Reusing Old Robot Parts

I know there have been a lot of posts concerning the reuse of older parts on the current year’s robot, but I have a question about a particular part that I’m not sure how to define.

Last year, our team made a custom battery box out of steel plate. It wasn’t anything special, just a nonfunctioning box. I want to know if it would be possible for our team to use that same battery box again on the current bot, or if we would have to make a new battery box altogether.

I know the rule concerning part reusage in the 2013 Game Manual: “COTS items from Robots entered in previous FRC competitions that are no longer commerically available may be used only if they are functionally equivalent to the original conditions as delivered from the VENDOR.” My question is would the custom made, steel battery box be considered a COTS item? If it was, then I would see why it would not be legal to reuse it. Yet a COTS item is defined as a “standard part commonly available from the VENDOR, available from a non-Team source, and available to all teams for purchase.” I wouldn’t really consider the box that. Any suggestions?

From what you said, you must make a new battery box.

Yeah, what he said… sorry. The only time you can take a part off the old robot and put it on the new one is when any team could easily order that exact same part, in the exact same condition.

Hopefully it won’t take too long… perhaps there is an improvement you could make to improve the design of the new one… making it stronger or lighter than the old one?


The applicable rule here is:


ROBOT elements, including software, that are designed or created before Kickoff are not permitted, unless they are publicly available prior to Kickoff.

The steel plate your battery box was made out of was originally a COTS item - any team could go out an purchase an identical steel plate. Once you modified it and shaped it into a battery box, it became a robot element. Since you did that last year, it’s a robot element that was created before kickoff.

As soon as you say “last year we made…”, that part is immediately off-limits.

Ok, thanks guys! I hadn’t thought of R16. It’s not too big of an inconvenience, I was just making sure. No point in doing more work than necessary. Thanks again!