Adding, removing, then adding a part

This year, Team 4961 has a mechanism designed to grab RC’s from the center step. However, this mechanism is preventing us from properly getting totes from the landfill.

My question is: can we add and remove the part at will during an event? If we are inspected with the mechanism are we allowed to remove it if we feel the need? Or will we need to be re-inspected every time we add/remove it?

If you initially inspect with all modular parts to your robot, provided all of this doesn’t weigh in over 120lbs, and (maybe) prove all configurations are safe, you won’t have to reinspect each time you want to change your robot.

Alternatively, yes, you can just reinspect each time. YMMV with the RI’s when doing that though :slight_smile:

Easy answer: just have it inspected in each configuration. As long as the sum of the configurable parts is not >120 lbs you’re fine.

Every time you add or remove components, please get inspected. At FIM events inspectors keep tab of weight changes and not very pleased when they find out your weight has changed at the end of qualifications they have no record of it. Its not about how much has changed (as long as total weight is with in limit), rather its about process.

If you weigh in with all components you intend on using, you don’t have to go through the full re-inspection process every time.

Then one should make sure that no part/material from outside the pre-weighed stock is used. Or adding such parts does not exceed the 120 lbs limit.

The rule is pretty clear.

Robot +sub system <120lb. Inspect once. change out as desired. Make sure the inspector is aware of the different configurations. Especially if you are adding/removing something conspicuous. Have him note on on the inspection form. For example our spare set of grippers was weighed with & inspected with the robot so we could use them without reinspection.

Robot +sub system > 120lb Reinspect every time unless subsystem is an identical direct replacement.

Gaining weight is the problem. RI’s are more forgiving when loosing weight. In theory, in loosing weight, the robot can become unsafe. However, if you remove an arm, and your robot is still safe, most likely no one will complain.

Best to weigh with all the parts you want (assuming you can fit it all into the 120# limit), and when you are inspected, show all possible configurations to the RI. Then, you are free to use whichever of the configurations you want.

If all the variations do not fit into the 120# limit, then you need to reinspect whenever you add parts from what was not in the 120# set when you last weighed.

I agree with this, and re-read the rules just to be clear. My initial comments were focused around the new parts team fabricates or uses a prefab part which was not weighed.

According to our drive team, the rule is different here at Essex.

We have a ramp that we would potentially not use if 2 other alliance members needed to use the feed stations. The drive team is under the impression based on RI comments that the robot would have to be re-inspected if they unhooked the ramp from the robot and did not place the ramp on the field.

I pointed out rule T.10, section F to our drive team. If they are really concerned about the re-inspection they will get an official ruling. I would think the worst case scenario is get the robot inspected twice, once with the ramp and once without. I can’t imagine the robot needs to be inspected every time the ramp is added/removed from the robot.

Or, it could just be their mis-understanding too :slight_smile:


^^ see this ^^

Verified this rule after my initial response. However depending on LRI, it may be little different. I have seen inspectors asking how the weight changed from previous weight check, at FIM everytime robot is weighed they make a note of it. Even if the weight has gone down. My recommendation is always talk to inspector who is incharge of weighing machine.

Just to clarify, adding/changing mechanical parts does not require full robot inspection.

Rule T10 governs this.

The rule also includes a Blue Box with six examples; these are definitely worth reading.

If this really is a problem at Essex (shouldn’t be, but should isn’t always would), you could just include a mount for the ramp and tether on the robot that keeps it out of the way (e.g. in the transport configuration) and mount it there when you work the landfill, and place it on the floor when working the chute.

I was quite surprised by the inspectors at FiM Escanaba this year. They made announcements and passed out flyers to each team saying that every time a team added or removed a tethered ramp they would need to be reinspected or ‘face serious consequences’.

We didnt use a ramp so it didnt affect us, but I was still rather erked that they were making other teams follow that impromptu rule when the written rules clearly allow for subsystems to be swapped so long at the total weight is under 120lbs and they were all inspected.

I do like that they are trying to monitor teams legality through the event rather than just once and done. I think they just took it one step too far at Escanaba…

Another impromptu rule here at Essex (unless I missed it in an update) is that the teams DO NOT have to have their robot in transport configuration onto the field. If they are queued, they are allowed to put together their robot. Same with leaving the field - they can take the robot off the field when components are outside the transport configuration.

I’ve seen teams walking into the pits carrying pieces of the robot while the main robot is on the cart.

Did I miss an announcement around rule T6 that this was now allowed?

And just one other thing. This is our second regional. The robot itself is in the exact same configuration as it was at the FLR. At Essex, our first RI asked us to move the RSL because he didn’t like that from some angles our sponsor stickers blocked the light. No problem. We move it to WHERE THE RI TOLD US TO PUT IT. After we move it, a new RI tells us we need to move it again because it can’t be seen from every angle if you walk around the robot. We moved it again because it was quicker and easier to do that than try and get an official ruling on it.

I suppose we could (should) have quoted R54(a) which states that the RSL must be visible when standing 3’ in front of the robot. I think it probably was. Sure, seeing it from every angle is a noble goal but not really a requirement.

We’ve always gone to the FLR. Our rules experience there has been great. How common are different interpretations of rules at different regionals?

A re-inspection is as simple as waving down a guy in a green hat, putting your robot on the scale, and getting a thumbs-up from the inspector. We got reinspected every time we changed configuration and it took no more than a few minutes each time. Not a big deal at all.

Green? I could have sworn all the RI hats were neon yellow…

First realize there is a wide range of experience of inspectors. The need for re-inspection was heavily emphasized at the 3 regionals I competed in or inspected at. But T9 is very clear.

T9 At the time of Inspection, the ROBOT must be presented with all MECHANISMS (including all COMPONENTS of each however, for a ROBOT to play MATCHES with a subset of the MECHANISMS that were present during Inspection. Only MECHANISMS that were present during the Inspection may be added, removed or reconfigured between MATCHES. If
MECHANISMS are changed between MATCHES the reconfigured ROBOT must still meet all Inspection criteria.

T10 does not enter into unless you are adding new mechanism or modifications. As long as your robot passed inspection with the ramp (mechanism), you are allowed to play with it or without without re-inspection. Something as obvious as a ramp, I would ask the inspector note the multiple configurations on the inspection form, but that is not technically required. As with any disagreement with an inspector, ask respectfully & graciously to verify the question with the lead robot inspector. The LRI essentially has the final say of far as the teams are concerned. So if the LRI is misinterpreting a rule, you still need to follow their interpretation. Something this blatant, that could have an effect on game play, I would be inclined to give feedback to FRCTEAMS & in the post event survey.

Different events require different rules on documenting re-inspections. The ones I was at required an inspector signature on a form documenting the change & new weight.

The rules about being being in transport configuration until you are on the field have not changed. Some events may have relaxed them to speed field reset times. Presumably they would get permission from First to do so.

Yeah, neon yellow. That weird florescent color. Point being, they’re easy to find if you need them.