My team is considering using a 2005 Globe Motor Gearbox (without the actual 2005 Globe Motor) on our robot. Is this considered COTS?
See the rule discussion in this thread:
Since this year’s [R24] is almost the same as last year’s [R29] it looks like it would be a legal fabricated part as long as you put it together during this year’s build season.
Per [R22] and [R24] I don’t believe that separating the gearbox from the motor and using the gearbox would be allowed. [R48] might also come into play.
[R22] notes that if the device is in its original condition, and was once commonly available from a vendor, it is COTS. But you’re taking the gearbox off—that’s a modification because, at least to my knowledge, the gearbox was never offered separately for sale.
[R24] is a weird rule (and frankly, I think it embodies a mistake). It says you can use old COTS parts, if they’re still in their original condition (or functionally equivalent to that condition). That means that even if you did use a COTS assembly from an old robot, you couldn’t modify it.
[R48] prohibits other motors not listed. The Globe motor is a transfer case motor from GM trucks (GM part number 15636696, Globe Motors part number 409A587), and as such wouldn’t normally be allowed.
To circumvent all of these problems, you might argue that you’re not using the motor part, and hence it’s not a motor—but for a definitive answer on that, you might want to consult the Q&A. Your case would be stronger if you went to a scrap yard and had them sell you only the gearbox—that’s prima facie evidence that the gearbox alone could be available. Hopefully the scrap yard qualifies as a vendor. (Don’t get me started on why the vendor definition is grossly unrealistic.)
Doing this is actually quite easy and makes for a fine, reliable, practically bombproof motor and transmission.
See the link TerryS made to a thread I started last year. It shows the process and result of doing exactly what you are proposing. I even included some calculations of what you get as a usable output with various BB motors. I can tell you right now, at least one of these will be on our robot this year.