The RedBoX is a gearbox intended to allow FIRST Robotics Competition teams to utilise the 12V DC Denso Throttle motors that are given to each team at the start of the season. The gearbox is a small, simple and low cost single reduction gearbox that is easy for teams to use and integrate into their robots. It can be used in so many different ways, gives new and inexperienced teams the capacity to build effective and competitive robot mechanisms. Our team is manufacturing these gearboxes in-house, with assistance from our sponsor, AllPlastics. We are donating 40 of these gearbox kits to new teams in countries where it can be difficult to get parts like Australia, Brazil, Turkey and China before the competition season begins. We are also planning to donate a further 60 gearboxes during the competition season. The designs are being shared with the FRC community, and teams who have access to similar machining resources are being encouraged to manufacture and distribute the gearboxes to teams in their area.

Alastair Pilley, designer of the RedBoX mechanism, was awarded the 2016 Dean's List Finalist Award.

Dean's List Finalist 2016

Designer of The RedBoX

Alastair Pilley

The two gearbox plates are manufactured from 3mm thick clear Polycarbonate sheet on a CNC milling machine. The 90-tooth gear is manufactured from 3mm thick red Acrylic sheet using a CNC laser cutter. The gearbox is then assembled using four M5 bolts and nylock nuts. Under heavy load or usage these plastic bushings can begin to wear out. The plastic bushings are intended to allow teams to test the gearbox in their design and then replace the two plastic bushings with ½ inch hex flanged bearings if necessary.


There are two ways to assemble the gearbox depending on where to team wishes the motor to be mounted.


The RedBoX is designed so that any length ½ inch or 12.7mm hex shaft can be used as an output shaft, this means that a shaft coupler is not required to extend the output shaft. Due to this an output shaft was not distributed with the gearbox.  The 2016 AM14U3 KOP drive chassis comes with suitable output shaft material in the form of ½ inch Churro shaft.


As of 2017, we have distributed the RedBoX to 14 different countries around the world, with multiple teams receiving them from each country. We have distributed them to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States of America.