  Take some time to go over the robot parts and list all non-kit parts and their associated costs.

*DOWNLOAD* MOE 2005 Robot Cost List

Here is an example of Team 365’s actual robot cost list for 2005.  Feel free to have fun with this to guess how we constructed our robot!