<R06> normal wear and tear

in rule <R06> it says “The surface tread of the ROVER WHEELS may not be modified except through normal wear-and-tear.” does this mean we can put it on a really fast moter and just normally grind it on something to get grooves on it which would make more traction?

1 will this end up helping w the grip?
sorry we haven’t tried the wheels yet btw…

umm also according to this line i dont think what you are thinking of doing will work because:

The intent of this rule is that the ROVER WHEELS be used in as close to their “out of the box” condition as possible, to provide the intended low-friction dynamic performance during the game

as close to their out of the box condition as possible, so by doing that you are violating that rule arent you?

ic ah yeah your right my bad

Either way, I’m not sure that doing that intentionally would be considered “normal wear and tear” although it may look like it (difficult to prove… don’t do it). Also, through your method, it sounds like you would be breaking the following in the same rule

Specifically, the addition of cleats, studs, carved treads, alterations to the wheel profile, high-traction surface treatments, adhesive coatings, abrasive materials, and/or other attachments are prohibited.

You’d somewhat be “carving” it and by the word “grind” you’re at least applying an abrasive material.

Right but what if our team’s testing area only consists of a back room rough concreate floor that doesnt get much wear and tear, leaving it highly abrasive?

hehe EXACTLY!!! that would be classified as “wear”

Normal wear and tear would, to me, be just what you’d get from driving around on something that is close to the field surface. If you show up at an event I’m at and you aren’t exhibiting the typical properties of the wheels, I might talk to the inspectors. I have no idea of the wear characteristics, so I’m not sure it’ll be easy to spot.

I wonder if maybe the inspectors will go around giving teams replacement wheels if they deem there is too much wear on the current ones. Considering they made people use these wheels, they ought to be providing replacements at the competitions.

I honestly think that if you know you are going to have to drive around on a rough surface and it might scuff up the wheels, you should buy a second set of wheels and change them out before ship. That will be the only way to ensure that your wheels are close to out of the box.

Remember it is each team’s own responsibility to comply with the rules, and if you don’t you are at risk of not being able to play. Honestly I would rather be changing my weels to a new set at my shop before ship then in my pit on Thursday night so I can pass inspection.

I think normal wear and tear would constitute a layer of small scratches and that would be it. it would be pretty easy to tell if these wheels were used to do burnouts on an asphalt surface to an inspector, imo.

also, it would appear as if what you are saying is in violation of the nature of the rule, as it is there to provide the intended low gravity dynamic.

Come on guys, don’t modify the wheels. The rules state no modifications to the wheels and “ALMOST NEW WHEELS”.

I’m not concerned too much with people purposely modifying the wheels, but what if you are competing in three or four competitions and your wheels are excessively worn down? Are the inspectors going to call you on it? If they do, and you have to change your wheels will they provide you with replacements?

I wonder if replacement wheels will be available at regionals in case of unexpected wear and teams don’t have their own extras.

I really don’t think modifying your wheels through any sort of semantics related to “normal wear-and-tear” would be Gracious Professionalism. You know what the rules are meant to do (make it so you don’t modify your wheels to an advantage) and you shouldn’t subvert that.

Alright, yes, teams could, in theory, go drive their robots on the road outside their building to scuff up the wheels and call it “normal wear and tear”. It’s up the every team to follow the rules, there’s a million ways around this rule and none fall anywhere under “gracious professionalism”.

That said, does scuffing up the wheels actually help anything? Assuming the competition floor is completley flat (no gouges, grooves, etc.) then there would be nothing for the scuffs on the wheel to interlock with. Thus, all that could possibly propel the robot would be frictional forces, which are surface area independent (i.e. roughing up the wheels won’t help.) Am I missing something?

there was a short discussion by one of the “nerds” on our team who wanted to mount 4 wifi cards changing the band from broad to narrow to aim it at the wheels in effect heating them expanding the material just barely making it softer and grippier…

cause that would be legal…

i wouldn’t be surprised to see lots of robots with black asphalt scuffed wheels…

i also wouldn’t be surprised to see lots of robots forced to put on new wheels to get onto the playing field

I’m sure that FIRST will eventually define the inspector’s role in this. It may be empirical or subjective. We just don’t know yet.

I am sure that, if your wheels have embedded contaminates which scuff the field, the FTA will likely prohibit you from competing until the problem is resolved (as per ).

I would guess that’s a big no.

I would follow Greg’s advice above. If you are going to practice on a rough surface, purchase spares and bring them to the competition.



Where could we buy spare wheels for the competition?

You might be able to get a little more traction if you jerk the bot back and forth to accelerate wear and tear. At the beginning of the season I suggest running the bot on blocks and holding sand paper to it (as a joke we’re not actually doing it).

You’ll probably have to restore the tread surface if you do that.