Is there a rule on what you can use to attach things to the robot?

We are considering using tire weights as additional weights on our robot. They attached to the surface with super strong sticky substance. Peel and stick basically. Would this be OK and pass inspection? Or do we have to reinforce with hardware? Thanks in advance.

Watch Port Hueneme, Week 1, any time 1678 or 4144 are on the field, then re-ask your question.

More seriously, look at R203, blue box point J…
j. any ballast not secured sufficiently, including loose ballast e.g. sand, ball
bearings, etc., such that it may become loose during a MATCH,

You will have to convince your inspector that your ballast will not come loose during a match

Peel and stick wheel weights would not have passed at NE Waterbury last weekend. They wanted to see metal fasteners; no tape, adhesives, or cable ties allowed.


Understood. Thanks.

3309 had their battery power connector separate after a single hit through bumpers at OC. Turned their robot off.

Imagine the force required to do that, then assume that whatever tape or glue or zip ties you have need to be replaced with bolts.


I dont think that tape alone will pass. You should probably reinforce with hardware. That being said, 4737 attached something from a slot machine with zip ties I think for weight.

New England LRI’s are very strict on the whole “tape and zip ties are not fasteners” thing.

Tire balancing weights with integral adhesive should be legal though. They’re designed for high vibration, high impact, high speed environments with human safety in mind. If you have proof/documentation of their intended application, these should be legal. If an LRI were to tell me no, I’d be asking them to escalate to the Chief LRI’s.

You’re not going to win that argument with tape, zip ties, or non-integral adhesive, though.

Week 1 last year, we mounted our battery to the top of the kitbot frame. It was secured with two aluminum braces and zip ties. We passed inspection, but after the first hit (we were playing defense at the time), it flew out of the makeshift cradle right into our Rio. It bent nearly every pin shorting it out (luckily we used pin savers, which admittedly made the pins more susceptible to damage) shorting out the Rio.

We fixed it, and after a few failed attempts (and lots of help from the inspectors to whom we are ever indebted), were able to secure our battery. When we got home, the first thing we did was use the Andymark kitbot battery cradle. I do not remember why we did not do that originally, but it was not our best decision.

TLDR Thin stock and zip ties can ruin your day quickly. Especially relating to heavy items on the bot, and even more so the higher up from the ground they are.


We showed up to be inspected after adding weight and were forced to bolt our weights down. The judges didn’t like the adhesive and cable ties we used. I understand the logic but we bolted the weight to a plastic panel and I doubt it was any stronger.

Wheel weights are attached to cars and airplane wheels with adhesive. Some of which are spun up to 100+ mph in seconds. But a good many LRIs will not pass them. You might try Q&A to get a definitive answer, but probably not. BTW it would take a lot of wheel weights to significantly add weight to a robot.

Most LRIs do not consider zip ties fasteners for anything of significant weight. The same for adhesives.

So very much this, and at a significant cost to weight ratio.

I assume you mean robot inspectors?

Robot Inspectors wear bright yellow hats, Judges wear blue polo shirts. Their responsibilities are very different, and a judge shouldn’t and can’t make you change part of your robot.


Absolutely correct, although judges are free to not like things.

I cannot speak for all RIs (or any LRIs), but I recommend against using zip-ties or adhesive tape for any load-bearing function (e.g. securing ballast or battery) on a robot if you want to pass inspection. Think about turning your robot upside-down and shaking it.

Like the other replies, I would agree. Last week we had a plastic panel (less heavy than an additional weight) attached with velcro, which we still had to reinforce with zip ties mid-competition due to it falling off, so more securing for weights would definitely be advisable. In terms of added weight, to avoid being a “Tippy McTipperson”, we chose to add it through metal panels at our drive base. Also, see you at Macomb!

Reminds me of a funny story. A team was just slightly overweight and drilled a bunch of speed holes in 1x1 aluminum tubing near the top of the robot. The first time they went out on the field and got a hard hit, a large silver cloud of tinsel came out of the top of the robot as all of the drill debris found its way out of the tubing. Some field vacuuming was required at the end of that match!

Moral of the story: use vacuums and cloth coverings when drilling to try to minimize how much metal debris you’re going to generate on the field.

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And please, please, please, cover your roboRIO ports. Adhesive tape is a fine solution for that.


I dimly remember that at one point in the past “tape” was explicitly forbidden, and there were bizarre rulings like allowing/disallowing exactly the same product depending on whether it was marketed as “non-skid tape” or “non-skid strips”. I was happy to see that rule removed. Now it’s up to the robot inspectors to decide whether your tape/adhesive usage is reasonable or not.

Ouch, yes. IIRC electrical and labeling tape were exempt. The theory was that HQ didn’t want robots to be duct-taped, er, cruddy-looking robots.

Once someone pointed out that ridiculousness, 2007 ramps IIRC, it went away.

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