Is a Cheeseburger a COTS item?

Yes, But you do not have to count it on the BOM because it is less than $5. However, there are rules against liquids on the robot so consider that.

Are you claiming ketchup is a liquid? And the red “strawberry jam” grease isn’t?


If some of the ketchup drips out, is it considered modified from the COTS form?

What if it costs more than $5?

Lie about it


How does one account for tipping the waiter?

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Please don’t tell me you’re using ketchup for lubricant. Mayonnaise works much better.

Back to OP: Yes, if it is routinely assembled by a VENDOR it is COTS. It’s a SANDWICH even if you fabricate it yourself.

It doesn’t matter this year as long as you could reasonably remove that much ketchup in under 30 minutes with hand tools. [I wonder if a straw counts as a hand tool if you put it in your mouth and let go with your hand.]


No, the ketchup is decorative. You are correct that mayonnaise is the better lubricant since it has a higher oil content.

Since the ketchup can be put back in, the cheeseburger can be returned to COTS configuration.

No, but you have to employ your spill kit to clean it up. It’s an acid after all.

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If you trim the excess toppings, does it stay COTS or turn into a FABRICATED ITEM?
How much does a team have to do to make the cheeseburger go from component to MAJOR MECHANISM?


The strawberry jam is not to be used on the robot. It is meant to be eaten while assembling the gearboxes. If you put it in the gears do not make any noise, which means that they are not working.

Depends on the game challenge its being used to address

.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.

If one of the field elements is hungry, it could be a MAJOR MECHANISM in its own right (and therefore illegal to use if the team doesn’t build it).


All I know is that the COTS cheeseburger I had for lunch dripped grease on my pants. I consider that to have caused an unsafe condition, so while it may qualify as COTS, it violated R9.

Oh wow I’m am glad that you informed me of this major mistake.

Why don’t you just ask them to sponsor your team and then not tip them?

Good thought, but according to R14, wouldn’t the waiter from the sponsored restaurant also have to be considered a member of the team in order to negate all labor/tip costs?
I’m pretty sure we don’t have to worry about paying the chef, since the “estimated normal cost of the labor” would be $0 USD at most restaurants.

Guys we forgot about the buns. What if there are multiple options for buns like Gluten-free, whole wheat, white, etc.?

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What would the RI’s do if they cannot confirm the legality of the cheeseburgers?

Bribe them

Some RI’s might confiscate the"questionable" cheeseburgers for further evaluation…