COTS parts that were in the kit?

Browsing through the Q&A, I found this one that really puzzles me:

ID: 1766 Section: 5.2 Status: Answered Date Answered: 2/28/2005
Q: If no modifications have been made to the camera, so it is a COTS part, did it have to shipped in the crate? Rules <R23> and <R15> says it does not have to be shipped if it is a COTS part. Is this the correct interpretation?
A: The camera was part of the kit and should have shipped with your robot. You will not legally be able to use your camera and will not be able to truthfully sign the pledge at the bottom of the Inspection sheet. A second camera is a COTS item and could be used at the competition.

The only logical conclusion I can gather from this is that ANYTHING that was in the Kit of Parts that was not shipped with your robot is now illegal to use for the 2005 competition season. If this rule applies to the camera then it must apply to anything else in the KOP, right? So if a team decides to add some mechanism to their robot at their first competition and wants to use the KOP gearbox, or Skyway wheels, or the hall effect sensors, or even IFI spikes or speed controllers from the kit, they’re just out of luck? Could a team who didn’t ship these now-useless parts trade them with another team with the same parts, and then count them as off-the-shelf?

I came to the same conclusion, and brought this up in the lead inspectors’ teleconference yesterday. No consensus was reached, though some others seemed to express the same reservations. I’ve e-mailed with a request for clarification; hopefully the GDC will get a chance to rethink the Q&A response.

I’m not comfortable with the implications of the Q&A response, but it does seem rather clearly stated.

If you did manage to finesse away the KOP status like that, you’d then have to account for the cost of the parts.

I think FIRST assumed that the camera was already a part of the robot, in which case it does need to be shipped.

I don’t beleive that the answer extends to the case where the kit part wasn’t a part of the robot until halfway through the regional.

But what if you decide halfway through the regional that deadreckoning isn’t cutting it for you and you want to put the camera on. It wasn’t part of your robot when you shipped it so you bring it along with the rest of the kit parts. Is it fair to say that you can’t use the camera but you can use the other kit parts?

I don’t beleive that FIRST was addressing that issue. If it was never a part of your robot, you can add it at the regional, whether it’s the camera or any other kit part.

What if you wanted to work on the camera during the fix-it window? How could you do this if you’re not allowed to keep it? This ruling does not seem to make sense. What rule is it based on? It also seems to contradict another Q&A response I saw earlier (don’t remember number) saying it WAS ok to keep the robot controller to work on programming during the fix-it window.

Whoa Whoa, where does it say it is okay to keep the RC? As far as I know that was never okay.

Also I have a question, is the CMUCam available for purchase from IFI by itself?

There seem to be 3 contradicting answers on the Q&A about holding stuff back for programming:

Q&A ID#1422
**Q:**Are the controller and the camera which are mounted on the robot included in the items which can be ‘held back’ for programming after shipment and prior to competition?

Q&A ID#: 1731
**Q:**In order to continue work on our program, may we keep the 2005 kit of parts IFI robot controller after shipment as part of the controls?
**A:**Yes. See #1709 answered on Tuesday, 2/22/2005.

Q&A ID#:1709
**Q:**Are we allowed to keep the camera along with the controls after ship date?
**A:**Camera no, controls yes. Remember that the Fix-It window following your robot shipping limits what you can do. As part of the inspection process, teams will be asked to sign the following pledge: Team Compliance Statement We, the Team Mentor, Team Captain and Team Inspector, attest by our signing below, that our team’s robot was built after the 2005 Kickoff on January 8, 2005 and in accordance with all of the 2005 FRC rules, including all Fix-It Window rules (reference Section 5.3.3). We have conducted our own inspection and determined that our robot satisfies all of the 2005 FRC rules for robot design. Team Captain: _________________________ Team Inspector: ________________________ Team Mentor: __________________________

FIRST needs to clarify this response then, it makes it seem that if you didn’t ship it with the robot that it cannot be used.

yes the camera is avalible from IFI Robtics. If you click the link you can see. It doesnt say how much it costs but i read somewhere that it runs around $200.

This rule needs to be clarified to say if all KOP components are required to be shipped or not. I guess the issue is that I do not understand the “spirit” of the rule - what is FIRST trying to accomplish with this rule if these are COTS parts. They have stated that we can substitute identical parts for kit parts. So, can you ship the spare and keep the original from the KOP?

If they are trying to make it fairer for the lesser funded teams, they got it wrong. A well funded team can buy spare cameras and RC’s (which we have), and thus gain an advantage over teams who cannot keep these anyway. This is especially true because of the extra couple days we get for the fix-it window.

This reminds me of another rules question I have never asked in the Q&A:
If a COTS part or assembly breaks, can you just fix it at any time or only during the fix-it window, since you can buy the same part at anytime? Again if you only are allowed to buy it, not fix it, then the better funded teams again have an advantage.

And finally, is FIRST really going to disqualify a poor team or make them buy another RC because they did not know the rule and did not ship it with their robot - geez, that’s brutal; I thought we were trying to inspire new, poorly funded teams.

OK…here’s the delimna we are in.

We were having issues the way we mounted our axles to the bottome of our drivetrain modules. They needed some TLC at time of shipment, but we shipped them anyway and figured that anything we figured out before the first tournament, we would then do to the real robot the same thing making all the parts needed at the tournament on Thursday.

So, in the process of coming up with solutions that can be easily done at the tournament, we found that we could use some of the KOP frame parts to help. So, since these are unmodified stock parts, I figured I could bring them with me and then use them to fix the shipped robot.

So, these are purchased, unmodified, KOP parts. Legal?

Thats exactly what needs to be clarified. Raul’s post said it best, many people and teams will be hurt if FIRST requires all KOP parts that you want to use to be shipped.

If the current Q&A stands, I’d have to say no. Joe made a good point about whether or not it was intended to be part of the robot when it shipped versus an addition later, but that is not the question that was asked (and not the answer given). The only thing asked was if the camera had to be shipped, and the answer was “The camera was part of the kit and should have shipped with your robot. You will not legally be able to use your camera and will not be able to truthfully sign the pledge at the bottom of the Inspection sheet.” They didn’t qualify it and say “it’s only legal if you didn’t intend to use it when you shipped but now you do want to use it” which I think is what Joe is suggesting. Reading the response I just quoted, substitute any KOP part for the word “camera” and I assume that’s what the ruling means. I can’t see how they could claim this applies to the camera but not other KOP parts.