Inspections at Championship

I think it is important to note that the big show is coming up in less than two weeks. Please reread your 2007 manual paying close attention to robot rules (rev G now on the FIRST website) as well as the game (also Rev G). Staff will be using these latest documents in Atlanta for game play and inspections. Of particular note for electrical is the mandatory use of the Rockwell power distro blocks and the relay and orange team light. If you don’t have these items on your robot, even if you passed inspection elsewhere, they will be required at the Championship. Relays were available in spare parts, but terminal blocks, DIN mounting rails and relay sockets were not. If you know you need these items, I would start ordering them tomorrow so you can have them. Pnuematics will also need to meet spec and will reguire the minimum pnuematic system to make it through inspection. i.e. compressor (one only please), guages (120 and 60 PSI), regulator, pressure switch connected to the RC, spike (to control the compressor from the RC) and pressure relief valve(to vent the system). Please be prepared, read the rules, team updates and the Q&A.

Al is correct. Please don’t make the inspectors life harder than it needs to be. 300 robots is a lot to be inspected :stuck_out_tongue:

On the note of spare parts, FIRST does have the yellow terminal interconnect strips for the Rockwell block … (our team was franticly looking for one of these, but we could only find them in quantities of 50, at $3 each)

I’ve heard rumors from regional inspectors about teams putting illegal motors on their robots (I guess some people couldn’t take a year away from that Van door
motor) … among other things.

And if I have the honor of inspecting your robot … feel free to say hi :cool:

At Lone Star there was a problem with a few teams and their Lego Blocks concerning the yellow interconnect strips. FIRST did NOT have ANY of these parts available or even at Bayou. These teams made makeshift connectors and barely passed inspection because of it. Is there any way that any of you (the inspectors or anyone at all) can check if FIRST will have those or not at Spare Parts so that teams with extras know how many extra to bring.


If I can add my .02…

Last year I was an inspector in Curie and wrote a white paper (at Paul Kloberg’s request) on the good, the bad and the ugly of the inspection process with Dr. Dave Mitchell from NJ. (It went up to Bill Miller and company for implementation of some of the ideas.)

One of the biggest complaints I heard from teams was “But we passsed at XYZ Regional.” As Al pointed out, it does not matter if you passed inspection at your local regional, at Championships the rules will not be overlooked, at least by this inspector. It is not fair to the other teams to pass a team that is not fully compliant. I will and I know of a bunch of inspectors that will help. But, be ready and be early.

One other thing, I know the manual lets you have your parts list either on paper, on a laptop or on a disk/flash drive. Please, please, please print it on paper. It is so much easier to look over your robot for compliance with a paper parts list in hand.

Be early…please.

Make your inspection faster and easier (for your team and the inspectors) by doing the following:

Have at one or maybe handful of students (mechanical, electrical, pneumatic) walk through the 2007 Inspection Checklist. Verify the list item-by-item (i.e. have the Bill of Materials hard-copy available, description of custom circuits, legal flag holder, etc.). It might be difficult to recall everything on the robot when it’s not right there in front of you, but you’ll still be better prepared for your inspection. As a robot inspector, I look for student’s to respond to the inspection items and largely ignore mentor’s comments.

Know some examples of disallowed items (last year’s transmission, van door motor, IFI breaker panel, etc.). If your robot has some known deficiencies (no orange light/breaker, missing power distribution block parts, etc.) be prepared to resolve these as soon as possible in Atlanta.

P.S. I do spot-check the BOM - I look for $$$ items, identify items on the robot that have to be on the BOM (non-KOP transmissions, extra motors/Victors, aluminum extrusion, lexan, etc.). That last-minute scrawling of a few items on a scrap of paper might have worked at a regional, but isn’t up to par for the Championship.

There were a few yellow jumpers in the spares box at Western MI but as with many of the parts, you had to look through everything to find them. Relays were in boxes in the base of the cart. Since many of the spares have been passed out throughout the last 5 weeks, don’t depend on spare parts to save you in Atlanta. Be preprared!

I hear this logic all the time. What many team members apparently do not understand is the vast range of experience that the volunteers have at most of the regionals. Some inspectors have been involved with first for over a decade now, some basically started the weekend they volunteered, but most are somewhere in between. Odds are, that if you happened to be inspected by an inspector with little experience, mistakes were made.

The Championship is a little different. The level of experience is higher. You should expect that these mistakes will be found. You should expect that the inspection process will be tougher especially if you’re pushing a boundry on a rule (exploiting, bending, etc.).

My suggestion to those who do not agree with an inspector’s ruling is to request an appeal to the lead inspector. Our job as lead inspectors is to insure, to the best of our ability, that the inspection process is consistant from team to team and division to division. All of the lead inspectors are very experienced.

Please, Please, Please follow the advice in this thread. Be SURE that you are not using illegal motors (old FP, van door) and last years FRC gearbox. I found several this year at regionals and I’m expecting we will find a few at the championship.

Lastly, please understand that the inspectors do not make the rules, we just enforce them. I understand, from an engineering point of view, that some of the rules just don’t make sense, but that’s the crazy world we live in. A classic example is “holes in the flag stick holder”. It’s against the rules so just don’t go there…

Nuff said …

Last year in Atlanta, we had a couple of rookie team members on our pit crew. The interaction with the inspectors was an experience that helped them understand the value and the quality of the process more. It also helped them gain an appreciation of their own work as they began to see it from the inspector’s perspective. My suggestion to teams would be to listen and to learn as much as you can from the inspectors, you will be better for it.

And all four of us communicate throughout the event so that your experience will be the best we can provide.

One of the questions that arose in Boston was the use of the 2006 camera. I know we had a hard time getting the 2007 camera to work, as did many others. Some teams incorrectly used the 2006 camera. Here is the Q&A answer…edited to show the answer only.

Re: Camera servo outputs
Posted by GDC at 01/12/2007 11:09:42 pm
Under Rule <R28> (as amended in Update #2), you are not permitted to use the 2006 CMUcam II camera module, as it was a part custom made for FIRST, and only available for the 2006 competition. Other camera modules with similar functionality are currently available from other commercial sources. Their use would be permitted, and if they include servo drivers they may be used to track the target lights.

Not to make your life difficult - I completely agree with what you wrote - but…

<R15> …The tube can not have any “lightening holes” or other modifications **other than mounting holes **(paint or other decorative surface finishes are permitted). The flag holder must be permanently …
Actually, this year you really CAN put some holes in the flag holder.


Your killing me Don … :slight_smile:

I was thinking about the “lightening holes” when I wrote that. I understand that you are allowed to have mounting holes this year. My point was to avoid ignoring rules because one thinks they are too trivial to matter.:cool:

This particular rule has been a thorn in my side … Our team actually had to make a special trip to Home Depot at one regional just to buy stainless steel hose clamps to attach the flag stick holder to our 'bot. Nothing else was acceptable to the inspectors, not even our use of velcro. Good thing I wasn’t there to go non-linear. :ahh: