Question about "Withholding Allowance"

Reading over the rules, we couldn’t find a clear statement on this: Can electronics be considered part of the “Withholding Allowance” that can be added onto the robot during competitions? We’re building a practice robot and we’d prefer not to pay double for electronics if it can be avoided.

Has anyone looked into this before?


Anything can be part of the Withholding Allowance.

Note: You do not have to include COTS parts that have not been modified.

For example, if you are using a Raspberry Pi, the Pi itself is COTS and can be excluded. But, if you modify it (custom mount with other electronics), then that would be Fabricated, and have to be included.

Also keep in mind that two COTS parts attached to each other count as an assembly and against your withholding allowance. This counts for electronics too. You could keep a significant amount of parts off your robot for ship day if you disassemble it all down to cots parts and reassemble it at the event, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Okay, thanks. The whole “Fabricated parts” threw us off, although I can almost certainly recall teams moving their electronics in past years.

If you do much more than open the box/bag/shrink wrap and inspect it, it’s probably a fabricated item.

See also the first blue box of 4.1 for some case studies, and of course R18, which describes the withholding allowance and its exemptions. (Warning: there are fewer exemptions to the withholding allowance rules than in the robot fabrication rules.)