Clueless Newbies

We’re a new team out of Detroit (Motto: “You’ll win in the arena — but you’re meat in the parking lot!” :o ) which owes a big debt to IKE (Killer Bees) and Foley Freeze (John, Chris, etc).

I’ve got lots of questions — (maybe that’s because I program for a living.):

The rules say you bag the “bot” and you can bring up to 50 lbs to be installed at the games. My take has been that if your core “bot” is under 50 lbs you could bag the ballast and leave the core bot out. The other mentors on the team say “That’s cheating!” My argument is based on Contract Law — since they were so explicit on everything else why didn’t they say exactly what had to be bagged?

The 8 Hours Out Of Bag Time — does what come out have to go back in substantially unchanged? Or can we pull the “bot” and put the “ballast” in in place of the “bot”?

Please look at the definition of ROBOT in section 8 of the FRC Manual. Then look at the Michigan bagging rules again. I’m pretty sure it says you bag your ROBOT, not a miscellaneous collection of parts.


Section 8 defines the Robot as

“ROBOT - A FIRST ROBOT is a remotely operated vehicle designed and built by a FIRST Robotic Competition team to perform specific tasks when competing in the 2009 competition “Lunacy.” The ROBOT must include all the basic systems required to be an active participant in the game – power, communications, control, mobility, and actuation. The ROBOT implementation must obviously follow a design approach intended to play the 2009 FRC game (e.g. a box of unassembled parts placed on the field, or a ROBOT designed to play a different game, would not satisfy this definition).”

The e.g. a box of unassembled parts placed on the field implies to me that “unassembled parts” to be assembled prior to play would be acceptable.

This has been addressed before, but here’s a quote from Dave Lavery:

With the withholding allowance, you can keep 40 pounds of anything from your robot that you want. it doesn’t matter if it is the control system, the drive system, the manipulator or whatever. That choice is up to you. If you decide to use your withholding allowance to keep your drive system, there is nothing wrong with that. If anyone tells you that it “isn’t in the spirit of FIRST” you can tell them that they just don’t get it.

EDIT: That being said, this is ChiefDelphi. NOTHING you read here is official. If you’re still concerned, go hit up Q&A for a real answer.


Many thanks!


Hey, remember 8 hours is actually a lot of practice time. If you do 1 hours blocks, that is 8 1 hour blocks. More realistically is 4 2 hour blocks.

Plan ahead. Have both your batteries fully charged. Pull the bot out, hook it up and make sure the systems work. Then run an Autonomous routine. Take notes, run it twice, then turn it over to the drive team.

For your team, practice picking up balls and driving around. Work on communication between teh drivers. They need to tell each other exactly what they are doing. The drivers need to practice “soft hands”. Unless you do some open loop traction control (call me we can talk), your drivers will need to practice throttle modulation. I saw the videos, and they are spinning the wheels on lenoleum quite a bit. The FRP material is even slicker. This took our drive All Friday to understand.

Last but certainly not least, get your weight up to at least 100 pounds. This game has gotten a lot more defensive than I expected. Pushing and being pushed is really important.

If you guys need some assistance this week, give me a call. The Bees are primarily just working on Monday. I could swing by some time this week after work. Also, I have a couple 33 kids that want to help you guys at the competition. Explain pit strategy and scouting. Best of luck.