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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 01-09-2007, 11:38 AM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

while an entire COTS gearbox from a prior year's 'bot seems to be disallowed, what about the components that its made of? specifically, i'd like to pull the guts out of our old AM shifters, and use them in our latest design; all the basic parts are available individually from AM.biz (and i suspect we'll need some additional/replacement parts), so if i list the individual parts on my BOM, would this be within the letter and spirit of the rule(s)?
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Unread 01-09-2007, 12:03 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Brockway View Post

This effects all of you that designed a new chassis this past year. Team 25 reported that they had a better chassis for this year. I hope you did not make any drawings! BTW all of last yearís custom chassisís, complete with drawings, are now illegal.

I am hoping that FIRST will allow detail drawings in the public domain to be legalized.
Our originally planned chassis and gearbox isn't ideal for this game. So we have to redesign, but thanks for bringing this rule to our attention.
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Unread 01-09-2007, 12:10 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewankoff View Post
My interpretation of these rules is that andy mark transmisissions purchased before the kickoff may be used as long as the COMPONENTS were not assemebled to be a MECHANISM. The rules even encourage gathering supplies but not assembling or fabricating those items. Any raw COMPONENT that was purchased at anytime can be used on this years robot.

(Capitolized words are defined in the manual)
A transmission is a mechanism of individual components assembled to made the transmission. By that definition they would not be allowed.

This is were we will need better answers from FIRST. I would also ask the question : Why can someone use a design from last year but someone that works on one in the off season is not allowed to use that design? I can understand that it must be built during "BUILD" season, but why would FIRST stiffle the inspiration and creativity that they are trying to promote. I guess that there is the same issue with those that worked on getting the camera to work and cannot use what they have designed (I know that it has to be reprogrammed as builders must rebuild).
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Unread 01-09-2007, 12:12 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
The father of one of the new kids on our team is a lawyer. He is quite adamant that he knows nothing about technical things, though his son is very mechanical.

Sounds like we might be finding uses for Dad's talents after all.
The first team that uses a lawyer to interpret the rules should be disqualified from all competitions, just on general principles.

-dave
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Unread 01-09-2007, 12:14 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlavery View Post
The first team that uses a lawyer to interpret the rules should be disqualified from all competitions, just on general principles.

-dave
so, do you feel that the term "gracious lawyer" might be an oxymoron?
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Unread 01-09-2007, 12:22 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlavery View Post
The first team that uses a lawyer to interpret the rules should be disqualified from all competitions, just on general principles.
Lawyers have their uses. Interpreting FRC rules is not one of those uses.

Back to topic: my interpretation is similar to Tristan's. I would like very much to have a 2007 Q&A response on this very soon. It would not be any fun to inspect Paul's robot if (1) he proceeds as outlined above and (2) I still concur with Tristan's reasoning on March 1st. We need the GDC to resolve this one before any of us waste a lot more time.
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Unread 01-09-2007, 12:47 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Lawyers have their uses. Interpreting FRC rules is not one of those uses.

Back to topic: my interpretation is similar to Tristan's. I would like very much to have a 2007 Q&A response on this very soon. It would not be any fun to inspect Paul's robot if (1) he proceeds as outlined above and (2) I still concur with Tristan's reasoning on March 1st. We need the GDC to resolve this one before any of us waste a lot more time.
We should nominate someone from this thread to ask these questions about:

A. Off-season/prior season designs and drawings.
B. Off-season purchased mechanisms.
C. Previous year components and mechanisms.

10 different people asking 30+ different questions might not work as well.
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Unread 01-09-2007, 12:50 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Sevcik View Post
We should nominate someone from this thread to ask these questions ... 10 different people asking 30+ different questions might not work as well.
I nominate Tristan.
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Unread 01-10-2007, 05:12 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Here is the question I posted to the Q&A forums although it has not shown up yet:

Quote:
My question is regarding Robot Rule R24 and how it applies given all the other rules in Section 8.3. I will first ask my question, then go into detail why I am confused regarding the rule and how it interacts with the other rules.

We want to use a machined aluminum gearbox housing that was designed and fabricated during the 2005 build season and used on our 2005 robot. We have not modified it since the 2005 season. According to rules R24 and R26, we should be able to use this component on our 2007 robot. Is this interpretation correct?

The part that has us confused is the last part of the rule which states "... IF they satisfy ALL of the rules associated with materials/parts use for the 2007 FIRST Robotics Competition."

What sections, exactly, contain the rules regarding materials/parts use? Is it section 8.3.4 only? Is it all of 8.3?

Robot Rule R17 seems to be in direct contradiction to R24. The 4th sentence of rule R17 states, "But absolutely no fabrication or assembly of any elements intended for the final robot is permitted prior to the Kickoff presentation"

R24 reads, "<R24> Individual COMPONENTS from ROBOTS entered in previous FIRST competitions may be used on 2007 ROBOTS IF they satisfy ALL of the rules associated with materials/parts use for the 2007 FIRST Robotics Competition. "

The definition of COMPONENT is, "A ROBOT part in its most basic configuration, which can not be disassembled without damaging or destroying the part, or altering its fundamental function."

Based on R24 and the definition of a COMPONENT, then my 2005 housing is legal, but based on R17 it is not. Please clarify.

Thanks,
Team 217
However, Tristan brings up a very good point regarding Rule R48. According to that, as it stand right now my gearbox housing is illegal to use. So, those of you worried about inspecting my team's robot; have no fear. Unless we hear concretely otherwise, we will design a new housing for our drive gearbox and use all new parts purchased / designed / fabricated after the start of Kickoff.

With that said, then why have rule R24? Commercial off the shelf components are covered every other place in the manual so why this special rule? It makes abosolutely no sense!.
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Unread 01-10-2007, 06:05 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

what about mechanisms from previous seasons that were developed but not used
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Unread 01-11-2007, 07:52 AM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

The Lab Rats (Team 1748) had to purchase AndyMark transmissions before kickoff because if we waited to order them through the Baltimore City School System we wouldn't get them until after build season.

We only opened the box with our AndyMark transmissions
on the ninth (after kickoff). We are a second year team in Baltimore City. We can't afford to buy another set of transmissions identical to what we just opened in order to say we purchased them after kickoff.

It seems like we met the intent of the rules and are getting caught up in legalities. I'm hoping that FIRST will allow us to use the transmissions we purchased but did not open until after the kickoff.

My students want to finish designing our drivetrain and they need to know what they can use.

Last edited by gabrielse : 01-11-2007 at 09:45 AM.
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Unread 01-11-2007, 10:18 AM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielse View Post
The Lab Rats (Team 1748) had to purchase AndyMark transmissions before kickoff because if we waited to order them through the Baltimore City School System we wouldn't get them until after build season.

We only opened the box with our AndyMark transmissions
on the ninth (after kickoff). We are a second year team in Baltimore City. We can't afford to buy another set of transmissions identical to what we just opened in order to say we purchased them after kickoff.

It seems like we met the intent of the rules and are getting caught up in legalities. I'm hoping that FIRST will allow us to use the transmissions we purchased but did not open until after the kickoff.

My students want to finish designing our drivetrain and they need to know what they can use.
that is a tough spot to be in. I sympathize with you in the lack of funding, which is an issue for MANY teams in FIRST. However you must look at the situation as a whole. Whats the difference between purchasing the parts a few days early, or an entire year early? Why is it acceptable for low budget teams and not acceptable for teams that have signifigant funding? FIRST cant be run with double standards. I do not like the rule at all because I feel teams, like yourselves, do not order parts early as intent to build early, but simply to make sure they come at all. Hopefully FIRST will clarify some of these rules for us. Until then good luck with build season, I'm sure your team will come out with a quality robot regardless.
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Unread 01-11-2007, 11:30 AM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielse View Post
The Lab Rats (Team 1748) had to purchase AndyMark transmissions before kickoff because if we waited to order them through the Baltimore City School System we wouldn't get them until after build season.

We only opened the box with our AndyMark transmissions
on the ninth (after kickoff). We are a second year team in Baltimore City. We can't afford to buy another set of transmissions identical to what we just opened in order to say we purchased them after kickoff.

It seems like we met the intent of the rules and are getting caught up in legalities. I'm hoping that FIRST will allow us to use the transmissions we purchased but did not open until after the kickoff.

My students want to finish designing our drivetrain and they need to know what they can use.
AndyMark products are COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) items. AndyMark meets FIRST's definition of a vendor and their products are available to all teams in a reasonable period. I suppose if there was a run on one or two components they might get backlogged but that is allowed for in the rule too. Purchase of COTS items before Kickoff is allowed and, in the case of raw stock, encouraged. Since you just opened the box it obviously was not modified before Kickoff. If you had so much as drilled a single hole before Kickoff then it would be a "custom fabricated" part and therefore illegal.

You took something of a risk in purchasing before Kickoff. They could have switched to VEX type parts or some other motors completely unsuitable and you would have been stuck, but fortunately for us all this is not the case.

There is the question of whether or not this is a "pre-designed solution". Since you are making your own choices as to wheel size, gearing etc. I'd say it is not. The AM gearbox could be used to power an arm or robot lifter in addition to a drive system so it is generic enough in my mind that this is not a concern.

So turn your guys loose.
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Unread 01-11-2007, 12:05 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
AndyMark products are COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) items. AndyMark meets FIRST's definition of a vendor and their products are available to all teams in a reasonable period. I suppose if there was a run on one or two components they might get backlogged but that is allowed for in the rule too. Purchase of COTS items before Kickoff is allowed and, in the case of raw stock, encouraged. Since you just opened the box it obviously was not modified before Kickoff. If you had so much as drilled a single hole before Kickoff then it would be a "custom fabricated" part and therefore illegal.
Unfortunately, I think you also have to look at whether the part is a COMPONENT or a MECHANISM. I think these would fit in to the category of mechanism, which from my reading must be purchased within the time frame of the build period.

I tried posting a question about a similar situation to the Q&A, but I don't seem to be having much luck with the Q&A fora this year. Hopefully we can get a ruling quickly so the design process can continue.
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Unread 01-11-2007, 12:53 PM
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Re: Section 8.3.3 Illegal Gearboxes and Chassis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Holley View Post
that is a tough spot to be in. I sympathize with you in the lack of funding, which is an issue for MANY teams in FIRST. However you must look at the situation as a whole. Whats the difference between purchasing the parts a few days early, or an entire year early? Why is it acceptable for low budget teams and not acceptable for teams that have signifigant funding? FIRST cant be run with double standards. I do not like the rule at all because I feel teams, like yourselves, do not order parts early as intent to build early, but simply to make sure they come at all. Hopefully FIRST will clarify some of these rules for us. Until then good luck with build season, I'm sure your team will come out with a quality robot regardless.
Brandon, perhaps you have not worked inside the wonderfully strangling red tape of a school system. If you had read the post, he noted that if they had waited to order them until during the build season, they would have arrived well after the build season. Ordering something as expensive as 2 AM trannies takes ATLEAST 4 weeks to make it through the procurement bureaucracy and get a check cut, and then the check still has to get to AM and the trannies have to get back to the team. Any team that is funded by a school or runs their funds through a school has to deal with this, so FIRST is basically telling these teams that they have to stick with the kitbot and whatever they can make on their own in whatever machine shop they may or may not have. In other words, FIRST is telling these teams to not even bother thinking about doing interesting things and taking on the harder engineering challenges.

FIRST says they want a team in every school funded by the states. If they're serious about that, they need to get their heads out of the clouds and look at how their policies and rules actually affect these minimally funded school teams. As it is, it seems they've drafted their rules to force teams to spend all their time hunting sponsors before they can do any actually interesting engineering.

At the very LEAST, FIRST could have warned teams, OFFICIALLY, that mechanisms bought preseason would be disallowed. Despite Dave being high up there, no one is going to take his vague warnings on CD as seriously as an Email Blast from FIRST. This wouldn't have affected the game a single bit and would've given time for debate and consideration prior to it becoming an actual issue.
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