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Unread 03-06-2014, 10:56 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

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Originally Posted by BBray_T1296 View Post
I will say though it is a very popular strategy which I doubt will be ceased this year by teams I see doing this year after year.
FIRST could make this issue go away if they just issued a rule clarification that the 45 pounds of withholding allowance must be located within the pit at the time a team opens their bagged robot.

There will always be a point in your FIRST experience when you realize you can get away with something that is against the rules. It is at that point when you have a choice to make about your own personal ethics, and what sort of example you will set for your students.

Now, if you are convinced that teams at the regionals you attend are knowingly flaunting the withholding rules, you do have several options.
- What should work: Talk to the coach of the team personally. Explain that you noticed that they seem to be violating a rule. Show them a printout of the rule and the QA response. In a perfect world, just knowing that someone is watching will motivate them to change their behavior.
- The theoretically correct way: Report them to the head referee before competition starts and hope the situation is corrected.
- The nasty way: Video record them removing fabricated robot parts from their trailer and bringing them into the arena. After their next match, send a student with a laptop to the question box. Play the video for the referee and request that the team be cited for breaking the withholding rule. Because they used an illegal part, their robot technically hasn't passed inspection. Since they played without passing inspection, their entire alliance gets a red card.
- The non-confrontational way: Do nothing. Hope that eventually karma will catch up to them.
- The way that sets the worst possible example for your students: Do the same thing, because, "Everybody does it, and if they can do it, we can too."

Looking at it from the other side, the violators may truly not know they are doing anything wrong. A few couple years ago, we took a shaft back to our hotel. During a team meeting in the lobby, we used a needle file to fit a key to the shaft keyway. I know we were observed doing this by other teams walking past, but no one said anything. A couple weeks later, I came across the rule that said all work must be performed in the pits. I was mortified, and won't let anything like that happen ever again. But I wish someone had let us know that we were breaking a rule. It's easy to assume other people are willingly doing something wrong when that might not be the case.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 10:57 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

Keep the practice robot offsite (in a trailer, at the shop, whatever). If you need things from it AND you have the weight to spare, go get your parts off of it, bring them in, make a note of how much they weighed and how much weight you have left, and don't go over.

I don't see this as violating any rules, spirit or otherwise. You still have the same limits as everyone else. Teams have done this for years. You only get access to 45 pounds of stuff, you jut choose what stuff to use when you need it.
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Last edited by Chris is me : 03-06-2014 at 11:00 AM.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:03 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
Keep the practice robot offsite (in a trailer, at the shop, whatever). If you need things from it AND you have the weight to spare, go get your parts off of it, bring them in, make a note of how much they weighed and how much weight you have left, and don't go over.

I don't see this as violating any rules, spirit or otherwise. You still have the same limits as everyone else. Teams have done this for years. You only get access to 45 pounds of stuff, you jut choose what stuff to use when you need it.
Like I said before, I don't think this falls under the "static" definition. While at the competition, your 45 lb witholding allowance is now changing dynamically each time you bring in a new part. With that said, my word is in no way official, and I would ask the inspector at the competition if what you are doing falls under the rules.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:05 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

I guess the questions is what defines the event? If it's in the building it counts. Does in the parking lot count? how about 3 blocks away? 4 miles? 250 miles?

If we sent someone to our shop to make a part for our team or another team that is against the rules as well? The definition is vague and causes problems.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:05 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by notmattlythgoe View Post
Like I said before, I don't think this falls under the "static" definition. While at the competition, your 45 lb witholding allowance is now changing dynamically each time you bring in a new part. With that said, my word is in no way official, and I would ask the inspector at the competition if what you are doing falls under the rules.
The set is static, you just don't define the set at unbag time. Ie if 45 pounds got me 4 assemblies, once we bring these in we cannot exchange them for other parts wherever we get them.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:05 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by notmattlythgoe View Post
Like I said before, I don't think this falls under the "static" definition. While at the competition, your 45 lb witholding allowance is now changing dynamically each time you bring in a new part. With that said, my word is in no way official, and I would ask the inspector at the competition if what you are doing falls under the rules.
...and if you want to use the don't ask, don't tell logic about asking then you know it is wrong.

....which it is.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:06 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by notmattlythgoe View Post
Like I said before, I don't think this falls under the "static" definition. While at the competition, your 45 lb witholding allowance is now changing dynamically each time you bring in a new part. With that said, my word is in no way official, and I would ask the inspector at the competition if what you are doing falls under the rules.
What about COTS items.

It's a whole lot of work to remove all the COTS items from a practice bots for spares ahead of time.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:07 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

I can see both ways satisfying the definition if "static". "Access" is another word that might swing the argument. Q&A it!
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:07 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
The set is static, you just don't define the set at unbag time. Ie if 45 pounds got me 4 assemblies, once we bring these in we cannot exchange them for other parts wherever we get them.
Quote:
static set of FABRICATED ITEMS that shall not exceed 45 lbs
That set exceeds 45 lbs though and by your description would be illegal. And by not defining them at unbag time you are creating a dynamic set that can change.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:09 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

This is ridiculous. If you intend to bring a whole robot's worth of spare parts to the competition, and keep them offsite, thus bypassing a clear rule in both letter and spirit, then go ahead and go all the way: don't bag your bot. Keep working on it after Bag & Tag day! Fix it until it's perfect. Modify it (or better yet, rebuild it entirely) based on what you see in the reveal videos and early rounds of competition. Then bag it the night before you leave for your regional, and backdate the robot lockout form. You and your team will be the only ones that know...

If that's how you play.

The purpose of Bag & Tag and the withholding allowance are to emphasize that this is a competition in which the honesty and honor of the teams are on public display. The winners of the competition are those that worked the hardest, pushed themselves the most, and had some good luck. The rest of us can go home proud of our best efforts, or wowed by the levels that are possible to reach, ready to try harder next year.

I am discouraged to know that there are so many who don't intend to play this way. Not for the my sake, or the sake of my team. We will do our best within the rules, and win or lose will be proud. I'm worried and upset for those of you who don't see the damage that you are doing to the students under your guidance and care.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:09 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
Keep the practice robot offsite (in a trailer, at the shop, whatever). If you need things from it AND you have the weight to spare, go get your parts off of it, bring them in, make a note of how much they weighed and how much weight you have left, and don't go over.

I don't see this as violating any rules, spirit or otherwise. You still have the same limits as everyone else. Teams have done this for years. You only get access to 45 pounds of stuff, you jut choose what stuff to use when you need it.
By this logic, if there was a team with unlimited budget, they could build a dozen robots in different configurations and load them all in a semi-trailer and bring them to the event. Once they see how the game is being played, they can go out to the trailer and select the best mechanisms for the game and bring them inside and put them on their robot? Somehow I don't think this is what FIRST had in mind with the withholding rule.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:09 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
The set is static, you just don't define the set at unbag time. Ie if 45 pounds got me 4 assemblies, once we bring these in we cannot exchange them for other parts wherever we get them.
This is how I read it also. But just in case I think my team are just going to take the high risk parts (intakes) off the proto and bring them in.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:11 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrnoble View Post
This is ridiculous. If you intend to bring a whole robot's worth of spare parts to the competition, and keep them offsite, thus bypassing a clear rule in both letter and spirit, then go ahead and go all the way: don't bag your bot. Keep working on it after Bag & Tag day! Fix it until it's perfect. Modify it (or better yet, rebuild it entirely) based on what you see in the reveal videos and early rounds of competition. Then bag it the night before you leave for your regional, and backdate the robot lockout form. You and your team will be the only ones that know...

If that's how you play.

The purpose of Bag & Tag and the withholding allowance are to emphasize that this is a competition in which the honesty and honor of the teams are on public display. The winners of the competition are those that worked the hardest, pushed themselves the most, and had some good luck. The rest of us can go home proud of our best efforts, or wowed by the levels that are possible to reach, ready to try harder next year.

I am discouraged to know that there are so many who don't intend to play this way. Not for the my sake, or the sake of my team. We will do our best within the rules, and win or lose will be proud. I'm worried and upset for those of you who don't see the damage that you are doing to the students under your guidance and care.
Your hyperbole and continued assumption of the "spirit" of this rule aren't really helping the conversation.

You are free to operate in your own frame of reference, but not to judge others operating outside of yours. The truth is none of us will know the real answer to the question until a specific Q&A question is asked and answered.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:14 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
Teams have done this for years. You only get access to 45 pounds of stuff, you jut choose what stuff to use when you need it.
Chris, you've been around enough to know that just because things were legal in prior years, doesn't mean they are legal this year.

In my opinion, the addition of 'access to' and 'static' in this year's rules makes it pretty clear that bringing your entire practice robot to the parking lot and picking and choosing your 45 pounds based on what you need (or what breaks), is illegal.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 11:14 AM
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Re: Were to store practice bot at regional?

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Originally Posted by JamesCH95 View Post
This is the core of why bringing a practice bot and stripping off parts is illegal.

The rule says: At an Event, Teams may have access to a static set of FABRICATED ITEMS that shall not exceed 45 lbs.

Emphasis mine.

If you can go to your trailer and get a part from a practice bot, that's access. If you have access, or potential access, to more than 45lbs worth of parts you are in violation of the rule.
So you're telling me that 125 needs to make sure we only have 45 lbs of spare parts in our lab for Northeastern because our lab is AT the venue? Yeah lemme get right on NOT doing that.

Of course, I've always felt the 45 lbs is upgrade parts. 1 to 1 replacement parts shouldn't count since they are functionally equivalent to parts you bagged. (This isn't how the rule is, it's just how I think it should be)
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