2020 Robot and Inspection Rules Changes

This topic is to discuss and share changes to the robot construction rules (recently rules with labels starting with the letter R, and others in that chapter outside of numbered rules) and Inspection rules (Starting with the letter I) between 2019 and 2020. As with all CD topics/threads, this is posted and shared and discussed UNofficially; nothing here is FRC official. That said, my intent is to keep this as realistic as possible by tracking Team Updates and Q&As throughout the season, with adequate links for substatiation. I plan to keep this post my own domain for the next 20 hours or so, but to convert it to a wiki sometime Saturday evening (US central time) so that this first post can be maintained as the community understanding of the rules. For tonight (Friday), I’m assuming that the Robot Rules will follow the same general categories as last year. If not, I’ll adjust tomorrow afternoon (US central time). Tonight, I’ll just post the pre-release rules, but sometime tomorrow afternoon (possibly in multiple steps) I’ll incorporate other changes. My intent is to credit anyone who posts corrections or omissions with an @name, whether provided in-topic or by PM unless you ask otherwise.
10 Robot Construction Rules
No pre-season changes.
10.1 Overview
No pre-season changes.
10.2 General Robot Design.
No pre-season changes.
10.3 Robot Safety & Damage Prevention
No pre-season changes.
10.4 Budget Contstraints and Fabrication

Each team’s KoP is more clearly specified to be what the team actually received this year, plus the contents of the rookie tote; mostly meaningful for BoM exemptions.
Software added to BoM schedule and $500 exclusion rule. One IMU and Rockwell automation sensors are BoM exempt.
The pre-kickoff work exclusions have been relaxed. Exceptions are now additionally allowed for COTS items with non-functional decoration or labeling; assembly of COTS items per manufacturer specs, unless the result constitutes a MAJOR MECHANISM; work that would reasonably be accomplished in fewer than 30 minutes with the use of handheld tools.
[R15] Design publication rule for pre-developed designs were expanded to explicitly include mechanical and electrical designs.
Stop Build Day is no more, but there will be additional normative language regarding safety
and fatigue in the manual.
The ROBOT definition has been tweaked: A ROBOT is an electromechanical assembly built by the FIRST Robotics Competition team to play the current season’s game and includes all the basic systems required to be an active participant in the game –power, communications, control, BUMPERS, and movement about the field.
R17-R23 from the 2019 manual have been removed, replaced with a new R16 which prohibits teams from working on their robot during an event the team is attending except in the pits during pit hours, software development [any time], and battery charging during load in.
10.5 Bumper Rules
No pre-season changes.
10.6 Motors & Actuators
No official rules, but anticipate new motors/controllers:
10.7 Power Distribution
No pre-season changes.
10.8 Control, Command & Signals System
No pre-season changes.
10.9 Pneumatics System
No pre-season changes.
10.10 Operator Console
No pre-season changes.

The new I1 “It’s your team’s ROBOT” limits “cheesecaking”. The bottom line is that The ROBOT and its MAJOR MECHANISMS must be built by the team.
A MAJOR MECHANISM is a group of COMPONENTS and/or MECHANISMS assembled together to address at least one (1) game challenge:robot movement, game piece control, field element manipulation, or performance of a scorable task.
Personally, I expect a bunch of Q&As over this new concept, but I think it’ll basically come down to RI/LRI judgement in situ. [I know what pornography is when I see it.]
I3/R5: Bring it all to inspection: It appears that the “variations inspected” robot may total 150#, though R5 will prescribe a smaller “on field” weight (125# in 2019).
I4 [reinspection] is similar to last year, but I5 [don’t exploit I4] has been added to keep teams from using the re-inspection process of I4 to circumvent I3 weight limits.
Load-in after the normal team load-in now allows gearboxes attached to motors and assembled wheels.
There’s also a new rule apparently intended to keep teams not attending an event from leveraging event resources which may compromise host teams; awaiging clarification.

And a related rule was released pre-kickoff:
C5. Enteronly one (1) ROBOT.Each registered FIRSTRobotics Competition team may enter only one (1) ROBOT (or ‘Robot’, a ROBOT-like assembly equipped with most of its drive base, i.e. its MAJOR MECHANISM that enables it to move around a FIELD) into a 2020 FIRSTRobotics Competition Event.

First blush: Apart from things we already knew (e.g. new motors and controllers, simplified fan rules, and the changes to the BOM and fabrication schedule and software version numbers), I only had a few takeaways. I will spend more time this afternoon comparing in greater detail.

  • R3. A ROBOT’S STARTING CONFIGURATION may not have a FRAME PERIMETER greater than 120 in. (~304 cm) and may not be more than 45 in. (~114 cm) tall.
  • R4. ROBOTS may not extend more than 12 in. (~30 cm) beyond their FRAME PERIMETER (see Figure 9-1)
  • R13 Blue Box tidbits:
  • If COTS parts were sourced in bulk, the cost may be scaled proportionally to assess the Fair Market Value of one unit.
  • The Fair Market Value of software licensed free-of-cost, including through the Virtual KOP, for use on the ROBOT is $0.
  • R24a Robot BUMPERS must … be backed by ¾ in. (nominal) thick (~19mm) by 5 in. ± ½ in. (~127 mm ± 12.7 mm) tall plywood, Oriented Strand Board (OSB) or solid wood (with the exception of balsa).
  • R30, row 2: AndyMark 9015; VEXpro BAG … up to 2 per controller
  • I3: …(note that while up to 150 lbs. of ROBOT MECHANISMS may be inspected together, the ROBOT configuration used in a MATCH may not violate R5 [125lb])…

Thanks GeeTwo!