I’ve looked through the game manual and the q & a but I cannot find any rules regarding electromagnets…

I presume any that use a form of solenoid are illegal… is this correct?
Secondly, if we were to buy or create our own electro magnet that did not use a solenoid of any for would this be a legal part?


Think of what could happen if you were to contact another robot with that magnet in a sensitive area.

pure chaos

why do you want to use an electro magnet? you do realize that magnets can make your programmers angry, right? even if the processor on the robot is unaffected, most people don’t want to put their computers in proximity to magnets.

I’m sorry to invade in your team’s privacy. You don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to. What purpose would having a electromaget serve? The only practical application I could think of was disabling other robots. And yes electromagnets are illegal. The manuel does not state specifically that an electromagnet is not allowed, but if you got anywhere close to another robot… well let us just say that would not be the wisest thing to do. The manuel however does say that anything that is considered “dangerous to the crowd” is not allowed. I think it’s safe to say that an electromagent would fall under that catagory. So that answers question of “Are electromagnets allowed?”

I would say that FIRST inspectors would invoke this rule to reject an electromagnet mounted to the robot’s chassis:

<R58> All wiring and electrical devices must be electrically isolated from the ROBOT frame; the ROBOT frame must not be used to carry electrical current (this isolated ground arrangement is necessary due to polarity reversals that occur under certain operating conditions such as during motor direction reversals).

Sorry I think maybe you guys misunderstood my intentions, I’m talking about a very small magnet that would work with our claw mechanism for grabbing tubes, the thing would probably be smaller that a dime and simply assist in closing and opening the claw.

I believe that would then be an electric solenoid actuator, which is illegal.

As you describe it such a device would be an actuator, and would not comply with <R48>. Please refer to the flowchart shown on page 19 of Section 8 of the 2007 Manual. The second block from the bottom in the middle column asks “is the part a motor, pump, solenoid or other actuator?”; if it is, and if it is not an additional CIM motor or servo, then it may not be used.

Ah now I see what the application is. I’m going to argue that the electromagnet can still be considered dangerous. I haven’t done any research, but isn’t the power of electromagnets determined by the amount of current run through them? Getting close to another robot with your arm could still disable it. And please talk to your programmers. Usually programmers + electromagnets = a painful debate about why there will be ABSOLUTELY NO MAGNETS ON OUR ROBOT. (Trust me I tried to argue for a magnet in 2006 aim high that would stick to the diamond plate when we rolled down)

There are much better ways to open and close an arm. Pneumatics, motors, you take your pick. An electromaget would also take up electricity. With that new battery I’m not sure that the battery could put out enough juice to sustain your “arm closing mechanism.” Your opinion is your opinion. Good luck during the season. If you guys do build this please email me. I would like to see how it would work.

Thanks guys, a magnet wasn’t the number one idea on our list it was just an interesting concept we thought we would investigate… didn’t mean to start a riot

Oh no you didn’t start a riot. This electromagnet is an intresting concept if it can get around the rules.

Please keep this in mind:
Aluminum is not ferromagnetic.

We actually considered using an electromagnet to attach to the aluminum diamond plating. Yeah…that’s what happens when the programmers start thinking about anything but programming…:slight_smile:

I don’t see any rule that states anything against using an electromagnet. I don’t think that a weak magnetic force would have any negative effects on the robot controller; just don’t wave it around in close proximity just to see what happens.

I don’t know how much such a magnet would draw; you might research this yourself. You do need to make sure it complies with all the rules, and you also need to ensure that the entire device can easily be removed for inspection. The inspectors probably haven’t seen many devices similar to what you propose, so they will definitely want a closer look.

Remember the KISS rule (keep it simple stupid)–don’t go all-out with an electromagnet when a pneumatic will do.

Good luck,