Al's Annual Inspection Thread 2013

Here is the link to the Inspection Checklist, it’s also linked on the Competition Manual page on the FIRST web site

There a few things you can do before you get to Bag and Tag and have to deal with the inspectors :smiley:

  1. Remember ONE wire per Wago.
  2. Sharp edges. Remove them. I don’t like to see blood, especially my own :ahh:
  3. Make sure your 120 Amp breaker (that switch that turns your robot on/off) should be easily accessible. I ask the teams what would happen if your robot started smoking and nobody could reach the switch to turn your robot off? Weiney roast.
  4. Review the wire color coding and size.
  5. If you are using a camera, make sure it is isolated from the frame. To check, get a multimeter/ohmmeter and check for continuity from the frame to the PD battery post. It should read over 10k Ohms.

All teams should be familiar with Bag and Tag now, but there are still teams every year that don’t have their form easily available when they get to the venue - get a plastic sheet protector and tape it to your bag, then put the form in there!

My list of items every team should check now, while they still have time to fix them:

  • Check that the FRAME PERIMETER is <= 112”
    This does NOT include minor protrusions like bolt heads.

  • Check the starting configuration
    Everything on the robot must be within the vertical projection of the FRAME PERIMETER
    This can be checked by pushing the robot against the wall

  • Check that the weight of the robot is <= 120 lbs, and the weight of the bumpers is <= 20 lbs.

  • Check that all motors are on the legal motor list
    Make sure there are no Fisher Price motors, and compare all motors to Table 4-1.

  • Perform a basic check of the electrical system
    Use a multimeter to ensure the chassis is electrically isolated.
    Check for appropriate wire gauge sizes

  • Perform a basic check on any pneumatic systems
    Ensure proper stored and working pressure
    Check the system against the minimum system shown in R79

  • Ensure the robot has appropriate belaying points (required for every team)
    These can be eyelets with a ¾” opening or exposed structural members
    If you doubt the robot can be supported by these points, have the team lift it
    Be extremely strict about sharp edges near the belaying point
    Suggest wrapping edges of the belaying point in duct tape, if frame is used

  • Check that the battery is secure
    Think about what would happen to the battery if the robot was upside down

Any advice for a first time robot inspector? I would be particularly interested in any threads or documentation that has more examples on what is and is not legal for bumpers this year. i am not sure I know what is really acceptable for a corner climbing robot.

Wow! Absolutely nothing in there about safety shields for high speed rotating equipment.

Given the number of shooters that will be running wheels at several times their design speed, I really expected something about “high speed rotating mechanisms are shielded to reduce the likelihood of injury during testing or in the case of failure of a rotating component”.

I mean R08 covers the general concept:

ROBOT parts shall not be made from hazardous materials, be unsafe, cause an unsafe condition, or interfere with the operation of other ROBOTS.

But I was hoping for something more specific, so that all teams would know, in advance, that exposed shooter wheels likely “cause an unsafe condition”.


And my favorite… check for sharp edges and burrs and file them down or tape them up so they don’t cut anyone.

A colleague of mine would tell me he’d always have the kids wash and polish their drag car (inside and out, including the engine) before going to a race. It always helped with tech inspection because first of all it meant that the kids had been over the car and had looked at all the little things, but it also meant that when the inspectors walked up to the car they had a positive impression that care, attention and professionalism had gone into the details.

Teams that take care of the little things often have much less trouble with the big things!


Anyone of us can ask specific questions but to list everything we have seen over the years would close CD down. Teams are very creative…

After taking a brief look over the form, I’d like to point out that Kickoff was January 5th, 2013.

Oh yeah? Prove it! :stuck_out_tongue:

Please ask yourself…“If my robot is on fire and the pneumatics are randomly activating, is my main breaker someplace that I want to put MY hand?” (same question for your manual air release). If your answer is “no” then probably everyone else thinks the same.

Make sure your battery has a secure mount, wouldn’t want it to fall off while (whilst?) 30pt climbing. Keep your electrical systems organized and labeled efficiently. The less time it takes inspectors to go through your robot, the better their impression of your team (and the less things they find wrong :smiley: .) And don’t forget to be kind and friendly, there is a lot of stress during inspection and it makes things simpler for both sides.

What do you mean absolutely nothing about safety shields? ^ there it is :smiley:

Remember that the Robot Inspectors are your friends and are there to help you. If we find something wrong, with your robot, don’t take in personnal.

Now that everyone has bagged their robot using the official FRC bag and secure seal tag, you are good to go right? Not quite yet.
One of the biggest issues for inspectors every year with B&T is having teams produce the B&T forms. You should have filled this item out when you bagged the robot on Tuesday. Now is the time to make copies and insure that the original goes to someone who will be moving with the robot to competition. On a number of occasions, we have had teams with the form in the hands of a teacher who didn’t travel with the team or the team captain who got the flu just before the competition. If you want to maximize your time on practice day, be sure to have the form handy when you arrive.

This year, the new rules will confuse some people. At this time, all robots must have two belay points on their chassis. It doesn’t matter if you can’t climb or intend to climb or even wish to climb, you must have them on the robot to pass inspection.

While there are a lot of motors on the allowed list this year, some past motors are no longer legal. Now is the time to check if your motors are on the allowed list and be prepared to change them at competition if they are not. Notably, the Globe motor and Fisher Price motors are no longer legal. The motors must be identifiable so no painting or other than allowed modifications are legal.

Bumpers…Every year this is a problem. We have gone to great lengths to simplify this. Bumpers must cover 8" of frame on either side of any exterior corner. Bumpers can be built after stop build, they do not count towards the 30lb allowance of parts to be carried in at competition.

First has tried to think of everything you might come up with in design and planned for that. However, you are really good and sometimes there are things that we didn’t think of. The Q&A is your friend. If you thought of something, I bet someone else did too and already asked the question. If it was of some great importance, FRC also added it to a Team Update. Now is the time to check through both of these resources. Inspectors will have up to date lists of items that affect your robot construction. Each week they will be inspecting for these items. If needed, a revised inspection checklist (also available on the First website) will be issued.

That is all for this installment. Good Luck everyone.

The best way I’ve seen to avoid forgetting your form is to securely attach it to your bag! Get some duct tape and tape a sheet protector to the bag. Slide the form into the sheet protector and you’ll never forget it.

Please note, that if you’re transporting your robot to competition in the back of a truck or on an uncovered trailer, you’ll want to keep wind in mind… You don’t want the form blowing away while cruising down the highway 100 miles from competition!

ditto to that! I’m also noticing a lot of this in videos (some labeled as reveal) with no wheel covers.

I’m having flashbacks to breakaway when we spent precious manhours making sure we didn’t allow balls under our bot only to have FIRST decide that as long as a whole lot of people are doing it, then lets not follow the rules…

If you are transporting your robot this way, please cover it up.
Last year, at SMR, a team brought their bot in a truck bed. They also used aluminum duct work for the basketballs. The ducts shredded their bag and it took awhile for them to get inspected.
Also, I hope you didn’t put your B&T sheet inside the bag with the robot :ahh:

After pre-inspecting a team I would also encourage every team to look at their robots in the bag and see that they have the right wireless bridge. Veteran teams really need to make sure that they use the bridge that they got in the kop to pass. The old rev. A bridge will not pass inspection this year. I would also like to remind teams to update their drive stations.

The best way to get through inspections quickly is to go into the thursday of regionals with a plan. Make a list of every thing that your team will have to do to get through inspections. Be safe and do not get in a hurry when you do start making these changes and you will have a successful thursday.::safety::

Add me to the list for this one too. I think this could be a major safety issue. I’ve seen a few with wheels/discs spinning UN-captured or UN-encapsulated at very high RPM’s that are probably beyond tolerances of the wheels/discs.

I will bring this up but consider that rotating devices do come under the Safety Rule
ROBOT parts shall not be made from hazardous materials,** be unsafe, cause an unsafe condition**, or interfere with the
operation of other ROBOTS.

A greater concern is materials used for friction on the rotating device. Please be sure that you have chosen wisely when you assembled your spinner/wheel/tire. Some of the wheels used in the past are not meant for the high RPM you may be running on your shooter.

We built a curved 1/8" thick aluminum guard for our high speed pneumatic wheel so we wouldn’t have problems during inspection because this had been mentioned in another thread.