I1 requires that the ROBOT and its MAJOR MECHANISMS were built by its
team, but isn’t intended to prohibit or discourage assistance from other
teams (e.g. fabricating elements, supporting construction, writing software,
developing game strategy, contributing COMPONENTS and/or
The best way to put it is that if the recipient team does enough of the work for them to count it as “we did it”, it’s legit. If the recipient team simply bolts on something given to them by another team, then it probably isn’t.
Example: Suction-cup climbers. If a team shows up with the material for one, and works with another team to build one, probably OK. If a team shows up with one already built, probably not OK.
And this is the crux of the issue. I’ve spoken to too many teams over the years who’ve been frustrated and dismayed that the the reason they haven’t been picked is because their robot was too functional, and that the top alliances were looking for a robot that was easily modified as opposed to having actually scoring or defensive functions. I’m hoping these rules will be a step forward ensuring that teams are selected on their own merits as opposed to being selected because their robot was the best blank canvas for other teams.
And yes, this post is coming from someone who’s been a mentor on a team that’s specialized in picking blank canvasses over the years.
I also think there’s something to be said about lower seeds being even more disadvantaged by cheesecake (I will note I don’t think lower seeds should be aided, just provided a level playing field). How was random 7th or 8th alliance team supposed to compensate for random blank slate team suddenly having a brand new mechanism for playoffs?
I honestly would go one step further and say that you may not add any new major mechanisms after your final weigh-in after your final quals match.
Full disclaimer: I do not believe my team has ever been truly affected by cheesecake whether as an elims team or as a team missing out on elims (The only event we’ve attended that had cheesecake was 2015 WEGLR however I don’t think that had any true effect on who was winning that event or our alliance having any shot of making it out of quarters). I am just stating another flaw with a system that allows cheesecake.
I think this certainly pushes teams further from cheesecake and more towards cake-mix, if anything. If a team has a design to allow another team to turn raw stock and COTS items into cheesecake within lunchtime then currently there’s nothing stopping them (possibly even involving premade guides for locating holes or cuts). But personally I don’t mind restrictions on cheesecake.
If teams want to help out other teams with new designs I think it’s a great thing to do… before competition starts. But once you’re at competition then ideally robots perform how they were designed. No more or less.
Im slightly confused at this. If a team isn’t able to manufacture a MAJOR MECHANISM within the first 7+ weeks of build season, how will they be able to manufacture it at competition, let alone right before playoffs?
At best, teams will pick their 3rd members based on what mechanisms they already have on their robot, and push to try and get them all working. I know many teams who come to competition with non-working MAJOR MECHANISMS, and the rules don’t discourage helping teams, so it seems that those lower-tier teams with finished but not-yet-working mechanisms are the ones to look out for.
I’m skeptical that FIRST will use real examples, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong.
I’m wondering what this means for things like the “cube ramp” we worked on with our 2018 rookies, 7229, to build in our shop. It was the only function on their robot besides driving. We had a few of our kids work with a few of their kids every Saturday of Build season to make that ramp. Are we supposed to keep logs on who built that MAJOR MECHANISM? It was certainly a joint effort.
Where do collaboration bots come into this? What about teams that meet in the same shop and share things like the same drive train, mechanisms, etc?
I think the overarching mistake here was attempting to regulate collaboration.
So, a package vision system like the lime light? That little box gives you everything you need to do vision scoring minus (literally) a handful of code.
I think most people would agree the limelight should be legal. But the rules do leave a lot of wiggle room. So I suggest this. If people really don’t like the rules, give us a better set. Help First improve. They’ll take suggestions far better than criticism.
Really the rules don’t bother me. But we’ve never been a team that tries to skirt the edge for advantage. For some teams who play at a higher level maybe that’s important. Like Mike said this may end up with higher end teams getting more scrutiny, because they tend to be talented enough that they can walk that edge.
I’m aligned with this. I think bolt-on cheesecake will be replaced by mature teams doing something like the following:
A) Share with a team in need (might also be an elims alliance partner) a major mechanism design that maximizes COTS + common raw materials. The design may include a key custom part or two (possibly 3D printable) that could be fabricated at the event.
B) Collaborate with the team to determine how to integrate the design with their robot
C) Help the team locate & obtain any of the COTS / raw materials they don’t already have
D) Provide a component or non-major mechanism (yes, this needs to be clearer… in the context of what I’m asserting here, this might well be the “custom part or two” of the design, like a custom bracket)
E) “Help” the team complete any needed fabrication (explicitly allowed in I1, but are there rules concerning where the “help” takes place? like could parts be fabricated in the mature team’s pit?)
F) “Support” assembly (and… this is the other part that needs to be clearer) - My reading of the rules is the team being helped should principally do the assembly and installation. However, if there’s a step or two they don’t know how to execute, then the supporting team can demonstrate/teach.
Now, that is a lot of help! However, the mature team is not doing the “build the robot” work for the team in need, as has commonly been the case with bolt-on cheesecake. I believe the unclear parts will be clarified to the extent possible, but there will remain some LRI interpretation angst at times as a small percentage of teams deliberately try to ride the edges of the lines of the rules for competitive advantage (however much the rules are clarified and made explicit… this happens with certain rules already - it’s partly why roles like the LRI exist).
I have to say I like this change, though I agree some clarification is needed. Teams that like to cheesecake will need to change their focus from designs that are the quickest/easiest to bolt on to designs that can be understood and implemented by the teams being assisted.