Covering Electronics

I may have missed this in the manual and the updates but I dont think I did … and I have also done a search so if I missed something Im sorry and please direct me to the answer …

Is there a specific rule where it says all electronics must be covered?

I am asking because my team thinks that we do not need to cover ours and because I am the only one who has seen any actual matches I know how much we will get hit. However, I need a sure way to convince them that the electronics need to be covered and a rule would be the easiest way.

Thank you and Good Luck !

– Shyra

maybe not a rule but a personal memorie might help…?
in 2002 our bot had a huge spear in thr front to grab goals. People ran right into us. We mauled at least 10 bots witht this thing. I remember once, we were pulling a bot by the wires that it ripped out when it went through the side.

There is no rule stating that the electronics must be covered. The only statement is that teams should design their robot to withstand vigorous interaction, that is, to make it robust.

However, let’s break the problem down:
Cost of victor 884 speed controller $115
Cost of Robot RC $565
Cost of Spike $35
Cost of radio modem $150
Add to that cost the anxiety of trying to replace those components before your next match


Cost of 1 ft by 2 ft sheet of 1/8 inch thick lexan from McMaster-Carr $ 8.70
Value of Knowing your electronic will not get smashed to bits: Priceless :cool:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE protect your electronics. They make your robot move. Be nice to them. (No magic smoke either)

If your electronics are inside the robot, then you are ok. You could just put bar over it to prevent balls from falling inside. However, if the electronics are vertical and facing outwards where other robots may hit it, then it must be covered. Tell your team members this one more time and end it with, “If you don’t, then we’re sooooo screwed at competition and I will enjoy saying ‘I told you so’, over and over.” :slight_smile:

But seriously, COVER IT!

I have seen arms malfunction and almost spear into the middle of robots(ours). Covers may not seem important now, but they will when you watch a robot get seriously damaged(or a career ending nosebleed-inside joke). Not only electronics, but motor and drive conponents as well. Protection is a key value of robots, for it provides robustness, which is key if you want to make it through the finals, with a driving robot anyway.

yeah just a small piece of lexan will do. or an aluminum bar. or SOMETHING. but theres flying balls, swinging arms, and 2 inch hooks being brandished about the field at random by operators that, if they could see what they were doing would probably do it anyway.

If your electronics are anywhere where they can be reached by other robots, balls, and the like, it is imperative that you protect them. Wires can be torn loose, Victors and Spikes can be damaged, and pins on the RC can be bent or broken. It’s extremely simple to protect your electronics, and definitely worth your while. Ours are mounted to an outward-facing vertical panel near the back of the robot, so we placed a sheet of 1/8" Lexan in front of it. It took very little time and material to install, and we all feel a lot better knowing that we won’t have hundreds of dollars’ worth of electronic devices smashed to bits by an errant playground ball.

If you’re still unwilling to protect your electronics, at least make sure that your connections are well-insulated to protect them from being shorted by robot appendages. In 2002, our robot (the low-slung red plywood thing with a giant robot-grabbing forklift on the front) was in a match in Orlando against some beautifully-engineered, frighteningly awesome metallic beast. As soon as the match started, our robot headed straight for the aforementioned wonder of engineering, drove its lift underneath, and picked it up. As soon as we picked up their robot, its main breaker tripped, leaving it incapacitated for the remainder of the match. Needless to say, that team was very annoyed, but the judges agreed that this incident was their fault for failing to properly insulate and protect their electrical connections, which allowed our aluminum forklift to short their positive supply wiring to ground. The moral of this story: protect your electronics and wiring!