Electrical tape as a non-functional decoration

Is the use of electrical tape as a non-functional decoration legal?
We drew designes on the side of our robot in it, and were told that it was against the rules… Can we do so at nationals?

Personally, I would be concerned that the tape would loosen and fall off the robot. Electrical tape isn’t all that known for its adhesive abilities, particularly in the heat on the field, and you wouldn’t want your robot making a trail as it drove. What about paint or some other decoration like that?

5.3.11 Non-Functional Decoration Rules
Teams may add “Non-functional” decorations to robots under the following conditions:
<R101> Decorations must be on the robot at the time of final inspection, and must not cause the robot weight or
size to exceed the Rule requirements.
<R102> Decorations must not affect the outcome of the match, and must be in the spirit of “Gracious
<R103> Any decorations that involve broadcasting a signal to/from the robot, such as remote cameras,
cleared with FIRST Engineering prior to use. Teams may not use 900 MHz camera systems.
<R104> Decorations may draw power from the 12v electrical system as long as they are powered via
20A or 30A circuit breaker and do not affect the operation of other control system components.

these are all the rules in the manual about non-functional decorations. none of these imply that decorations cannot consist of tape. so i would say yes you can have them at Nat’s.

p.s. good job yesterday. it was fun! :smiley:

Thanks… Good job to you guys too.

and to the tape falling from the robot thing, we went throught the entire pittsburgh regional with it on there and none came off…

i also found this:

Yeah, using tape for anything other than non-functional decoration is illegal
in this thread http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/photos/24276

<R33> disallows tape in all instances except for 4 exceptions. Non-functional decorations is not one of the exceptions.

now that i see that i am not sure. i would ask a first official who has a very good understanding o the rules

We used electrical tape on our helix to make the whole thing look black and nobody said anything, so I think it’s okay.

Just paint or Sharpie those lines back on to your bot. They looked cool.

The Philly Lead Inspector was the one who told you to take the tape off and he was correct in doing so. It is not legal. I should have noticed that tape at Pitt (although I only checked off your firmware upgrade) and told you to take it off then. It is not even legal to use tape to hold your logos on the bot and that is difficult for many teams. <R33> allows you to use tape only where it is necessary and if it was allowed as a decoration it would be used inappropriately but legally.

Ok… Thanks :slight_smile: We will find another medium to use for the lines… be it sharpie or paint or “decorative stripping”… thanks for the clarification :slight_smile:

Interesting. We’ve always wondered about this, because we’ve used tape as decorations for the past two years. Last year it was for numbers and this year it was on the top of our hopper (which is clear) so that we could see the top easily. Both passed inspection. When in doubt however, you could always just use foam tape

I’ve always thought the FIRST rules have been pretty clear on this although pretty anal. However, it’s always been a bit annoying to get to the competition and see that most inpectors seem to ignore it. Another peeve in the same vein is the robot numbers. A good number of robots don’t conform to the rules specifying how the numbers are to be displayed yet are passed by the inspectors.

I was reading the inspection manual and just ran across this:

page: 6 of 23
Specifically prohibited mechanical parts
6) Electrical tape used for any objective other than insulation

Inspectors have allowed the use of electrical tape to satisfy the team number requirement for many years. Hence the requirement that the team numbers have a 3/4" stroke and be at least 4" high. In all other cases, the rules apply to electrical tape use for insulation.

We put electrical tape around the edges of our lexan sides when the judges said that they were a bit too sharp. They let it slide, but they said that they really didn’t like it. After our next match we took it all off and used sandpaper to smooth down the edges.

My point is, even if you may be able to get through inspection by going a tad outside the rules, you should try not to. The rules are there for a reason, so you should try to obey all of them.