FIRST’s answer to a request for relief from rule M11’s limit on energy stored in a spring at the beginning of a match is to ask for a proposed new rule for them to consider.
I propose the following replacement for the second bullet of M11:
Storage achieved by deformation of springs or latex tubing;
However, safety is a very serious concern when using springs as an energy source. Teams should be especially careful because large amount of energy can be stored in springs. More importantly, this potentical energy can be very rapidly converted to kinetic energy possibly endangering workers, drivers, and spectators.
Therefore, if a spring or series of springs in combination are used to power a mechanism of the robot and the energy stored in the spring or springs is stored in the springs prior to the start of the macth, then one of the following two conditions must be met:
the energy stored in the spring or springs must be relatively small (less than 20 ft-lbs = 28 Joules = 28 N-m).
the energy stored in the spring or springs must be released at a controlled rate (under 1000 N-m / second = 1000 Watts).
For example, if the spring has stored 2000 Joules of energy it must take at least 2 second to release all its energy. Similarly, a spring with 500 Joules stored in it can release its energy in .5 seconds.
Safety is the overall concern of this rule. Even if the energy of the spring is stored after the match begins, please be careful to store and release that energy in a safe.