Rule R18?

Hello! We were looking through the manual and we came upon a rule which is very important but we can not settle on the meaning of the rule. Could someone explain rule R18 (http://frc-manual.usfirst.org/viewItem/705#4.5.3) in the simplest, but most detailed way possible? Thanks!

You may bring to the competition up to 45 pounds worth of parts for your robot that either you, or someone whom you paid or who sponsors you, made or modified specifically for the robot. This does not include items such as motors, screws, or other Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) parts, nor does it include raw materials, such as uncut aluminum rod or sheet stock, for example. Raw material and COTS parts you are allowed to bring as much as you like.

None of the items allowed in the 45 pounds need to be in your bag for B&T day. You may set them aside to bring to competition, or you may continue to work on them after B&T, and add them to the robot when you unbag it at competition.

R18 also specifically says that some items are excluded from the bag and don’t count toward the 45 pounds; these include bumpers, batteries, and the operator console.

This rule has been around for a while, but it’s been modified in a few ways for this year. Basically, as our team understands it, you are allow to have access to 45 pounds of fabricated parts. This includes anything that has been modified for this year. It does not include COTS parts, or raw materials. However the new wording of “may have access” implies that you cant have a stock of parts to pull from (like a practice bot) outside of the venue that weighs more than 45 pounds minus whatever you bring in. Hope that helps!

When you say that motors are not included, do you mean that they don’t count in the 45 lbs, or that we’re not allowed at all to include them?

Motors and anything else that you put on the robot AS BOUGHT through a commercial vendor (such as Ace Hardware or AndyMark) is known as COTS. Extras of these are NOT part of the 45 pounds. Bring three extra CIM motors to competition; they will not count toward the 45 pounds. Bring a box of 10-32 screws; it will not count either.

Except if it is a part of a team fabricated component (for example, if you are using the 3 CIMs on your shooter) they do count towards the weight limit.

Half correct. If you put the CIM into a gearbox, it is considered “fabricated” as Andy Mark does not sell them pre-coupled. However, if you were to bring in the gearbox and the CIM and couple them at competition, it would be considered COTS.

I’m not sure how that makes what I said half correct, I simply said that combining COTS with or without other materials makes them count towards the 45 pound limit.

When you attend a competition, you can bring tools and supplies with you so that you can work on your robot and code before and between matches.

You can bring in 45 pounds of things your team made that was not included in the bag you put your robot in on Stop Build Day. This could be anything that goes on your robot.

If you want to make your robot structure more sturdy, you might bring rivets with you to reinforce the frame. Assuming you bought these rivets from Home Depot or Lowe’s, these rivets wouldn’t count toward your 45 pounds because you didn’t fabricate them, the manufacturer did.

If you cut out some new plates to put said rivets on, they would count towards your 45 pounds. You fabricated them, or even just modified some metal squares you found at a yard sale. The moment they are different from how your team bought them, they are “fabricated.”

If you have a kid on your team who is really bright and made his very own rivet gun, yes, it would be a team-fabricated part. It doesn’t count towards this 45-pound count, however, because it doesn’t go on the robot, it is used for the robot.

Obviously, programs weigh nothing. If you have to bring a new CRIO because that team member’s younger sibling you told to stay away from the heat gun didn’t listen, it is not a fabricated part no matter how much code your team made is on it. Unless you modified it physically, but I don’t know enough about how that works to advise on that particular part.

Any part you make, assemble, or modify outside of a competition is fabricated. Once you get to the competition, you can assemble your whole 120-pound robot if you have that capability so long as only 45 pounds of it you fabricated outside of the competition.

Hope that helps!

Just make sure there are no pinion gears on the CIMs.

Or crimped terminals on the wires.

Or make sure that even with the motors, the assembly is still under the 45 pound limit. No need to make extra work at competition if you still have weight left to use.

Or even trimmed wires…

I have a question about this rule. Our team bought the unassembled ball shifters from VEX. If we assemble these, do they count towards our 45 pounds?

As I read the rules (see the glossary definition of COTS, which doesn’t directly address your question but is related), the shifter is only COTS in its unassembled state. Leave it in the box.

Per Q&A Q257: Yes, a MECHANISM which has been assembled from a kit from a vendor is considered a FABRICATED ITEM.

Ummm … Is that actually correct? I thought it was the moment they are different from what you can buy off the shelf.

For instance, we may get 1/8" aluminum plate from our vendor in 4’x8’ sheets (we don’t, but we could). If we cut that down to 2’x2’ (also available) without putting any holes, bends, or other modifications, wouldn’t it still be COTS, just a different part number? For that matter, couldn’t it count as raw material?