Chain Covers

Say I have a part that moves with chains, not the drive system. Say it’s a bar that swings around by a chain system, do those chains and sprockets need to be covered up(do the rules make you)? For example with lexan?

Last year I thought that this would be something that the judges would really look out for, seeing all of these safety regulations that we have to obey. But at the competitions, I really didn’t see many teams with chain guards around pinch points. We still did our best to make it impossible to reach our chains without unbolting things first, but I don’t think it was really looked at during inspection.

I would say try and make chain guards anyway. If you are having thoughts about it seriously injurying someone, then it would probably be wise to make it safe even if you can pass inspection without doing so.

Where are the rules on this?

<R04> should cover it, consider that where a chain meets a sprocket is a serious pinch point hazzard

And I think that the reply that Steve (s_forbes) gave above might be a bit misleading, as the robot he has experience with was actually pretty well covered up. The one the team is building this year has a big sprocket and chain out in the open, and will definitely need chain guards.

If the chain/sprocket pinch point could come in contact with other robots, and possibly game pieces, it might need to be covered, however, I’ve seen a ton of robots with similar designs that did not have them covered.

Chains are so common that I think they get ignored. Particularly in the drivetrain it would be a huge pain to try and cover up every corner the chain makes. Generally they are already in areas that while perhaps a limb might be able to reach, certainly would be reaching anywhere near when a robot was being turned on or running.

What inspectors look for also includes areas that may pinch or injure field volunteers should they touch your robot while it is on the field. i.e. A ref is trying to determine the position of your robot and inadvertantly puts his hand near a mechanism. Another person moves your robot or manipulator. Will the action cause someone to be injured? If the answer is yes (or if the inspector thinks it might) a cover is then appropriate.

mama always said better safe than sorry

it may be a pain, but if someone doesnt get hurt cause of it, than it was worth it. it also makes your robot look more elegant, like you went that extra step for safety.

Is this legal? is the link of a picture of our chain of our arm.


The problem is ussualy not the long runs of chain but where it meets a sprocket becuase a limb could get caught between the chain and a tooth and get seriously injured. I would look closely at where your chain hits a sproket and less at the long run between, so yes, that is legal.

I know that on my bot, i’m going to tyr to cover the pinch pounts cause I have pinched my finger when I was moving the chain around its look and it hurt (not badly). I could only think what might happen if the motors had been running it.