I think that there may be an issue here which has never really been looked at and that is providing parts for other teams. Parts that other teams use are not part of YOUR with holding allowance. Technically they would be part of the OTHER team’s with holding allowance. Only items used on YOUR robot would count towards your team’s allowance.
The question becomes whether because your team is fabricating them and providing them to another team does that make it ‘off the shelf’
In this case… off YOUR shelf. Of course the rules say that they are not because the are not “COMMERCIAL”
The blue box for this section gives this example:
EXAMPLE 2: A Team obtains openly available blueprints of a drive module commonly available from Wheels-R-Us Inc. and has local machine shop “We-MakeIt, Inc.” manufacture a copy of the part for them. The produced part is NOT a COTS item, because it is not commonly carried as part of the standard stock of We-Make-It, Inc.
So this means that anything you fabricate is specifically NOT COTS.
The issue is who’s withholding does it come out of?
If you intend to use it on your robot, it is, of course, part of your withholding. If it is used by another team, it is THEIR withholding.
Given that teams freely exchange a number of parts at any given event this presents an issue when it comes to the rules.
For example, Team A has some aluminum tubing stock in their pit. Another team needs a piece. Team A cuts it to the correct length and gives it to them. When the exchange is made, was it COTS or not?
I believe that in this situation, since it was fabricated in the pit of COTS materials (Stock tubing) that it would not count against your withholding.
Example, Team A has some transmissions that they have assembled/modified at home and are in TEAM A’s withholding amount. Team B needs one. They freely give it to them. Now, if Team B already had brought in 30 lbs of withholding should they be able to use this? I would hope that they could but within the rules they may not. They already brought in their with holding and this is clearly NOT COTS having been modified by Team A (who is not a Commercial Entity)
I know that this is not the type of thing that is ever looked at but it does open up issues.
I agree that at some point the rules committee needs to address this.
I would hope that anything brought in by any team could be considered legal for any team to use (as long as it does not put their team out of compliance with other robot regulations)
I do think that it is a little dangerous to allow things that are functional COTS equivalents and simply say that that is OK.
Some type of rule that allows teams to bring in fabricated materials for other teams to use would be a good one.
I will give an example from our team (and I am sure many other teams)
For many years (prior to this one) our team has brought 3/4" plywood already cut into 5" widths to events for other teams to use to fabricate bumpers. We never attempted to put this in a plastic bag. We just had it available for anyone to use that needed it to make or remake bumpers. By rule this material should have been included in the using team’s with holding (at least during the years that the bumpers needed to be bagged)
We thought we were just being good neighbors and trying to help.
Until this thread I never really thought about this as not being within the rules.
I think that this sort of thing should be encouraged and that the rule should reflect the desire of teams to help in these ways.
I applaud your idea of making these in your shop and having them ready for other teams to use to make repairs to their robots. It is an excellent idea.
It shows the true spirit of gracious professionalism.