Free Kittens/Tetra Grabber

That raises all SORTS of legality questions. If 22 brought spares themselves and their spares and the arm weighed more than 24 lbs, then this would be illegal if you considered it a spare. I’m not even sure you can consider it a spare if another team brought it. I don’t think it’s really related at all, though.

What if the part was not on the bot and it is not an exact spare. Maybe not on the robot to start with. Be carefull there has been examples this year.

Ok, so my wording was a little off.

Let’s say 254 and 22 both had their identical arms made by a 3rd party shop that they listed as a sponsor.

Let’s also assume the arm is less than 24 lbs.

So 22 happened to leave their spare at home. 254 has spares in their lab, all identical, all less than 24 lbs, all built inside the 6 week build window. 22 comes to 254’s lab, picks up a spare, and walks into competition.

I think this falls within the rules.

Dave Lavery used this logic in a different thread , and I think it applies here. What you bring to an event is what counts as your spares. If you bring a whole robot, even if you don’t bring it in, it’s all a spare and all illegal. If you don’t bring anything to the event, then you don’t have any spares. If you say 254 brought it for 22, then 254 should never be able to use it and it shouldn’t even be in their pit tempting them.

EDIT: I think the real problem is the lack of guidance from FIRST on the legality of collaborating and teams trading parts at regionals.

<R24> Teams may bring a maximum of 25 pounds of custom FABRICATED ITEMS (SPARE PARTS, REPLACEMENT PARTS, and/or UPGRADE PARTS) to each competition event to be used to repair and/or upgrade their robot at the competition site. All other FABRICATED ITEMS to be used on the robot during the competition must arrive at the competition venue packed in the shipping crate with the robot.

Following that definition, I still see the situation I posed as being legal. Team 22 would have brought them to competition, following every limitation per R24

If you were to assume that this were illegal, could GREAT stories like this exist. Granted this teams is not attending the Championship, they are still only trying to help out another team here. They are not after recognition, they simply happen to have an extra grabber lying around somewhere:rolleyes: that they are not going to use. They hope that it will find a better home with someone else at Championships. Surely I don’t think it would be FIRST’s intention to stop things like this from happening.

Correct its illegal. The spare part rule is that you have can have identiacal parts and as the rule stated it has to be same as the part on the robot. But you can brig raw material and build a part from sratch at the competition which can be catogarized as an upgrade which is what the unknown team wants to do. It will give this entire assembeled part to a team which will be an upgrade. Which is illegal. What the team could do is give the drawings for the part and the team can build it at the compeition. This has been in effect for the past couple of years now. Its nothing new.

What team 33 did was GP and its a different circumstance. Technically it is illegal for a team to give a functional component/system to another team. Basically what how you could interpret that is “oh my teams robot broke and wont work for the rest of the competition, maybe i can as 254 and i can use their spare robot for the rest of the comp.” I am just saying, I’m not going to say if 33 did the right thing or not, of course its gracious and we should help out each other. The question is whether its the right thing to do.

At first reading, it seems that a team simply wants to be generous. Thinking about it further: if I were on the donor team, I might be thinking how wonderful it would be if even a piece of our robot made it to the Championship–sort of a proxy for our team.

But “no recognition”? On the one hand, the “anonymous” donor team might still feel good about their gift for both the above reasons. On the other hand, is this implying a secret, underhanded deal, because of legality questions?

As far as an “unfair advantage,” I doubt it. First of all, what is the likelihood of any team being able to fit this arm to their robot, without having collaborated with the donor team during build season? Secondly, is the arm really that good? However generous, or legal/illegal this situation would be, I doubt it would be possible for a team to adapt this arm, and to train their drivers to use it, in the one practice day at competition.

By the way, when do we get our kittens? Wait–scratch that–our cat doesn’t want any competition! :ahh:

I say it’s legal… because I can’t find anywhere where it’s not - maybe I’m not reading close enough~

Here are a few rules that I think are applicable to an exchange like this. If you find any others, please post them:

<R24> Teams may bring a maximum of 25 pounds of custom FABRICATED ITEMS (SPARE PARTS, REPLACEMENT PARTS, and/or UPGRADE PARTS) to each competition event to be used to repair and/or upgrade their robot at the competition site. All other FABRICATED ITEMS to be used on the robot during the competition must arrive at the competition venue packed in the shipping crate with the robot.

<R15> At the competitions: Teams are allowed to repair, modify or upgrade their competition robots while participating in a competition event. To support this, teams may bring SPARE, REPLACEMENT and UPGRADE PARTS and COTS items to the competitions (within the limits specified in Rules <R23> and <R24>). Work may only be done on-site in the Pits or at any facility made available to all teams at the event (e.g., in a team’s repair trailer or a local team’s shop offered to all teams to use). Fabrication may be done when the Pit area is open for normal operations during the period starting with the opening of the Pit area on Thursday and ending at 4:00PM on Saturday. All work must be completed when the Pit area closes each evening. Parts may not be removed from the competition site and retained overnight after
the Pit area closes.

UPGRADE PARTS - A COMPONENT or MECHANISM intended to provide additional functionality not currently available on the robot. UPGRADE PARTS may be COTS items or custom FABRICATED ITEMS, and may either add to or replace existing functionality.

The grabber in question would probably be classified as a FABRICATED PART - UPGRADE PARTS that weigh under 25 pounds.


In this hypothetical situation, the rumored contribution of a tetra grabber by Team Generous can be accepted by Team Needy without penalty, as long as a few conditions are met.

If Team Needy accepts the tetra grabber from Team Generous, they must account for the contribution of the tetra grabber in their updated robot cost determination. Per the examples included in Section (Additional Parts/Cost Determination), Team Needy must establish a fair market value for the labor expended by Team Generous to build the tetra grabber, add in the cost of materials included in the grabber, and account for the total.

Alternatively, Team Needy could include Team Generous as de facto new team members, and make them a recognized sponsor of their team. In that case, as also defined in Section, they would not have to acocunt for the labor costs and would just include the materials cost in determining the value of the tetra grabber.

Having done that, Team Generous would certify that the tetra grabber was constructed entirely during the permitted build periods (primary build season, at an event and/or during legal fix-it windows). If so, then they satisfy the constraints of the schedule rules in Section 5.3.3.

Finally, Team Needy would have to ensure that the tetra grabber, along with any other fabricated items they might be bringing to the competition, did not exceed 25 pounds. If they are within the weight limit, then the tetra grabber fits within the constraints of <R24> as a “Fabricated Item”.

If these conditions are satisfied, then it appears Team Needy may accept the tetra grabber, install it on their robot at the competition, and (assuming it passes inspection) compete with it without violating any rules. There are NO prohibitions against having a team contribute parts, components or subsystems to another team. FIRST has said, in Section, that teams may accept donations from other sources as long as they account for them.

So that satisfies the “legality” question. What about the “morality” question? Is this a “good” thing to do - on the part of Team Generous as they donate the tetra grabber, and on the part of Team Needy as they accpet the tetra grabber? Again, FIRST has already answered this. Please refer to the debate from last year about the Team 60-254 collaboration. FIRST’s statement at the time detailed where they stand on this issue. At the time, they provided this response:

Originally Posted by FIRST Q&A:
ID: 788 Section: Status: Answered Date Answered: 2/24/2004
Q: If high school students on my team make parts for another team, does the team receiving the parts need to bill out our high school students at a typical labor rate as part of the $3,500 limit?

A: Gracious professionalism, “coopetition” and collaboration are some of the hallmarks of FIRST. We have all been amazed at the level that FIRST teams aid each other - not just at competitions, but throughout the year. By working together, we have increased our effectiveness inspiring youth and recognizing the value of science and technology. For the case when one team assists another team, this is viewed as “coopetition” - teams helping each other inspire youth. Of course, teams that work together must adhere to the FIRST Rules. In this case, several rules are directly / indirectly related to your question: <R09> Teams must fabricate and/or assemble all custom parts and assembled mechanisms on the robot by the 2004 team after the Kickoff; <R68> Additional Parts must be generally available from suppliers such that any other FIRST team, if desires, may also obtain them at the same price (a specific device fabricated by a team from non-2004 Kit materials does not have to be available to others, however, the materials it is made from must be available to other teams). <R73> The cost of all non-2004 Kit parts and materials used in the construction of a robot must be recorded (in US$) by the team, and a list of all such items and their costs made available during robot inspection. <R74> All costs are to be determined as explained in the cost determination section. Cost Determination. To account for the value of cases when one team donates material to another team, if the donating team members or sponsors do the work without any associated labor costs, that labor is not considered as a cost to the team receiving the donated material. The cost of the raw materials must however be accounted for by the team receiving the material. If the donating team does pay for outside labor, the cost of outside labor must be accounted for by the team receiving the material (along with the cost of the raw materials). We are trying to create a community where working together helps us collectively achieve our goal of inspiring and recognizing science and technology.

While we can ignore the specific rule references to the 2004 rules, the fundamental philosophy of the answer is quite clear.

Hypothetical kudos to Team Generous for trying to do a good thing. I’ll keep my hypothetical fingers crossed for Team Needy, that they do well in the competition.