R13 - Expansion Boards Question

I had a question regarding the legality of expansion boards for the roboRIO.

Can they be designed before Kickoff in any way? Is this allowed? If so, what are the requirements to do so? Do the designs need to be publicly released?

Assuming that R13 is the same next year, you would need to release your design publicly prior to kickoff. You would have to manufacture the board after kickoff.

So even if I released schematics for it January 2nd online, it would be OK? What about prototyping? Could I build a test version before kickoff, then build a version from the final schematics after kickoff?

So NI released tools to develop the expansion boards. First released information on the port so teams can start development. Some Beta teams are apparently doing a lot with this. I wonder if the GDC has thought about this & the implications of the 2015 R13. You can publish the designs before kick off & use them? I can read the rule both ways on that. Unless the raw circuit boards were cots, they would have to be made after kickoff.

You also will not be able to use the same board year to year without remaking them.

USFIRST needs to clarify on this.

USFIRST needs to clarify


Ducks before Gregor gets here

I agree, but I suspect that [R13] will largely remain the same as it has in previous years. Of course, anything here should be taken with a grain of salt until the official rules come out. With that in mind, I would release the schematics for the board before kickoff and hope for the best.

I posted a comment on the other Frank’s blog MyRio post. We will see if First comments on it.


FIRST doesn’t regulate what doesn’t go on your robot, thus you can prototype all you want, as long as you follow all the rules for what does go on your robot. Besides the schematic, I would expect the gerber files to be published as well.

The United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology ("FIRST”®)…

I’ll let it pass. :wink: