Piezo Beepers/Buzzers on a Robot?

I had an idea a day or two ago to potentially add a small Piezo Beeper to our robot for making error noises and maybe a few other things on the side. This would likely be controlled by the Arduino that’s going to be on our robot anyway.

I remembered hearing that you couldn’t put speakers on robots, but I wondered if beepers counted due to being so small and simple (i.e. it’s highly unlikely to interfere with anything). I decided to dig up the rule about speakers to see what it had to say.

Rule R9b states: “Speakers, sirens, air horns, or other audio devices that generate sound at a level
sufficient to be a distraction [shall not be added to a robot]”

In addition to the already mentioned size and simplicity of beepers, a small one likely wouldn’t even be audible in the dull roars of competitions. I’m 95% sure it would be fine to put one on a robot, but it’s entirely possible I’m missing something here. (This is more of an “is this possible?” question than a “can we do this?” question)

Is this for the drivers to hear? That drivers station wall is very good at blocking sound. Add on music playing and the game announcer baying and it would be very difficult to hear.

I probably should have specified that it would mainly be used during debugging or fixing things and that it wouldn’t really have any purpose when the game is actually being played. That’s my fault though. Yeah, leaving it on there during the game would mean that basically no one can hear it.

We’ve used a piezo buzzer for a very similar purpose to what you’ve described for several seasons now. Generally, it buzzes whenever the robot is enabled and when the RoboRio boots up. In 2015, it was also used to indicate that the robot had passed the legal “ceiling” (we had a multijointed arm that could potentially create that scenario). I’m not involved with its development and operation, but Joe Ross might be able to chime in.
Edit: We’ve also used it for debugging purposes IIRC, like testing new sensors.

Last year, we made a custom PCB to simplify wiring and added convenience features like adjustable sound levels: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bf1INf0jZDX/

A few people have asked us if we’d consider selling them as an assembled kit, but our student resources are a bit lacking at the moment.

Thanks for the input! I think I’ll look into this as a potential feature for out bot this year.

Also, those are some cool boards.

If your purpose is for the driver/operator to hear it, you’d be better off putting it on the driver station. Many teams use the “rumble” actuator in handheld units for the functions you describe.