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Unread 12-05-2018, 05:42 PM
Byron McKinley Byron McKinley is offline
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Question Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

I think the answer to this question is "no," but I just want to make sure.

Can my team reuse the drivetrain we got from our Rookie kit last year on this year's robot, or do we have to build or buy a new one? If we have to buy a new one, where from?

Thank you.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 05:45 PM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

You will get another one in the Kit of Parts at your kick off event.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 05:47 PM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

You cannot reuse the fully assembled drivetrain as-is legally. However, tearing it down and reusing individual components of it which have not been modified from their off the shelf form, such as wheels and motors, is legal. Parts which have been modified, such as cut frame rails, cannot be reused directly.

You will receive a new kit chassis on kickoff this year unless you opted for the Andymark Voucher instead, which could be used to purchase drivetrain components if you wish. If you don't know what this is, you'll be getting a new kit chassis on kickoff.

You will not be receiving a new RoboRio and certain other core control system components on kickoff, and will need to remove them from last year's robot or buy a new one.

A new kit chassis can be purchased from here. You can also use alternative options, or try to design and build one yourself.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 05:50 PM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron McKinley View Post
I think the answer to this question is "no," but I just want to make sure.

Can my team reuse the drivetrain we got from our Rookie kit last year on this year's robot, or do we have to build or buy a new one? If we have to buy a new one, where from?

Thank you.
If the rules are the same as the past years you can reuse it if you haven't modified it and you reassembly it after kickoff. You are probably getting a new kit bot drive base in your kit of parts this year unless your team opted out of it. If you need to buy another one they can be purchased from AndyMark.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 05:51 PM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

Yeah no. Rule R14 in the Power Up manual forbids this.
Quote:
Physical ROBOT elements created before Kickoff are not permitted.
There are some exceptions, such as you can make your operator console, bumpers, batteries, and some fabricated items. The fabricated items exception is so you can crimp connectors onto your motors and motor controllers.
I don't remember these rules changing very much between seasons.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 06:16 PM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

I didn't know you could make bumpers before the season, that's good to know. Also, responding to OP, if you were really insistent, you could technically disassemble it all the way and reassemble it, but that's probably pointless as you are getting a new one in the KOP. I would also recommend if you are reusing certain parts, I would stay away from reusing bearings and possibly motors, depending on the purpose of the motor and your budget.

Also, I would highly recommend the Vex Versachassis system. Especially as a first non-KOP chassis, they are great. They require no real precision and you could probably put one together with a hole-saw and some careful hack-sawing. Honestly, don't make the same mistake we did and try to custom-machine a chassis as a second-year team. I'd also like to point out that there is NOTHING wrong with the KOP drivetrain. It's a very good chassis and no team should feel bad using it.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 06:48 PM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

[quote=21brownz;1812521]I didn't know you could make bumpers before the season, that's good to know. Also, responding to OP, if you were really insistent, you could technically disassemble it all the way and reassemble it, but that's probably pointless as you are getting a new one in the KOP. I/QUOTE]

Not much point in making bumpers until you know the frame perimeter. You can't reuse cut pieces of chassis.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 10:05 PM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickW View Post
If the rules are the same as the past years (snip)
Saying it again for the people in the back. We don't know the 2019 rules at this time. It would be wise to read them when they are released.

Now, FIRST has gone on record that teams are intended to reuse or source extra of control system parts (officially, the roboRIO and CTRE parts but historically we haven't gotten enough motor controllers in the kit to power a drivetrain either). Personally, I wouldn't go robbing any parts off an old robot until it's necessary. You never know if you'll need to use something old to prototype.
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Unread 12-06-2018, 05:23 AM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

I wish it was legal to reuse components from previous years. Allowing teams to reuse the same drive-train multiple years would make a big improvement to most teams overall experience over the course of a season.

I know people will say that future kids would lose out on learning about what goes into designing/building that drive train, but for the teams that have the resources to take the time to do a new one every year, you could continue to. This rule change would massively help teams with not a lot of time, mentor support, money, etc. to get from kickoff to a functioning robot that much quicker and better.

I'd also be in favor of FIRST standardizing the field floor to just always being flat carpet, as this would allow those teams to work on their drive train before kickoff, giving them more time to work on the more complicated aspects of the robot during build/competition season. Again, I know people will say that this would take away the design challenges that unique obstacles/floor gives, but lets be real all these have historically done is make your average match worse to watch due to the floor of robot competence being lower with the added floor complexity. I'm pretty confident that FIRST can have games with hard enough challenges outside of requiring a unique floor/obstacle to keep all levels of teams busy.
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Unread 12-06-2018, 06:38 AM
Byron McKinley Byron McKinley is offline
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

Does that include another chassis?
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Unread 12-06-2018, 06:43 AM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_Coussens View Post
...I'm pretty confident that FIRST can have games with hard enough challenges outside of requiring a unique floor/obstacle to keep all levels of teams busy.
Its seems that Nick has been well and truly aFiMalated. He is advocating for the OCCRAfication of FRC.

Not a bad strategy, if the goal is a sustainable robotics program at every HS that is big enough to field a football team. I think that should be the goal.

Reasonable people can disagree. I like the Michigan model.

---

Back on topic: I would support a rules change (if anyone asked my opinion) to allow re-using KoP drivetrains even if the sheet metal parts have been slightly modified; e.g., by cutting to size or drilling a few holes.
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Unread 12-06-2018, 07:14 AM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_Coussens View Post
I wish it was legal to reuse components from previous years. Allowing teams to reuse the same drive-train multiple years would make a big improvement to most teams overall experience over the course of a season.

I know people will say that future kids would lose out on learning about what goes into designing/building that drive train, but for the teams that have the resources to take the time to do a new one every year, you could continue to. This rule change would massively help teams with not a lot of time, mentor support, money, etc. to get from kickoff to a functioning robot that much quicker and better.

I'd also be in favor of FIRST standardizing the field floor to just always being flat carpet, as this would allow those teams to work on their drive train before kickoff, giving them more time to work on the more complicated aspects of the robot during build/competition season. Again, I know people will say that this would take away the design challenges that unique obstacles/floor gives, but lets be real all these have historically done is make your average match worse to watch due to the floor of robot competence being lower with the added floor complexity. I'm pretty confident that FIRST can have games with hard enough challenges outside of requiring a unique floor/obstacle to keep all levels of teams busy.
Under 2018 rules (which are not necessarily 2019 rules), you can strip everything down and use, at worst, everything but the sheetmetal in a future robot and then just snag the AM14U3 Frame Only.

Even if you ignore the game design aspect of "hey, let's use the same drivetrain over and over", I think there's a valid concern for new drivetrains helping to create a great team experience: maintenance. Most FRC robots go through neglect at best and hell at worst in the off-season, so dropping a whole new top part of the robot on top means you're almost certainly sending some thrashed drivetrains (thrashed CIMs especially) into first events. And that's if a team built their AM14U3 to the instructions; I've seen some Crimes Against AM14U3s™️ at events in my travels. Having a team start over on the drivetrain does ensure teams had to at least take it apart and inspect. While that takes time, I think it's time well-spent.

(Also, I support Richard's stance about small holes. Although I doubt anyone is policing it that tightly at events.)
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Last edited by Billfred : 12-06-2018 at 07:17 AM.
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Unread 12-06-2018, 07:18 AM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Wallace View Post
Back on topic: I would support a rules change (if anyone asked my opinion) to allow re-using KoP drivetrains even if the sheet metal parts have been slightly modified; e.g., by cutting to size or drilling a few holes.
Honestly, I don't know if I agree. With the bag going away in 2020, that should make the build season at least 7-8 weeks for all teams. All teams get a full KoP chassis set in the kit with instructions for assembly. For most teams, this takes at most a day or two. For low-resource teams without proper mentorship/training, I could possibly see this taking up to a week. That still leaves 6-7 weeks to build the rest of the robot.

If not having to rebuild the kit chassis is really making that big of a difference in your season, maybe FRC isn't the right program for you. Switching to FTC shouldn't be seen as a downgrade for teams that consistently don't have the resources to be competitive in FRC.
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Unread 12-06-2018, 08:11 AM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

In your competition robot, without significant effort and creativity no, but you know what it is really good for?

TESTING!!!!!

Even if you do not build a fully functional practice bot, just having a rectangle with wheels that you can stick stuff on and push around to try out things like intakes and the like can be super helpful. (you can also use it to play a little defense during practice, or at least park it in the way)
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Unread 12-06-2018, 09:08 AM
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Re: Can We Reuse the Drivetrain?

Quote:
Physical ROBOT elements created before Kickoff are not permitted.
Any opinions on where the line is with this sort of thing? For example, if we take a piece of aluminum square tube off last year's robot and cut it in half during the build season, can we use it on this year's robot? I would think yes. What if we cut it down by 1/8"? Drilled a hole? Filed an edge?
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