Legality On Expansion Boards for the RoboRIO

Hey guys,

I have read the rules about this a few times, but they never seem to stick in my head. The new RoboRIO control system is coming out for the 2015 season, and with it, support for a new feature called expansion boards.

Expansion boards are protoboards that plug into a port on the RoboRIO. My question is:

Can I buy these boards and build custom circuits on them before season?
When I build these circuits, is it legal to use them on the robot even though they were constructed before season?
Can I use programming created before kickoff to use the expansion boards?

Thanks for the help CD!

Good Question. Our team will need access to several of the pins on the port. If we make an adapter board before kick off, is it legal?

Yes, I’d expect that would be a good learning experience.


ROBOT elements created before Kickoff are not permitted. ROBOT elements, including software, that are designed before Kickoff are not permitted.

Exceptions include the following:

C. battery assemblies per R5-A, and
D. software and designs with source files publicly available prior to Kickoff.

Per 2014 R13D, you could not use the circuit, and you can only use the code if make your code publicly available.

These are the 2014 rules, the 2015 rules are going to be different (this rule has a good chance of remaining the same).

I’d recommend doing that still as it will be a worthwhile learning experience, and your learning will carry over to the build season.

I would hold off making concrete plans about the expansion port until a later date. We had a discussion about the boards at alpha. More specifically, we talked about safety, inspection, and possible safety certification. First needs to work out a comprehensive plan on how they plan on handling them.