Rutland County, Vermont 802-448-2370



2020 COVID Delay Resources

Due to the cancellation of the rest of the 2020, we have the opportunity to learn a lot of skills to prepare for next year. Here’s some things students should be working on:

CAD / Design Software and Classes

  • Solidworks 2020 – Email a mentor to get your free license and get Solidprofessor to learn how to use it
  • Solidprofessor – Solidworks 3D CAD Training – More on this soon. We applied for an account and we will let you know when it is approved.
  • Mastercam is a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software program used by manufacturing professionals, such as machinists and computer numerical control (CNC) programmers. This software helps users produce mechanical drawings of machine parts, learn how to operate CNC lathes and mills, and create 3-dimensional wire frame models.
  • National Instruments Online Training – Multisim and a bunch of Labview courses are all available free until April 30th. A great resource for all students to learn about NI products
  • Autodesk Products: From Fusion 360 to Inventor, there’s a whole lot of free software from Autodesk, as well as training and videos on how to use it.
  • Altium Designer 20: A very rich PCB Design software package available to all FIRST students.

Projects to Work On

  • Swerve Drive
    • Research as many other teams ideas and write down the pros and cons in the spreadsheet in Google Drive
    • Design the mechanism in CAD using parts we can buy and make it easy to fabricate
    • Write the code to test and run the swerve drive modules. Bonus points for field oriented drive. Examples can be found from other teams Github sites as well.
  • Turret
    • We’ve started on a turret example. We need the turret to spin very quickly to it’s set target without oscillating using PID position control.
    • We will use the Limelight to lock on the target, and will have to drive the motor so it stays locked on at all times.
    • Improved drive train: How do we reduce scrub force while maintaining the ability to aim? If all the weight is on the front or back, dropping a wheel doesn’t work well. What can we do to mitigate this?
  • IBOTS Re-usable Programming Libraries
    • LED control library – just put in how many lights, what ports, and what you want them to do. Make it easy for others to use this library.
    • Wrapper the drivesystem – deadbands, ramping, etc. Make an IBOTS drive library that handles this and is easily configurable on future robots.
  • Motion Profiling
    • Know what would be cool? Always knowing where you were on the field. Finding a target, and using math (lines, circles, arcs, etc) to plot a course to where you need to go.
    • Dynamic autonomous: It would be really nice to bring a touchscreen tablet to a match and draw our path in real time to the goal, then upload it.
  • Battery Tester
    • Web front-end needs to be written for the tester. Also, the shift registers don’t like chaining 8 of them, so maybe different data pins for every 2 or 4 will work. Let’s test that out.

Our Accounts

We use several systems to manage files and share information, links are below

General Resources

Below is a list of resources students can use to help learn more. They are broken down into categories. Check back often, there will be things added!

  • FIRST Website – Game Manual, and official Q&A
  • The Blue Alliance – Match schedules, scores, and statistics about the competitions and other teams
  • WPILib – The code we use to program the robot

Chief Delphi

Great online community based around FRC. If you have a question or want to share an idea with mentors and students from around the world, this is the place.

Team Build Blogs


  • Gravity Arms – Designing arms that are balanced and easier to control

Some YouTube channels that are good resources for learning about things that can be related to and use in robotics.

  • Abom79 – Adam Booth is a world class manual machinist and is a great teacher. He has lots of videos on different techniques and ways to use manual machines.
  • Mr Carlson’s Lab – Electronic repair and diagnosis. He talks about how to use all sorts of test equipment
  • This Old Tony – One of the best machinist channels on YouTube, his sense of humor and amazing video edition makes this channel a real treat to watch
  • oxtoolco – Tom Lipton is an amazing teacher. He works for the national laboratory in Berkeley. He goes into great detail on how to make very accurate parts and some of the techniques used to build crazy things.
  • Rainfall Projects
  • Ben Eater
  • Adam Savage’s Tested
  • JimmyDiresta
  • Alec Steele

More to come, check back soon