More than 720 teams in the 14th annual BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics Competition will benefit from free parts kits from igus Inc., East Providence, R.I.

BEST Inc., a non-profit, volunteer organization, aims to inspire middle and high school students to pursue careers in engineering, science, and technology through participation in science and engineering-based robotics competitions. Through its Y.E.S. (Young Engineers Support) Program, igus donates products to engineering curriculums and competitions such as BEST in order to foster students' mechanical design ideas and educate them about the benefits of plastic components.

This is the second year igus has donated to the event. This year's recipients received a consumable parts kit that included machinery and motion control components, including cable carriers; linear guide systems; flange, pillow block, and rod end bearings; and aluminum shafting. The student teams will also benefit from application examples, which were designed to give them a better understanding of how and where similar components are used. Examples range from farm equipment to meat conveyers to a student-manufactured ice-cutting machine.

Student teams will unveil their finished robots at local events across the U.S. this month, with the winning teams advancing to one of three regional events in Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas.