Cart restrictions

Are there any restrictions on what we can put on our cart? We want to put a Light strip around the edge and then the part we put our robot on will spin very slowly. Is any of that cutting it close to breaking a rule? Thanks for any help you can give.

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As long as you do not use motors to propel the cart, it would be good. However, I would not recommend the spinning robot. A robot falling off the cart wouldn’t be very good. Additionally, you may want to make a smaller robot cart so it can be used on the field.

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It’s not a very big cart and it has a physical stop in it so it can be used on the field and it only goes about 10 rotations a minute.

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Section 13.6 has rules on robot carts.

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The robot would be rotating at 10RPM?!? Thats pretty fast for the application!

Or do you mean the motor would only be doing 10RPM and would be further gear reduced to slow robot RPM down to sub 1RPM?

I think this is an interesting project. What problem are you trying to solve by making the robot rotate automatically and continuously?

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Its 10 rpm isn’t exact but close, but the reason is one of our alumni thought it could help win awards/ plus it looks sick!

It not specifically against the rules. BUT. If asked by a Que person not to for safety please comply. Pit aisle and queing are congested areas. I can see robot parts snagging on something.

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10 RPM is too fast–that’s one full rotation every 6 seconds. 2-3 RPM would be a better top speed.

That said… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rotating robot display cart help win awards. Those are generally won by talking to the judges and communicating design decisions.

Now, I have seen robot carts with a swiveling platform, non-automatic. Those were set up so the field crew didn’t have to line up a particular way, the platform could just turn to match how they’d brought the robot off the field.

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Like @EricH mentioned - I’m not so sure about winning awards, perhaps it could be considered in combination with other attributes for the Imagery, Judges, or Team Spirit award.

I agree a rotating robot display would be awesome. I’d like to hone-in on that concept though. It sounds like you started with a cool project idea as a solution but didnt finish thinking out the problem.

Who do you want to see it?
What does it do?
Where would you want to display this thing?
When does it need to be done by?

Why should it exist? What does it accomplish or help you accomplish? What problem does it solve?

Knowing answers to who, what, where, when, and importantly why will help you overcome challenges during the project. It will even help guide you in making design choices! For example:

To some other mentors replying to your thread we have a feeling that 10RPM is too fast for a couple of reasons; robot carts can already have a narrow/short wheel base that can already be made unstable by going over cable protectors or floor bumps like carpet, etc…when a 140ish lb robot is on top of the cart. Then if the weight of the robot is not centered in the robot/uniformly distributed, rotating it at that speed could cause the cart to tip over an injure someone. Additionally rotating 1 time every 6 seconds doesn’t sound pleasing to the eye - people when looking at something like to pick out what they find odd or curious and try to figure out what it is/how it works. People need time to study that thing and think about it. If the robot rotates 1 time every 6 seconds then that is not very much time to study something before it goes out of view (potentially 2 seconds), then you are stuck waiting till it comes back around again for a quick glimpse.

Knowing your problem statement deeply and understanding the function with who, what, where, when, why can help you answer these questions, or anticipate them and chose to design it differently, like slowing down the RPM, or deciding that the display doesn’t need to be on the PIT cart, but on a more sturdy display in your teams shop for when sponsor come around!

By no means am I saying you should give up on this project now. Just consider a little more deeply the problem so it can inform your design choices is all! I’m excited to see your teams progress on this project.

I would not run the rotator platform off a battery but instead wall power so it can only run for display in your pit, there isnt any need to have it run any other time.

If it could be spun by hand and lock into place that could be helpful when loading the robot onto it.

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Thank you for everyone’s help i will keep everyone updated on how it goes and I will take everyone’s suggestions. Thank you!

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In light of the above comments, safety first, rule compliant, focus on function, yes, yes and yes.

But I think a few folks may have mis-read “Help our team win an award” as “win an award”. :slight_smile: Anything that your team does that is creative, classy, unique and professional can help make it easier for judges to remember your team and describe your team to other judges… we used to polish many of our visible aluminum components so that the first thing the judges would see on the bot was “shiny”. It put them in the right state of mind for discussing the rest of the robot by the time they got close enough to have a conversation. We didn’t win any awards for “polished aluminum”, but we did okay on judged awards. Every little bit helps!

Heck, put a camera on the cart so that the robot turns to face the greatest concentration of “Blue shirts” in it’s line of view!! :slight_smile: Winning an award isn’t just about having cool features and great design and manufacturing… many teams have that. It’s also about presenting those features in a memorable and meaningful way.

Darn straight a well-done rotating robot cart can help your team win awards!!

Jason

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Thanks for your response so of my teammates were skeptical but someone as experienced as you saying this will be awesome

You are welcome! We often tend to focus on the engineering – which is a good thing – but from a business perspective it doesn’t matter if you build the best mousetrap in the world… you still have to get someone to buy it! FRC isn’t just about building a robot, it is about building a team that can influence and inspire. Quality engineering is part of that, but it isn’t ALL of that!!

And really… even if there were no awards, just build the spinning cart because it is cool and you want to do it. You’ll probably learn something along the way!