Robot transportation

Hi there. Due to the upcoming game season, our team is looking forward to finish our robot very soon, and the questions about transporting robot has occurred to us. We are wondering if we can have two robots in the same competition (while only one of them will be on the field) (One will be shipped to the arena while the other one will be take through the plane by us) Because it takes time to ship our robot to USA. If not, how about if we don’t ship by our robot but instead we take it ourselves? do we have to actually ship our robot or not?
Thank you

The second part is easier to answer: Getting the robot to the competition is your responsibility. You are allowed to bring your robot yourselves; several teams have done that when they’re in your situation. You CAN ship… but you don’t have to.

As to the first part, that’s quite a bit trickier, and I don’t blame you for not understanding the rules the first time. The SHORT version is “One team, one robot”. The LONG version is “but here’s all the caveats and ways around that.”

C5. Enter only one (1) ROBOT. Each registered FIRST Robotics Competition team may enter only one (1) ROBOT (or ‘Robot’, a ROBOT-like assembly equipped with most of its drive base, i.e. its MAJOR MECHANISM that enables it to move around a FIELD) into a 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition Event.
“Entering” a ROBOT (or Robot) into a FIRST Robotics Competition means bringing it to or using it at the event such that it’s an aid to your team (e.g. for spare parts, judging material, or for practice). While “most of its drive base” is a subjective assessment, for the purposes of C5, an assembly whose drive base is missing all wheels/treads, gearboxes, and belts/chains is not considered a “Robot.” If any of those components are incorporated, the assembly is now considered a “Robot.”

That’s the rule governing “how many robots”.

So here’s the less-technical explanation (and I want to say it draws on several other rules that I don’t recall offhand):

  • You can bring ONE ROBOT, 125 lb on-field weight without bumpers or batteries, plus other configurations that may take it up to 150 lb.
  • You can bring spare parts for the ROBOT.
  • You can bring another robot-like item–say a second frame–but you need to remove the drivetrain completely.

Covering your situation… You’d SHIP your ROBOT, and disassemble your robot-like item (second robot, not for competition) to fit into suitcases or similar transport containers. The disassembly would turn that robot into spare parts (legal to use by rule I4F). As long as you don’t finish reassembling the drivetrain, you’re probably OK. If the ROBOT failed to make it to the event, naturally you’d just rebuild the drivetrain and be ready to go.
Or you could disassemble your ROBOT and transport it via your luggage.


yeah so we can bring only one robot with PDP and so? that means if we remove those and we can bring another construction right?

sorry for these kind of elementary questions

You’ve got that slightly backwards: You can have a second PDP-equipped frame. What that frame cannot have, under any circumstances*, is a drive base: No wheels, no gearboxes, and no belts/chains. See the last two sentences of the quote in my last post.

To use an example: You build two Kitbot drive bases. For whatever reason, that’s all you can build. Base 1 is your competition robot; Base 2 is your practice base. In order to bring Base 2 into the competition site, you need to remove the 6 Hi-Grip wheels, the 2 Toughbox Mini gearboxes (with their attached motors), and the belts that run between the wheels. Once you’ve done that, it’s no longer considered to be a Robot even if it has a RoboRIO. But if you forget a wheel and a belt, it’s a robot and you can’t have it in the venue.

*There might be a case where you can put the items back on and not be in trouble–that being the case where you’re switching between robots–but it should be very rare.

We bring our robot by plane with our luggage, I don’t see why to go trough the headache of bringing two robots to the USA

That’s gotta look sketchy to TSA

Na, we’ve been doing it for years, We have faced more problems when bringing back the robot to Brazil

I have seen a team from India and a team from New Zealand both bring their disassembled robot to events in two suitcases. One said they designed to the airline’s weight limit (accounting for the weight of the suitcases) which sounds like it is lower than FIRST’s. If I am not mistaken, some of the teams in Hawaii that are not on Oahu might do the same thing.