Bring Extra Robot to event at "Spare Parts"

We are trying to figure out how far to tear down a practice bot for it to be considered “Spare Parts” and be legal to enter the venue. The goal would be to keep it in as many full pieces as possible while being compliant with the rules.

Seems like the relevant rule here is H102.

In the case of a MK4i Swerve drive, i read this as: if swerve modules are all removed, the rest of the assembly can be brought into the venue and stored in the pit. The swerve modules can be packed separately if desired.

I103 and I104 have some relevance, but our intent is just to have backup parts - not change any sort of configuration out on the field.

It also seems clear that the manufactured assemblies could be used on our robot only (not given to another team to use).

Obviously Chief Delphi is not an official source of rules question, but trying to see what others think.

Are there any relevant rules I’m missing? Has anyone done this before?

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It seems that the litmus test for this has become “can the spare not-quite-robot be drivable in a few minutes? If so, it is a ROBOT”. First is probably looking to prevent and dissociate from the one robot per match strategy some Battlebots teams employ.

The blue box is written from a weirdly differential-drive perspective, but I’ve seen probably a dozen teams post-bag just take off their swerve modules and they don’t have issues other than raised eyebrows. Swerve modules can be installed fairly quickly, but removing them is completely analogous to that blue box.

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Bringing a whole 2nd robot to an event minus a few bits and pieces has still always felt kinda sus to me. Teams bouncing out to the trailer to pull pieces off their practice bot, idk about that either. Its happened for years though so what can you do.

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This would likely violate E401:

E401. *Load in during Load-In. Teams may not bring the ROBOT or ROBOT elements into the event after the designated Load-In period. Exceptions are as follows:
A. exceptions listed in R302 in the FRC Game Manual
B. raw stock
C. COTS items
D. gearboxes attached to associated motor(s)
E. assembled wheels
F. exceptional circumstances that result in a team not being able to make the Load-In time and has made arrangements with Event Management.

The exceptions are complex, but I would summarize them as not permitting major mechanisms or major fabrications.

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This is kind of the first year it’s come up as a question for us.

This year we were lucky enough to have the resources to get 2 robots together - an alpha/practice bot and a comp bot. We don’t “really” have the resources to do that and stock ample amount of extra COTS parts and assemblies. We have extras of the high-risk parts but not all parts

We also want to put the practice/alpha robot back together after comps so we can keep iterating. It’s been really beneficial for our program to have 2 robots and be able to have more students working with the robot.

So I don’t think we have any ill intent. Just trying to get clarity on how far we need to disassemble so that we have stocked spare parts in the pit, by can get it back together quickly for practice after the comp.

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3512 has done this for 2022 and again in 2023 with no issues, both times we had our practice bot chilling in the back of our pit.

In 2022 we removed:

  • WCD gearboxes and all the wheels
  • Intake
  • Shooter
  • L4 climber arms

In 2023 we removed:

  • Swerve modules
  • Elevator carriage + arm + intake assembly

Removing the drivetrain gearbox is enough to satisfy the rules, but we take off additional assemblies to have them as convenient spares. We swapped between intakes 3 times at our first event this year, each time taking off the intake, replacing it with an alternate, and fixing the damage on the broken one off the robot.

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That’s how I would read it too.

I don’t particularly like it either, but it’s right there in the rules. The way I rationalize it in my mind is to think about the difference between having a shelf in the back of the pit with 4 swerve modules on it, and intake on it, an arm on it, and pieces of the super structure on it. All spare parts, all separated out reasonably. I don’t think many would think twice about that (aside from the cost and time investment of creating of all those spare parts). We see spare swerve modules, intakes, etc all the time. What difference is it if those various components are pre-assembled into an “almost-robot”? So long as parts are taken off the “almost-robot” to be used on the ROBOT as spares, there’s really no differences aside from increased disassembly time at competition to get those parts ready to be transferred. I think H102 rules out just swapping the two half way through the competition, although it does bring to mind the Ship of Theseus paradox :slight_smile:

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We brought our second robot as spare parts to our last event, and will do it again at our next event.
As per the rules we removed the drivetrain, (Motors, gearboxes and wheels) and brought them separately.

Many teams tried to argue if we where within the rules or not, most of which hadn’t read the rules fully or completely.

In my $0.02, the rules are very clear as to what you can and can not bring.

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I’ve never understood why we make it harder to repair a robot.

I don’t feel hard done by if you bring one spare everything. (As long as you aren’t using the whole other robot)

Even that disallowed 2008(?) robot with 2 “configurations” that still made weight. Who did that disadvantage?

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I know that 3467 has been bringing their second robot just without the swerve modules this year. I’d assume they also have swerve modules somewhere but don’t know that for a fact.

In years past Ive seen other teams and my own teams break it down like this,

every subsystem can be its own spare part, so if you have an elevator system with an intake, the elevator and intake have to be seperate

at worlds in 2022 our intake broke completely and we had a spare that was mounted by like 8 bolts and one belt, one wire, and 8 bolts later it was replaced.

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This is the way.

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I don’t think that’s accurate. At two different events I’ve seen Windham with a second robot sitting the corner of their pit that had everything on it except for the four swerve modules including all wiring and electrical components. It’s possible that this breaks a rule, but I expect someone would have noticed at one of the two events. Also, TJ^2 had a second arm with an intake attached on it on display at the front of their pit which almost certainly would have been noticed.

I didn’t mean it as if I knew the rules (I dont) just saying what I’ve seen, sorry if it came off wrong

Okay, no problem. There’s a very good chance I’m just sleep deprived right now.

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Simple…bring the parts that you KNOW may not survive FIRST contact (wheels, modules, motors, intakes, and so on…into the venue). I have seen pits with multiple intakes…just chilling for a swift switch. Anything you can put together at home (where you build your bot) or printed…should be allowed when you unload for the event…during the time frame allowed. As for having it 60% done or whatever in the pits…That is kinda interesting…I haven’t seen that…I haven’t been around as much as some…

We have done this at two districts and were not the only team at our events to do so. It has raised some eyebrows, but we keep a copy of rule H102 printed out.

The not a robot has had its claw, swerves, and a few other small items taken off. It would take a while to be ready to hit a field and even longer to pass an inspection. Given the supply chain issues this year, team’s can’t have as many spares on hand like previous years. It’s never powered on for testing or taken to a practice field. It’s a pile of parts.

I would agree with @Duncan_Macdonald - why create rules that make it harder to repair robots.

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In the most literal reading of this, taking off your swerve modules would make it “not a robot”

You can then bring the swerve modules separately.

I feel like this rule needs some refinement, it doesn’t make much sense post-bag with COTS swerve modules in play.

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