Hey all! Our team competed in 2018 in first Power Up, but we took a break for 2019 due to budget constraints. We are on track to compete this year, but we are looking to save some money by opting out of the kit of parts and using our old components, and buying little things here and there such as game pieces. Is it worth it to spring for the kit of parts even if we have old gear that is still working great? Do we know if electronics (such as roborio and power distribution board) from 2018 are still ok to use in this years challenge?
I believe that most to all electronics from 2018 are still legal
Your 2020 registration fee and kit will not include the rookie components. You will need to reuse many of the electronics but the Drive chassis will need to be new and your registration will include one of these unless you opt out in witch case you will need to spend money on a custom chassis. I suggest getting the KOP chassis.
Depending if your in a regional of a district system will define the cost but Rookies registration is more because you got all the electronics. From here on out everyone pays the same for their first event and standard KOP kit. There is no saving money on registration.
AFAIK you can’t “opt-out” of the kit of parts. It’s included with your $5000 registration fee. You can choose to “opt-out” of receiving the Kit of Parts drivetrain, in which case you’ll get a $450 voucher from AndyMark.
You also need to take close case to make sure you don’t violate any rules when reusing parts. Any modified COTS parts will not be legal. If you used the KoP chassis you likely cut it, meaning it’s no longer legal. Anything you assembled (e.g. gearboxes) will need to be disassembled and put back together.
We won’t know until the rules are released for 2020 but you generally cannot reuse modified COTs parts. It is generally accepted that you can reuse scrap metal for different purposes as long as you haven’t modified what ends up on the robot before 2020 Kickoff. They also also changed the Rookie rules (I am not sure based on the wording if you can apply for it). https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/frc/rookie-team-criteria
I wonder if its legal to cut a kitbot drivetrain from a prior season down even further. Probably not, but I can’t think of a great reason why not.
's what this exciting summer thread was all about.
I suppose if you completely disassembled the chassis, cut down all of the side plates, front and back plates, and all churros*, and reassembled it then it could be reused. But at that point you can’t be following any of the instructions for short/square/long configurations. And that’s not even getting into the whole “re-drilling a hole” debate.
* including the churros maintaining the wheel-well spacing
As you said, there’s the whole “re-drilling a hole” or having unused holes from previous years debate issues. But if we assume, for a moment, that those are not an impediment…
You probably don’t need to go quite that far - when assembling it for the first time, you’ll cut some items to the correct size, but others you’ll use as-is. According to page 8 of the instructions, a “wide” or “long” configuration only involves cutting one set of plates - either the sides or the front/back. Those not modified would still be in a COTS condition. Likewise, the churro standoffs between the side plates do not require modification - you never cut them. There could be a debate around modification from the “thread forming screws” used to attach them, though. If so, you can buy 12 new churros of the proper length for $24, out of the $400 PDV you get for opting out.
Your best bet is to go for a wide configuration the first year, as that does not involved changing your side plates. The second year you would decrease the width by 1 hole (1/2", I believe), along with the churros through the middle of the robot, making the resulting robot have a 1" smaller frame perimeter. Alternatively, you could buy new end plates for $23 each and have the exact same size robot. Inner and outer rail plates are $25 and $24 each, respectively.
Given all of that, in the worst case of preventing reuse you can still reuse the wheels, axles, gearboxes, pulleys, belts, nuts, and bolts, etc. Buy new end plates and inner/outer rail plates and new churros - you spend under $200 out of the $400 PDV, so you come out ahead.
Maybe this is a silly question but who on earth does this level of gymnastics benefit?
Or, put simpler, “Ok, but why?”
Is it too edgy if I say “The company that makes a drivetrain with mandatory modifications needed to have it be usable in its intended use case”?
I’m not trying to accuse AM of bad business practices, especially since donating thousands of dollars worth of equipment to robotics teams every year is hardly a bad business practice, but the fact that the rules don’t let teams reuse items that need to be modified to be used in the first place has always bothered me.
Thanks! This is exactly the answer I was looking for. Our KOP chassis was modified pretty heavily from 2018 so it looks like we’ll need the new KOP drive train for this year so we don’t violate any COTS related rules.
Hey! Thanks for the response. Looks like we’ll be getting the KOP chassis then, and we’ll be careful when it comes to reusing parts from past seasons.
There are several months before Kickoff. If your team gets to work fundraising now, you will have many more options available to you in the Build Season.