I was wondering if drones are legal during the sandstorm so long as the driving transmission and power goes through the robot? The only other hangup i could think of would be the cables but as long as they are theoretically tensioned there should be no issues with rope hanging off the robot.


can you make a drone with legal motors and controllers? Keep it within 30 inches? Power it from the robot battery?

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Such a drone would be part of the robot - it would be powered by the robot battery, attached to the robot, subject to the motor, control system, and power distribution rules, and have to remain within 30" of the robot’s frame perimeter, as well as everything else in the rulebook. Can it be done legally? Maybe, I haven’t really looked at the potential thrust to weight ratio of the various motor/prop combinations. It would be very limited though, and ensuring that you don’t exceed the 30" frame perimeter extension limit would make it even more limited.

Expect heavy scrutiny if you try something like this.

I have seen discussions about how if you use 8 775 pros and keep the robot under 60 lb then you can fly. However, I would look at the safety rules and think about what in inspector would think.

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Could you? Possibly.
Would it be more effective than sticking your camera on a telescoping pole, with a gimbal on top? Almost certainly not.

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thanks for the advice I did not consider the 30 inch frame rule I think a camera on a rod would be more viable

Actually, going to call this one illegal under E05:

E05. Some things don’t belong at events. Do not bring or use the following:
• skateboards
• ‘hoverboards’
• drones
• bottled gas tanks (e.g. helium)
• noisy devices or noisemakers, such as floor stompers, whistles and/or air horns
• walkie-talkies
Violation: A verbal warning. Repeated violations will be addressed by the Head REFEREE, the Lead
ROBOT Inspector and/or Event Management.
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This pretty clearly doesn’t refer to the robot though. By your logic, I wouldn’t be able to buy a skateboard and use it as a COTS part on my robot.

Also, some teams’ robots are pretty noisy devices…


Honestly, if a team managed to integrate a Drone into their robot, I think it would get such scrutiny by RI/LRI/HQ that there’s no way it would be ruled legal. This just happens to be a clearly worded rule specifically mentioning it that could be used to justify a “oh hell no” response.

Well bumper rules specify that the highest your bumpers can be is 2 inches off the ground at their lowest point. Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of flying as you cannot generate life enough to climb or score game pieces?

I don’t think he meant to put legal bumpers on the flying part - this would be a “manipulator”.

Technically speaking, a “drone” might be legal as long as you keep it tethered to your robot and directly above it (such that it is vertically always inside your frame perimeter or less than 20in outside). There’s nothing specifying that components of your robot need to push against the ground or anything.

Other than the rules compliance issues already raised, please ask yourself the following:

  • What do you expect the drone to do for you that your main robot cannot do?
  • If it carries a camera, how is it any better than a camera mounted directly on your robot?
  • How would you control it? Using first person view?
  • What if you fly it into your alliance mate’s robot and it becomes entangled?Is it carrying a game piece? If so, how much closer will it be than your main robot when the 30" perimeter extension restriction is taken into account?
  • Do you know how to design and build a drone using FRC legal components that are typically much heavier than the corresponding components typically used to build a drone?