Question about pre-charging robots this year : Looks as if we can't?

In years past we have been able to pre-charge our robots using a separate battery before carrying it onto the field. This year it appears as if that rule has been changed to where, if you have pneumatics of any kind, you have to have a compressor on your robot as opposed to charging cylinders pre-match (while waiting in queue).
Cite rule ‘R86’ image
Is this what this means? Are we no longer allowed to pre-charge our robots? If so, Does the time when we can start the charging process, the same point as when we turn on our robot on the field?

there are a couple other threads about this already…

You can still pre charge your pneumatic system. You just have to do it with the onboard compressor, and the battery in the robot, while tethered to your driver station laptop. But you are allowed to change the battery after you do this, before your match begins.

just like we’ve been doing for years.


This should answer your question

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Thank you so much for responding and helping out.
I’m sorry that it’s a redundant post. I tried finding something on the topic, but didn’t find anything.
Thanks again!

Just curious, where does this requirement come from?

If I am not mistaken you cannot have any wireless connections in the pit, meaning that you cannot enable your robot without a cable

Hmmn. R92c implies that the compressor will be controlled through the PCM or the RIO, but I haven’t found anything which explicitly states that the robot control system must power/control the compressor. R36 says this about actuators, but the compressor is not listed in the motor and actuator table of R34. So, either the compressor required for pneumatics is illegal, or it doesn’t have to be controlled through the robot circuitry. I expect that this will be clarified in coming weeks, by a rule stating that (as has been the case in the past) the compressor may only be powered through the control system. I am certain FIRST will not allow compressors to be hotwired in the pits or queue.

In the past, whether onboard or off board, the pneumatic rules required the compressor by controlled by the robot and powered by the battery on the robot. Some teams routinely ignored this and powered the off board compressor with a separate battery or used a shop compressor. (I did not write the rule or I am defending the rule). This years rewrite of rule R86 seems to have left off the specific requirement of only using the robot battery and controls to run the compressor. Interesting application the the law of unintended consequences. Which also means that you can short the pressure switch to charge the system if you don’t feel like enabling the robot. (Expect to be told that this is unsafe and you can’t do it base on safety.)

This is completly allowed, just as in years past.

by “This” you mean pre charging the system using the onboard compressor and robot control system, right?

Yes, this is what I was referring to. Sorry for the confusion… :slight_smile:

As of team update 02, it is. So compressors are legal! It also at least identifies that the compressor is a “motor or actuator”, meaning [with the tiniest stretch] that it’s subject to R36, so it has to be controlled through the control system, in this case a PCM or relay module per R37*. I’m satisfied that this does what I thought they meant to do, though I wouldn’t rule out Zebulon Raymond Korn CM, Esq. arguing that his team can hot wire a compressor.

  • I just realized that you can control a compressor through one of the legal Automation Direct relays; makes lots of sense, but it just now clicked.