Are electro-mechanical clutches allowed? I’ve read the rules through and I’ve seen nothing that specifically prohibits them and I was wondering if they would be disallowed seeing as they involve an electro-magnet. If anyone has any insight into this I would be very grateful, thanks!!

I don’t believe electro-magnets are allowed, because any bot on the pyramid at the end of a match has to be turned off before it is lowered. If it is turned off, the electro-magnet loses power and the bot will fall.

I don’t think we are talking about the same thing here…

Because the relevant rule’s phrasing is not concrete, this is open to interpretation, but I expect the answer to be no, as in the past, if something does not clearly fall into one of the listed categories, it is illegal.

R32 The only motors and actuators permitted on 2013 FRC ROBOTS include the following:

This is a good question for Q&A when it opens. The following might be relevant:

R32 allows for the use of

Electrical solenoid actuators, no greater than 1 in. stroke and rated electrical input power no greater than 10 watts (W) continuous duty at 12 volts (VDC)

in an unlimited quantity. if the GDC decides that electromagnetic clutches are allowed, they will likely need to fit this description.

It’s also important to note that while some electromagnetic clutches contain solenoids, not all do. (Also, the definition of solenoid is itself open to some interpretation. I’d recommend also asking the GDC to define an electrical solenoid actuator, noting that the definition of a solenoid varies in different areas of engineering and scientific practice.)

Even though it’s probably fair to say that a clutch is an actuator, electromagnets not used as actuators are not prohibited.

Oh whoops! I saw “electromagnet” and just went straight to that. Thanks for the clarification.

could someone maybe shed some light on clutches that would be legal for use in FRC that you know of and where to buy said clutch?

Dog gear clutches are legal. They are also relatively simple to use, and available on AM. Additionally, you can power them in a number of ways, including pancake cylinders, regular cylinders, servos, or window motors, all with properly designed (or purchased) linkages. The window motors are a bit abstract, but if you don’t want pneumatics, they are more reliable than servos. Also, they look cool, and can shift multiple dogs at one time.