Robot and Inspection Rules changes, 2022

As the title indicates, this topic is for robot and inspection rule changes for 2022. I am going to ignore the 2021 changes, and refer to changes from the final 2020 rules on the FRC rules archive as the base. I am not going to worry about changes to rule numbers, or references to them, just substantive changes. I am making this topic a wiki because we have some rule previews, and know that things shall evolve through the season.

Use of bold/italics: Rules as of kickoff will be in normal text. Bold will be used for section headings and for emphasis. Italics will indicate changes through team updates and/or clarified through Q&A.

Most of the rules are still in the same order. While I will not address re-numbering, I will try to call out where rules moved. I will not address where “game piece” was replaced with CARGO, ARENA Personnel with FIELD STAFF, or similar changes. Many graphics have been re-done, usually to add metric equivalents. As of kickoff, I am only addressing one which looks different (but isn’t really).

9 Overview

  1. This is not numbered section 9.1 as it was in 2020. This allows the other sections to be 9.1 through 9.9 rather than 9.2 through 9.10, simplifying use of the new rule numbering scheme.
  2. Apart from that, the only change I saw is that the example of buying a fabricated item from a VENDOR was moved from being a rule proper into a blue box.

9.1 General Robot Design

  1. The size and weight limit rules were rearranged (R103 - R105).
  2. The maximum height in STARTING CONFIGURATION is 52" (45" in 2020)(R104). Note also that G106 limits height 52" for most of the match, 66" in own HANGAR ZONE.
  3. The maximum robot extension beyond the FRAME PERIMETER is 16" (12" in 2020)(R105).
  4. No changes to FRAME PERIMETER, BUMPER ZONE, or bumper dimensions.

9.2 Safety and Damage Prevention

  1. No significant changes

9.3 Budget Constraints and Fabrication Schedule

  1. No overall robot cost limit (same as 2021)
  2. Individual part cost limit raised to $600. This rule and the Fair Market Value rule were merged as R301.
  3. Parts fabricated before kickoff follow 2020 (not 2021) rules (R302).

9.4 Bumper Rules

  1. R406d allows narrow areas of underlying fabric to be exposed at seams, corners, or folds.
  2. The BUMPER support examples graphic (Fig 9-9) is rearranged, but conveys the same information.

9.5 Motors and Actuators

  1. The REV Robotics HD Hex motor is legal (R501)
  2. No exclusion for FIRST Choice fans - must be ≤ 120mm, ≤ 10W.
  3. The PDH switched channel is a legal relay module for non-actuator purposes. (R503)
    3+. The REV Robotics HD Hex was added to the 2/MC, 1/RM list in R504.
  4. The Pneumatic Hub is a legal pneumatic controller. (R503)
  5. Multiple CUSTOM CIRCUITS may be controlled by a pneumatics controller (formerly only one) (R504). CUSTOM CIRBUITS are no longer defined here, but in R614 - and repeated in the glossary.
  6. The REV Robotics Servo Hub was added as a legal servo connection point (R505) for kickoff, and removed in TU01, presumably because it won’t be ready this season.

9.6 Power Distribution

  1. The REV PDH (Power Distribution Hub) is also useable where the PDP was.
    a. There are no rule limits on the number of 40A breakers permitted with the PDH [just the fact that there are only 20 places to plug one in!).
  2. The REV RPM (Radio Power Module) is also useable to power the radio.
  3. R609 added an Optifuse main breaker option, the REV PDH, and allows monitoring ciruitry per R625 to the items which can be on the main power loop.
  4. The RIO may be powered by one of the unswitched channels of the PDH with a 10A fuse (R615).
  5. The REV Radio Power Module is now a legal way to power the radio (R616). Passive POE is still allowed. [Note that the RPM has buck/boost capability, and is the only legal such capability for the radio.]
  6. You can still control a CTRE PCM from the same VRM as the radio, but NOT a REV Pneumatics Hub (R617a).
  7. An unswitched PDH channel with a 10A fuse may power the radio (R617b).
  8. The REV ATO breakers up to 40A may be used (R619). Q25 clarified that REV 40A breakers may be used in the CTRE PDB.
  9. PDH fuses limited to 15A (R620b)
  10. Unlimited CUSTOM CIRCUITS now on a single breaker (R621) [This essentially formalizes the understanding which has been in place that a combination of CUSTOM CIRCUITS is a single CUSTOM CIRCUIT.]
  11. PH is protected by a 20A breaker (R621).
  12. An 11-15A fuse protected circuit must use 18AWG or larger wire (R622).
  13. RPM, and PH join VRM and PCM as requiring 22AWG wire or larger (R622).
  14. PDH added to list of critical power paths (R625).

9.7 Control, Command, and Signals System

  1. RoboRIO 2.0 added, RIO image is now 2022_v3.0 or later (was 2.4 until TU04).
  2. The 4 Mbps was moved to the introduction of the ports rule (R704)
  3. Driver Station changed to dashboard software. (R704)
  4. UDP 1130 and UDP 114 are now bidirectional. The ports were rearranged, but the list is otherwise the same.(R704).
  5. ARENA personnel changed to FIELD STAFF (R708, radio visibility).
  6. The RoboRIO 2.0 SD card may be replaced with an SD card of any capacity (R710Q).
  7. Kauai Labs navX2 MXP is a legal MXP board (R713Cb).
  8. PH must be controlled from RIO, added to PCM & Servo Hub (R715) Rev Servo Hub dropped in TU02
  9. Connect the PDH to CAN, added to PDP (R716).
  10. in 2020, R73a read “Additional switches, sensor modules, CUSTOM CIRCUITS,. third-party modules, etc. may also be placed on the CAN-bus.”. I don’t see this any more, but I don’t see a rule forbidding it as long as they don’t interfere with the CAN comms per R717.
  11. CAN Motor controllers may be controlled through the CTRE CANivore, or directly from the RIO CAN bus (R718).

9.8 Pneumatic System

  1. The REV analog pressure sensor may be used in lieu of the Nasson pressure switch if using the PH (R805C, R812). Rule R812 was also rearranged. It must be connected to “Analog 0” of the PH.
  2. The stored and working pressure gauges were merged in the list of required components (R805E).
  3. Q20 clarifies that balloons are pneumatic devices, as they contain air under pressure. “Tube Man” is not, as the air is not contained, but flows through.

9.9 Operator Console
1. Driver Station software must be version 22.0 or newer (R901).

10 Inspection and Eligibility Rules
1. There is no rule requiring a BOM (Bill of Materials)

Observation (not official, of course!) - Changing the number of CUSTOM CIRCUITS controllable in a certain way is more clarification than change. This is because a collection of CUSTOM CIRCUITS can be considered a single CUSTOM CIRCUIT. As such, I like the new formulation better because it is less misleading.


This should be the CTR CANivore.


Through the magic of wiki posts…corrected.


Updated 14 Dec to add subject headings (based on 2020; may re-do!)
Updated 20 Dec - HD Hex motor and navX2 are legal, all 40A breakers OK with PDH.

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Updated 8 Jan with the actual rule book!
Updated 9 Jan when I noticed the fan rule changed, fixed G106 (HANGAR ZONE vs end game).


Updated 13 Jan with Team Update 01 changes in italics.

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Updated 14 Jan with Team Update 02. RIO Software version update in R701 to 2022_v3.0 (vs 2.4), and Rev Servo Hub dropped from R715.
Curiously, charging batteries during load-in was dropped as a legal way to work on the robot during an event. The change indicates that this is no longer “working on the robot” - presumably this means you can charge batteries anytime, anywhere?

As a US Federal employee on holiday, I revisited this. I fixed some typos and added a bit of commentary in square braces. I noticed that CUSTOM CIRCUITS were defined in R614 as well as the glossary.

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Added changes/clarifications from Q&A (Q20 and Q25) 18 Jan.
Added: no changes from TU03. (I won’t post just to say no changes for others, but as this post was already here, I edited it.)

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Not a rule change, but after TUO4 the link to the self inspection checklist went live. This is not on the season page, just in the manual. Here’s the link:

I would also inspect your maximum height for climbing (66") and that you can document the price of anything that looks like it might be more than $600 FMV. Actually, I would prefer to read the robot and inspection rules next to the robot and check everything.

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Also not a rule change and not officially required but please make sure, on that topic of checking software versions, that you are programming with WPILIB 2022.2.1 or newer. Otherwise you likely will encounter a bug that was fixed in that version that causes loss of control by joystick at the worst possible time.

(FIRST/WPILIB, when the Rio image with that gyro issue gets fixed and forced to be the used one, please make it only work with newer versions of WPILIB. This should ensure that robots don’t hit the field with old versions.)

Newer versions of WPILib will definitely only work with the newer Rio image (our releases have to track to particular Rio images). It’s up to FIRST whether or not that image is mandated for competition (I would recommend that it is, for the exact reason you state).