Is it still legal to have a pneumatics system with no compressor, just air tanks mounted on the robot?


Hello everybody, our team (5557) was wondering if it is still legal to use only compressed air tanks on board the robot, without having a compressor mounted. Thanks!


No. See


and try to keep up with the rules changes, there is usually a Team Update on Tuesday and Friday afternoon.

it can be challenging :slight_smile:


See R86.

R86. Throughout an event, compressed air on the ROBOT must be provided by its one onboard compressor only. Compressor specifications must not exceed nominal 1.10 cfm (~519 cm3/s) flow rate @ 12VDC.

A ROBOT’S compressor may be substituted by another compressor, but a ROBOT may
only have one designated compressor at a time, and all compressed air on the ROBOT
must be sourced from a single compressor.


It is allowed you just have to make sure that when you charge the air tanks before the match that they are charged by a regulation air compressor powered by the robot.


not this year, unfortunately. See Richard’s quote of the rule, above.


No, it is not. This is one of the rule changes this year, outlined in the manual and the team updates.

Please try to refer to the manual when answering questions about the rules, so that other teams are not misinformed.


What part of R86 are you claiming this violates. You can put an air compressor on your robot to charge your tanks in the pit and then remove it before the match starts. All air is still sourced from a single on-board compressor as r86 requires.


Well I guess that depends on the meaning of the word “onboard”…


Edit - sorry, I mis-read this as removable tanks rather than a removable compressor. Yes, the inspection issue would come up.

As for removable tanks or a “pit tank”, it turns out that there are other pneumatics rules which prohibit either option.


I would say the removal of a compressor would warrant a reinspection, at which point you would fall for not having an on board compressor.


You are not required to have a compressor, only that the air you use comes from one.


when you remove the compressor, it becomes an off-board compressor.



I think this plus R85 would be the problem with that.


The wording and intent of the rule seems obvious; no off board compressors.

If you plan on arguing with the inspectors about this, it’d be a really good idea to make sure you’ve got the weight and space to accommodate the compressor on board, because that’s where it’s going to end up if you want to play.

As a bonus question, anyone want to guess as to why first finally nixed the off board compressor?


I3 doesn’t really stop you from pulling the compressor. You just cannot charge the pneumatic system without mounting it again. But. Keep in mind R89 doesn’t allow valves (other than the vent valve) in the high pressure side, so how are you going to keep are in the system with the compressor removed? The big reason for an off board compressor was to save weight. Even if you took the compressor off for matches, it still counts against the robot max weight.


But…why? Is there some safety issue that has come up? Or are they just tired of letting people refill their tanks when they sit on the field too long waiting for technical issues to be resolved.


I would also reference R91

If there is no compressor there are no provisions for the relief valve, which is required.


Keep in mind I didn’t change the rule and the people how know aren’t talking. (Other than maybe AL) The RI part of me is glad to see them go. It was a PIA to inspect because the teams doing it often had not fully read the rules. I don’t see it as a safety issue even if you were filling them from a non legal compressor as many teams did.

Needing to charge the system before a match was a team problem because the referees did not have to give any additional time.


Another good point