[FRC Blog] Stop Build Day and Shipping

https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/blog/2020-rule-changes-stop-build-day

Stop Build Day and Shipping

Sep 06, 2019 Written by Frank Merrick.

Stop Build Day

As I hope everyone knows by now, Stop Build Day has been retired. It may sound simple from a rules perspective to not have a Stop Build Day in 2020. In truth, though, the concept of Stop Build Day had long tentacles in the manual that required us to examine and reevaluate significant related elements. We have published the updated 2020 rules related to Stop Build Day here.

As an example of a concept related to Stop Build Day that needed to be updated, you will see we have clarified what we mean when we say that a team’s robot must be built by the team. We believe teams will get the most out of FIRST Robotics Competition when they are directly responsible for their robot and the major mechanisms on their robot. As noted in the blue box associated with the rule, this is not intended to discourage getting an appropriate level of support from other teams. We strongly encourage teams to assist each other. This is part of the FIRST ethos! But the assistance can’t go so far as providing major mechanisms.

We are sure some of you will have comments and questions about these new rules. This is an important topic, and we want to do our best to respond to those. You can help us with this! We think comments and questions about these new rules can be divided roughly into two categories.

  1. Questions about the interpretation of the new rules
    These are like standard game manual questions that would normally be answered in the Q&A. These are the kind of questions you ask when a rule seems unclear. To ensure the answers to these questions are easy to find and can be referenced throughout the season, we will be opening the Q&A system early and for a limited time. But, as this is a deviation from our regular schedule, we need to do this a bit differently. Lead Coach/Mentor 1 & 2 will be emailed a Q&A access code by the end of the day Wednesday, September 11, to be used in gaining access to the Q&A system when it opens on Wednesday, September 11. Please be sure you have a lead mentor listed in your team profile by Tuesday, September 10 so you can get your access code! Also, please note that we will only be responding to questions about the rules we are publishing today and no others. Finally, while we know we will be keeping the Q&A open for a limited time, we don’t know how long that limited time will be. We’ll keep an eye on the questions, and when they start to dwindle or become redundant, we’ll give everyone a one-week warning that we’re shutting down the system to new questions.
  2. Comments about the new rules, or ‘why’ questions
    These are not directly related to how the new rules should be interpreted but fall in the ‘other’ category. An example would be “Why did you put in place rule X? It seems to have nothing to do with Stop Build Day.” Please put these in the comments section below, and we’ll try to respond if you are asking a question or we otherwise think a response would help. If we get enough comments and questions in a similar vein, we may create an FAQ document for easier reference.

Note that the Q&A system won’t be open until September 11. We want to give the community time to digest the new rules and get lead mentors in their team profiles. We also need some time ourselves to make sure the Q&A system will work as we intended. If you have a question falling under category one (interpretation), please do not ask it in the comments section below. We don’t answer game manual questions here, and you will be redirected to the official Q&A when it opens.

Shipping

We believe the You-Bring-It pilot at FIRST Championship Detroit was a success. We would like to expand the pilot to include both FIRST Championship venues and all teams, but, while we have been working on this, we can’t yet say for certain that it will happen. There are difficult questions that must be answered before we can get the OK. However, we can say that regardless of a possible You-Bring-It expansion, we recognize that with no bag rules many teams will want to hold onto their robots longer than in past seasons so they can keep working on them. In past seasons, teams earning their way to Championship were required to ship their robots to Championship the week after their final competition, even if their final competition was Week 1. This made sense as they couldn’t work on their robots anyway and it helped to spread the shipping load. Now, though, teams will be able to continue work.

We don’t have the new shipping rules yet, as we need to finalize whether or not teams will be able to bring their robots to Championship. But we are determined to allow teams to keep their robots as long as we can without putting the robot’s timely arrival at its destination at risk. I imagine most teams would agree that losing a week of work on their robot is less painful than an unexpected issue leading to them not having their robot at the event at all.

While we don’t have the new shipping rules right now, I hope we will have them by the end of September.

Lots of change here! But I believe we are going to have a great season!

Frank

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Man, you ALWAYS post these first. How you do it so consistently is beyond me.

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A moment of silence for cheesecake

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So, is cheescaking now banned?

I1. It’s your team’s ROBOT.The ROBOT and its MAJOR MECHANISMS must be built by the FIRSTRobotics Competition team.
A MAJOR MECHANISM is a group of COMPONENTS and/or MECHANISMS assembled together to address at least one (1) game challenge:robot movement, game piece control, field element manipulation, or performance of a scorable task.

With supporting bluebox section:

Attempts to exploit loopholes in the definition of MAJOR MECHANISM in order to bypass this requirement are not in the spirit of I1 or the FIRSTRobotics Competition. Examples of exploitation include:
a.assembling pieces of a MAJOR MECHANISM provided by another team
b.receiving a mostly complete MAJOR MECHANISM from another team and providing a small piece

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Kudos to FIRST for providing, for the most part, unsurprising and straightforward rules (at least upon first read), though the banning of cheesecake is very interesting.

Edit: wow, the demons are in the details

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I’m at the Mets game right now, I swear.

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COTS cheesecake 100% legal tho

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Yeah, it’s greyt

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This does not ban cheesecake. This bans teams furnishing a “MAJOR MECHANISM” to another team. If you want to “cheesecake” a robot, show up to their pit and design something with them that fits their robot. This is how it was done for many years prior to the term “cheesecaking” anyway.

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That being said, I still think it’s cool to work with other teams to help them improve their robots

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Does this rule ban twin/sister robots, or teams that manufacture parts for other teams? What does “built” in this context mean?

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Did I miss the part about only 1 robot being brought in? As long as you have 2 robots brought in during load in that are collectively below the 150lbs inspection limit, you can use either robot interchangeably without reinspection.

Does I1 put a restriction on getting parts manufactured by a sponsor/ shop?

I1. It’s your team’s ROBOT. The ROBOT and its MAJOR MECHANISMS must be
built by the FIRST Robotics Competition team.

The rules make no contribution to whoever designed a mechanism, only who built it, and I personally don’t see sponsors as a part of the team they sponsor.

I don’t think it’s the GDC’s intention to restrict parts going from machine shops to teams, only between teams, but I think the current rule set could be read as such.

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Previous year’s rules have said sponsors are considered parts of the team for costing purposes. It would be reasonable* to extend that interpretation to this rule.

*But hasn’t happened, as far as we know.

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Rules seem very well thought out. Cheesecake being dead to the extent it was in 2017 seems very good for FRC. Lots of awkward issues with returning cheesecake/leaving behind dissassembled robots that can now be avoided.

It does seem like something like 900 2015 with enough cots is doable

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My understanding was that this document only highlights changes.

So does the 150lb limit include un-assembled fabricated components? Or just more “significant” mechanisms?

Actually, upon looking more closely, I wouldn’t say 100%, though it’s entirely possible this is just pedantry:

Emphasis mine.

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It appears from my understanding, that teams are allowed to build multiple robots for different events? This is my understanding from reading the blog through. Sounds like they are trying to keep you to 1 robot throughout the event but you could have different robots for different events.

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It does seem like this is the case!