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We are engineers and robot builders. A lot of the time we use jargon and sometimes we use a big word that means exactly one thing. This is a quick glossary to words and terms that may not be a part of everyday life. (Well unless you are some big shot full time robotics engineer, then you use these words all the time!)

Engineering Terms


The angular differential within a gearbox or drive-train during which the driven axle is un-powered when the drive axle changes drive direction. Backlash is the result of normal tolerances and clearances between meshing gear teeth and slack within drive chain and belt elements.
Bearing, Needle
Bearing that uses thin cylindrical rollers, which makes them more compact and requiring less clearance than ball bearings
Bearing Race
The inner and outer rings of the bearings that contain and transmit the load through the balls/rollers.
Bearing, Thrust
Rotary bearing designed to support high axial (i.e. along axis of rotation) loads while allowing rotation between parts.
Bill of Materials (BOM)
Required for FIRST inspections; usually generated from CAD. Also used to calculate robot weight and resources, and because it's surprisingly helpful to know what's on a robot after it ships.


CIM Motor
The most high-powered motors allowed in FIRST, currently available only in 2.5" diameter. Provided in the Kit of Parts, stands for the company that makes them: CCL Industrial Motor Limited.
Stainless Steel cylinders that are mounted on the robot to hold quantities of compressed air (made by Clippard Company). Once the only tanks allowed; rules have now expanded but the names has lingered.


Putting cables and or pneumatic tubing in nice neat bundles and tie wrapping them. This keeps them out of the gears, wheels, etc. It also makes the robot look neater and it's easier to trace connections.


Having an oily smoothness; used to plastics that make for "slippery" bearing surfaces (particularly HDPE or Teflon).


Schedule 40
Schedule specifies the wall thickness of pipe as defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Schedule 40 pipe is the "normal" thickness suitable for inexpensive materials (usually PVC but also steel), often used in FRC prototyping. Use a pipe schedule table to find the wall thickness based on schedule and diameter.
Straw Man (Proposal)
Simple proposal intended to generate discussion of its disadvantages and to provoke. Often prepared by 1-2 people prior to a larger meeting in order to provoke quicker generation of new and better proposals.



Daisy, Miss
FRC Team 341, our good friends and perennial (successful!) alliance partners. Hall of Fame team who builds and preforms with excellent robots year after year. Derived from "driving Miss Daisy".


Gracious Professionalism
FIRST defines this term, coined by Dr. Woodie Flowers (FIRST National Advisor Professor Emeritus at MIT) as "a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community". It's "part of the ethos of FIRST...and part of pursuing a meaningful light...[where] fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended."


Kit of Parts (KOP)
Kit that FIRST gives every team at the beginning of each season. Includes a set of parts to build a basic robot as well as other industry donations, including product and software vouchers. Varies by year and whether the team is a rookie or veteran; sometimes abbreviated KoP.


FRC Team 365, our good friends and repeat successful alliance partners. Hall of Fame team who builds and preforms amazingly each year. Stands for the Miracle Workerz.


Rolling Thunder
A powerhouse robotics team from Penfield New York. We have some inside ties to them so we pick their brains when ever possible

Team Terms


Primarily refers numerically to FRC Team 1640's robots. Stands for Downingtown-Exton-West Chester Robot, though it originally meant formerly Downingtown East-West Robot (and was once spelled DEWBot). It could also once refer to the program as a whole, as in "DEW Robotics"; though the current term is "DAR" for Downingtown Area Robotics.
Downingtown Area Robotics (DAR)
Our overall organization, including FRC Team 1640, our FIRST LEGO League club and Vexmen (our VEX Robotics club).


Easy Peasy (slang)
An English (UK) expression meaning very easy (short for easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and sometimes said as easy peasy puddin'n'pie!) Except that Team 1640 uses it backwards. When someone says "That's easy peasy" they are really saying "That's a lot of work, but I'll do it".


A term used for wishful thinking. Normally when the word hope is uttered, roboteers reply Hope is not an _______ strategy where the blank is filled in with Engineering, Programming, Project or Design.


Oblongater (slang)
A tool that facilitates bolt insertion by making holes oblong. Often resembles a dremel, but can be a round chain saw file and put it in a Sawzall.


Our robotics students; only shorter.


Our team nick name, derived from the fortuitous combination of our founding mentor, Paul Sabatino, and the the thing on Earth: robots! We know it's not the most Graciously Professional name out there, but we mean well. Though Mr. Sabatino had to leave us in 2008 due to health reasons, we still stand by our name and honor his amazing dedication to the team.


A wiki is a kind of website that allows and encourages users to add and change material on the website, keeping in growing and improving. All mentors and roboteers can change any page.