Any restrictions on engines?

I was thinking of putting on an engine on the robot but wasn’t sure before I put it all on.

Um…if we’re talking competition robot then yes…

You will have to wait until this year rules are released but in previous seasons the answer has been no other power source besides the battery and energy stored by deformation of parts (like springs) or by changing the position of the robot.

2012 Rule Below:

The only legal source of electrical energy for the Robot during the competition is one MK ES17-12 12VDC non-spillable lead acid battery, or one EnerSys NP 18-12 battery, as provided in the 2012 KOP. This is the only battery allowed on the Robot.

Batteries integral to and part of a COTS computing device are also permitted (i.e. laptop batteries), provided they’re only used to power the COTS computing device and any peripheral COTS USB input devices connected to the COTS computing device.

Non-electrical sources of energy used by FRC Robots, (i.e., stored at the start of a Match), shall come only from the following sources:

A. Compressed air stored in the pneumatic system, stored at a maximum pressure of 120 PSI.

B. A change in the altitude of the Robot center of gravity.

C. Storage achieved by deformation of Robot parts.

Look at [R36] in the 2012 rules to see what sources of energy are allowed (hint: it does not list any engines). Also see [R48] for a list of motors allowed on the robot.

This is [R48], it says which motors are legal on the robots.

The only motors and actuators permitted on 2012 FRC Robots include:
up to 4 CIM motors (part #FR801-001, M4-R0062-12, AM802-001A, 217-200, PM25R-44F-1005 or PMR25R-45F-1003),
up to 4, in any combination, of the BaneBots motors provided in the KOP (acceptable part numbers are M7-RS775-12, M7-RS775-18, M5-RS550-12, M5-RS550-12-B, and M3-RS395-12),
up to 2 window motors (acceptable part #s are 262100-3030 and 262100-3040),
up to 2 FisherPrice motors (acceptable part #s are 000968-9012, 00968-9013, 00801-0673, and 00968-9015),
up to 2 AndyMark motors (acceptable part # is am-0912),
up to 2 AndyMark gearmotors (acceptable part # is am-0914),
up to 2 Denso throttle control motors (acceptable part # AE235100-0160)
up to 2 VEX motors (acceptable part # 276-2177)
up to 2 window lift, seat, windshield wiper or door motors obtained through either the FIRST-Automotive Recyclers Association partnership or from a prior years’ KOP.

…and of course we all know the difference between a motor and an engine, right?

Going out on a limb here but I would guess that combustion engines and rocket engines are not legal next year

Don, the answer is no. But after a google search, appears an engine converts a chemical energy into motion, a motor converts electrical energy into motion.

There’s your problem

The definition I’ve always heard is that an engine burns fuel, while a motor is a general term for a component that does work. For example, it is perfectly acceptable to say “my car’s motor won’t start,” but not technically correct to call what’s under the hood of a Tesla an engine.

Since I drive a Prius, there is a very important difference between saying “there’s a problem with my engine” and “there’s a problem with my motor”!

This definition leaves out steam engines, stirling engines, and perhaps others.

Maybe: an engine takes advantage of differences in pressure, specific volume, and/or temperature to do useful work on a system.

Go with a Big Block. The torque is awesome and you cant beat the sound of a built Big Block with a high lift cam and some open headers. A blower would be a nice addition as well.

Good luck getting past the inspector.

the best answer i found was

“A motor is converting electric energy into mechanical energy. A engine is converting chemical energy into mechanical energy.”

and thus brings up the question of why was detroit called motor city when it produced cars which are powered by engines?

Hmmmm troll avatar, really really foolish question.


  • He thinks that the manual is A a paper paper weight or B useful for starting a fire

Troll Police 1-2-3

Obvious troll is obvious

A steam or sterling engine would burn some material which would then heat water. On the other hand, I do like the idea of a pressure change being used to do work as part if the definition. That’s probbably a more widely acceptable definition.

This definition leaves out steam engines, stirling engines, and perhaps others.

Maybe: an engine takes advantage of differences in pressure, specific volume, and/or temperature to do useful work on a system.

I agree that the chemical energy to mechanical energy definition is flawed. I think that in general an engine converts thermal energy into mechanical energy, but then again that may be just a heat engine.

The best explanation I’ve seen basically goes as follows:

All engines are motors, but not all motors are engines.

To be an engine, it must be a machine/mechanism (i.e., moving parts) that serves as an energy source.


Electric Motor - It has moving parts, but the energy source (the battery) is not part of it, thus it isn’t an engine.

Combustion Engine - It has moving parts and gasoline is burned inside, therefore it IS an engine.

Solid Rocket Motor - It serves as an energy source (burning fuel inside of itself), but it has no moving parts, thus it isn’t an engine.

Liquid Rocket Engine - It serves as an energy source (burning fuel inside of itself), and there are tons of moving parts (turbomachinery), therefore it IS an engine.

I love how the trolling thread has been derailed into something useful.

Let’s make a list:
Electric motor
Rocket motor
Molecular motor
Motor neuron

Gasoline engine
Jet engine
Steam engine
Stirling engine
Search engine

I remember reading a model rocketry book which was adamant that the propulsion was a “rocket motor”, and not a “rocket engine”. But I see now that Estes calls them “engines”.
Wikipedia treats “motor” and “engine” as effectively synonymous, at least until someone here goes and edits the article.

A rough rule of thumb I have heard for rockets is that solid and hybrid rocket engines can be called motors without anyone looking at you funny. However a liquid rocket engine cannot be called a motor without someone raising their eyebrows.

All I know is I have an outboard engine on my motorboat… :rolleyes: