Is it legal to use pneumatics without a pneumatics tank?

Question is the title. We’re desperate to shave off some weight.

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I can’t think of a reason why this would be illegal but I’m not sure that it’s a practical solution. You should try to have at least one tank if you want your pneumatic mechanisms to be effective at all. The compressor isn’t designed to function in this way.

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See R78 in the game manual. An on-board compressor is REQUIRED this year (it hasn’t always been in the past).

He was asking about a storage tank, not a compressor.

My bad lol

Effectively, it takes your “stored air” volume to “whatever is in the lines”… it wouldn’t not work, but it would be utterly brutal to your compressor and I wouldn’t want to run more than a couple pneumatic latches a couple times in a match. If you were running the viair 90C, I’d definitely put a couple fans on the head unit (see 95’s build thread).

If all you need to do is extend an intake once and then can leave it out the rest of the match, maybe you could get away with it…

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It would make any cylinder of size really slow to extend/retract.

So there’s a chance that you dont need an air tank if it’s just for 1 piston (on robot overall, only have to activate twice (extend retract, extend retract) in one match if the match calls for it)

Legal? Yes.
Smart? Most likely not.

Also, what tanks are you currently using?

Clippard tank (just one). We have pancake cylinders that engage/disengage dog gears, so very short throw and minimal volume. (I am in same team.)

Considering the weight of just one air tank is under 3/4 of a pound, there has to be other places to remove a little bit of weight and stash a tank. God forbid you need multiple shifts of your drive train. being its only a pancake cylinder as your only pneumatics, you only need 1 tank.

If I was frantically removing weight before an event, and was desperate enough to remove my only air tank, I’d look at removing the shifter entirely. Shifting gearboxes aren’t a major benefit to most teams, as long as the robot is traction limited in high gear.

Nevermind if it’s a PTO.

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It engages our climber, which runs off our drive train - so no good removing system altogether.

If this is the only mechanism you’re actuating the whole match, dropping your tank won’t be the end of the world. You should still definitely look to shed weight in other areas though.

Believe me, it’s got plenty of holes everywhere already… :slightly_smiling_face: Thanks for all the input.

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If you’re using steel gears, replace them with pocketed aluminum gears from west coast products. That should make a huge difference. In fact, anywhere you’re using steel, you can most likely get away with aluminum. There are exceptions but those are small.

I’ve inspected and passed a team without a tank, however, my LRI and I had a long discussion about it at the time, so be prepared to have a discussion with the Robot Inspector about it.


Thanks for the tip. Any suggestions in case our inspectors are skeptical of our setup?

Clippard makes miniature air tanks down to less than 0.25 cubic inches.


Point out R78 does not list a tank. Remember you can ask for the LRI if the RI is persnickety.