Low weight we can bring to the event

Hi,
This year we can bring only 30 pound without the robot to the event(last year it was 65)
Isn’t that very low?
My team want to keep our arm and electrical for the second robot but I don’t think we will be able to do that.
Are you in the same problem?

Last year’s allowance wasn’t originally 65. It was lower than that, and raised due to really nasty weather here in the U.S.

With careful planning, I’m sure you can make it. COTS parts don’t go into the allowance. The Minibot and Operator Console don’t go into the allowance. Plan ahead, and I’m sure you can come up with something.

There used to be no withholding allowance!

Sorry but I don’t feel bad for you. Personally I think that it is a bit strange to be allowed to bring parts to competition. I thought that we had 6 weeks to do all of this… not until we got to competition. As you point out, with 30 pounds you could make a brand new arm and bring it that is better than what you cam up with (possibly based on something you saw at a regional). You could make new gearboxes (possibly changing your robot from single speed to shifting based on what you see or some new rule development after you ship).

But it’s in the rules, and it’s 30 pounds… good luck.

This falls under GP, there’s no reason why you couldn’t do anything you just mentioned, but because of GP, you really really ought not do that. FIRST lays out rules that are impossible to enforce, but again, GP steps in and saves the day.

Um, “GP” has nothing to do with it, if a team wants to put in the work to build an entirely new arm and bring it in that is up to them.

To quote that one guy (JVN) “design is an iterative process” and continuous improvement is the name of the game for people who are working towards Einstein.

So if you build an arm that turns out so-so, and have the possibility available to build a new one, or improvements to the old one, and you don’t do it, thats your loss in competitive edge.

Nothing to do with “GP”

Agreed. If FIRST didn’t want this to happen or if they viewed improving the robot ‘UnGP’, they could easily get rid of the witholding allowance.

Teams may bring a maximum of 30 pounds of custom FABRICATED ITEMS (SPARE
PARTS, REPLACEMENT PARTS, and UPGRADE PARTS, plus all WITHHOLDING
ALLOWANCE items) to each competition event to be used to repair and/or upgrade their ROBOT at the competition site. All other FABRICATED ITEMS to be used on the ROBOT during the competition shall arrive at the competition venue packed in the shipping crate or lockout bag with the ROBOT

REPLACEMENT PARTS – a COMPONENT or MECHANISM constructed as a functional duplicate of an existing part of the ROBOT, for the purpose of replacing a broken or defective part.

UPGRADE PARTS - a COMPONENT or MECHANISM intended to provide additional functionality not currently available on the ROBOT. UPGRADE PARTS may be COTS items or custom FABRICATED ITEMS, and may either add to or replace existing functionality.

Blue Box:

Example: A HOSTBOT is designed with a c-channel frame. The system works well, but can be misshapen if hit aggressively. The team adds two more pieces of cchannel to brace the frame and prevent this problem. The c-channel is identical to that already on the HOSTBOT. The new pieces of c-channel would be considered UPGRADE PARTS even though they are the same as the ones already in place, as they alter the functionality of the HOSTBOT and provide new capability

It seems like what you start with is what you have to stay with for the most part. I take this to mean that you can’t build an entirely new mechanism.

Re-read what you just quoted, you can bring in upgrade parts

The definition of UPGRADED parts makes me belief you can build a box bot in 6 weeks and then bring in an arm built after week 1 competitions that “adds to existing functionality…not currently available on the robot”.

I personally don’t like how teams can completely change their robot after seeing a dominate design. I understand continous improvement, but I don’t like how it cheapens the 6 week build season. I don’t have to like the rule to take advantage of it, though.

What was the definition of UPGRADE PARTS again?

UPGRADE PARTS - a COMPONENT or MECHANISM intended to provide additional functionality not currently available on the ROBOT. UPGRADE PARTS may be COTS items or custom FABRICATED ITEMS, and may either add to or replace existing functionality.
(emphasis mine)

If my robot does not have an arm, in any way, shape, or form, I can use my time between ship and events and build one from scratch. It is a FABRICATED ITEM that happens to be functioning as an UPGRADE PART, as it is giving additional functionality not currently available. As such, as long as it is within the 30 lb. Withholding Allowance, and would not cause the robot to violate any other rules, I can bring it in, fully assembled, bolt it onto my drive base, go pass inspection, and possibly win the event, without having shipped an arm from my last event (or my home shop).

Extreme example? Yes. Legal? Yes, unless someone can show me otherwise. Crazy? You know it’s crazy to try that.

I asked that because my team is building a second robot for practices as last year and we don’t have the money to build a second arm so we thought to tqake the arm from our robot to the second robot as we did last year (we took the hanging).
Read Bill’s Blog and you will know that it is legal to improve the 30 pound weight during the days that are not in the 6 weeks (and read the manual)

Aren, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of with holding limits are all of the Dumping mechanisms teams brought to the later regionals and championships in 2009.

If memory serves me right, it wasn’t all that uncommon to see a handful of teams walk in Friday with a new Dumping Mechanism and Leave Saturday evening with a Shooter. (and in some cases a banner :P)

I imagine something similar will happen this year, with a lot of teams swapping out claws, arm mechanisms, etc as the season goes on.

In no way was I trying to say that you shouldn’t do this. In fact, it is in the rules that you can bring upgraded parts, spares, etc… So you should.

The entire point, which I guess I missed, was that no one should be upset about being allowed to bring 30 pounds of material, even if it was cut down from last year.

In my opinion, you essentially turn a 6 week build season into a 20ish week build season (if you make the Championships). I do not like the rule that you are allowed to bring actual parts with you to a competition. I did however, like the ‘old’ days when you would bring material with you and make the parts at the competition.

Just my own preference.

Good luck all.

i agree with the idea that is was really more fun when everyone came in crates and if you wanted to change your robot you had to do the fabrication onsite at an event. I can remember Team 71 completely rebuilding their robot onsite at a regional and being in the hunt on Saturday. It was fascinating to watch that team and what they could do with tools on hand, materials and great ingenuity and team work.

Given the 30 lb rule and the exclusion of the minibot and everything we really are approaching a time when all rules will be off…
Bring your robot and compete…

FTC is like this… and you see many teams learning from other teams and altering their robots as the season progresses.

They are both valid approaches…certainly iterative… but I like the old days…

Open the crate… build/fix/program and compete.

This year the weight restriction is really 45 lbs if you count the minibot.

Don’t forget that you don’t count the battery either.

I’ve found the robot builders love the witholding allowance, the parents hate it.

The rules explicitly allow behavior. It is not “un-GP” to do something the Manual plainly tells you that you can do.

Just want to say this. My original interpretation of the rule was a little unclear thanks in part to two things: 1) Last year was my and my team’s rookie year and 2) the example they give in the manual isn’t very good.

Thanks everyone for the clarification of this rule. It’s sure going to help quite a bit.

My wife isn’t a huge fan of it either… She liked it more when ship date came and went, and then I actually got to see her for a week or two before competition. As it is, we spend literally days without seeing each other (except when one of us is unconscious) and communicating through e-mail and text messaging – this includes both our anniversary and, of course, Valentine’s Day…

…but she knows that if we want to be in the hunt for the top spot, we have to put in the time, and I’m lead mentor, so I’m in the hot seat.

I’m a lucky man! (But I’d still like to see a ‘no withholding allowance’ change to the rules for 2012… It evens things up for first week vs. later regionals, too.)

I don’t think so. Week 1 regional competitors are all in the same boat. They’re the first ones on the field to play the game. When they’re done, they can start redesigning some mechanisms for their next regional and/or the championship. Since it’s 30 lbs at each competition, there’s no real advantage given to a later regional vs an early one.