COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) parts refer to parts that teams can purchase physically or through an online retailer.
FTC teams are limited to one degree of freedom (with some exceptions) to COTS parts. Therefore, buying a drawer slide is an allowable part, as there is only one degree of freedom, but purchasing a multi-axis arm isn’t.
However, teams can buy individual parts and assemble them together into a mechanism that has more than one degree of freedom. This doesn’t apply to drivetrain kits.
Packaging refers to the relative size and location of components on the robot. Generally, you want to design and locate (or package) components in the most space-efficient way you can.
- STEP file#
A STEP file is a filetype used to store 3D data about a part. It is recognized by different CAD softwares including SolidWorks, Inventor, Creo, etc.