Robot Wiring

Robots with a lot of Motion Accessories and Electronics tend to have some difficulty in organizing wires. How do you all set up the wiring on your robots? Do you bunch them all up in on bundle? Do you pass the wires through different parts of the robot? Or do you just leave them hanging around?

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE WIRES HANGING. It’s a tried and true method for getting wires caught in all of the following: your gears, your wheels, your claw, other robots, the field, game elements, and people. Wire management is a time consuming process but it’s absolutely worth the effort. I reccomend planning paths for your wires that keep then away from moving parts and from other robots snagging them. In the picture you posted, the lift motor wires could be ziptied to the metal. Also, the loose wires around the cortex could be bundled together and tucked underneath the cortex.

I personally spend a lot of time on wire management. I believe that wire management is one of the things that set apart a good team from a great team. Once you have all your wires properly secured and routed, your wires will not get tangled with anything and it is easy to track wires from the motor/sensor to the cortex.

Don’t forget some nice protective sleeving for any wires exposed on the outside of your base or any wires that will move relative to the Cortex. I consider that an absolute must for any decent wiring job.

We take wiring very seriously; we use wire sleeves, zip ties and electrical tape to color code things.

And are the sleeves and tape legal in VRC?

@tomohaha3 Above are the rules allowing some tape and tubing for wire management…straight outta the game manual

We used what we affectionately called our “umbilical cord.” I would not recommend it, but it did work well and nothing ever got caught in anything.

We get a little extra with our wiring.
20171128_140341.jpg20171128_140230.jpgWiring close up cortex - Copy.jpgIMG_0896.jpg


@proto That’s actually a pretty good idea, can’t believe we didn’t think of this yet. Catch this on our robot next tourney…

@proto I love it


To save zipTies, I wrap and loop some of my wires around structure pieces that aren’t moving and have just enough left after looping to hook it up to the cortex. But zipTies, electrical tape, and stuff like that are bound to be needed. When wiring remember this: always try to get your wires out of the way.

where did you buy those?

@Daniel Shin
We get ours from robosource, and it’s pretty similar to what @TheLordsChipsBuilder has shown in their picture. I would suggest grabbing one or two packs of zip ties from robosource as well because they are really cheap and come in many colors. You will have to check what the rates are for overseas shipments.

Here we have some on our old robot:

Not nearly as clean as some of the other wiring here, but it took a lot less time also. At least do some rudimentary wire mangement so the wires are not obstructing the function of your robot (e.g. getting caught in mechanisms) or at risk of being unplugged mid match.

General tips include avoiding puttting wires through gearboxes, wheel areas, and other moving parts. Use zipties to create wire bundles and lock them to support bars. Be sure that locked wires will not move as parts of the robot such as an arm move.

Am I the only one who doesn’t line up all of my motor controllers?


I disagree. Wire management is important to the point that you can change things out quickly and follow the wires, and nothing gets caught up in another robot or a joint, but as long as those things are true, there is no effect on robot performance. I don’t think it sets apart good and great teams, but it is probably an indicator of what teams are better. That being said, I don’t consider wire management when picking :slight_smile: Generally the teams with dangerous wire management are not worth picking, anyway.

I agree with @Aponthis. If you can keep your wires channeled and safely put away, that is all you really need to do. All a REALLY good wiring job says is you have too much time on our hands.

One thing I get scared of occasionally when wiring is that one or more of the wures of the CORTEX or Expander disconnect. When wiring near the CORTEX and especially the Battery Expander, make sure that when you add zip ties a wire doesn’t disconnect from them. If one does try to give some slack to that wire so it doesn’t disconnect again. Another thing I figured out is to try your hardest not to fold the wires too, since it can break the metal inside the wire.
Hopefully this helps :wink:
Also here’s my wiring: