Linear Bearings Are Instrumental Part of Student Robot

Students reap the benefits of igus' FIRST Robotics sponsorship

The 20th annual FIRST® Robotics Championship came to a close at the end of April in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO.

More than 25,000 fans, families, educators and industry leaders gathered not only to celebrate students' engineering accomplishments, but for an intense robotics competition. igus®, a diamond-level sponsor for the organization, donated Energy Chain® cable carriers, iglide® plastic plain bearings, igubal® spherical bearings and DryLin® linear bearings and guides to 2,075 participating teams.

This year's FRC challenge, "LOGO MOTION(TM)", pitted two alliances of three teams against each other on a field to earn points by hanging triangular, circular and square-shaped game pieces on poles of up to 10 feet tall. Bonus points were awarded for robots that hung and assembled the game pieces to form the FIRST logo.

igus' Energy Chain cable carriers are ideal for preventing cables from snagging on competitors' robots, while its plain, spherical and linear bearings can be used anywhere on the machines to facilitate motion.

The Oakville Trafalgar High School Red Devils from Ontario, Canada, used DryLin N low-profile guide systems and igubal flange bearings in their robot H.A.N.K: "The Harbinger of a New Kool". One DryLin linear guide system was used in each stage of a vertical mast so that the robot could hang game pieces on the 10-foot poles. DryLin Linear guides and igubal flange bearings were also used in the team's mini-bot deployment system, which enabled the mini-bot to climb to the top of a pole and deploy its arm in under two seconds.

"The robot's unique features that used igus products were an instrumental part of us winning the Creativity Design Award at the regional competition," said George Chisholm, FIRST Robotics team mentor for the Red Devils.

The Barstow High School Kuh-Nig-Its from Kanasas City, MO also used DryLin N linear guide systems and DryLin R linear plain bearings on its robot. The linear guides and bearings were a lightweight alternative to metal or bronze bearings and facilitated movement for the robot's forklift.

"The igus parts were a critical piece of our design. Without them, our robot would not have functioned as well and would have been over the weight limit set by the competition," said Gavin Wood, FIRST Robotics mentor for the team.

If you are a student, educator or robotics mentor interested in requesting free product donations from igus, visit and submit a Student Sample Request Form.

About igus

igus develops industry-leading Energy Chain cable carriers, Chainflex® continuous-flex cables, iglide plastic plain bearings, igubal spherical bearings, and DryLin linear bearings and guide systems. These seemingly unrelated products are linked together through a belief in making functionally advanced, yet affordable plastic components and assemblies. With plastic bearing experience since 1964, cable carrier experience since 1971 and continuous-flex cable since 1989, igus provides the right solution from over 80,000 products available from stock. No minimum order required. For more information, contact igus at (800) 521-2747 or visit

All Topics