Team Update 2

Find the newest one here:

TL;DR Velcro isn’t banned yet, but “superfusion” is, whatever that means.

(Q&A is also down, so no definitive answer :/)

key points

  • 40kPA = RP (not 41)
  • Rope length measured from DAVIT (DAVIT tails don’t count)
  • No tape on end of rope
  • Rope rules diageam with dimensions

I would guess that superfusion might be something like melting the end of a nylon rope into a feature that is used in climbing. For instance… melting the end of the rope into a solid hook shape or something…

Just my guess…

I read this as yes, velcro is banned. From the example box: “FIRST Robotics Community members are innovative and may discover a way to fuse the end of the ROPE in a way that can be leveraged for competitive advantage. This ‘superfusion’ extends the fusing’s purpose beyond only preventing fraying.”

You could, in theory, still use a rope that acts like the loop-side of velcro that you could grip with hook-side on your robot.

Nothing stopping the velcro brigade from fashioning a rope that coincidentally manages to mesh with the hook side of hook-and-loop fastening…

(at least until someone does it and hurts the GDC’s feelings because someone found a way that made their challenge easier than they wanted it to be)

Velcro only on the end of the rope seems to be banned. I think Velcro sewn along the length of the rope is also banned, or will be one you guys push on it. Velcro as rope probably has a short lifespan as well. I’d suggest you temporarily forget Velcro exists and see if you can come up with a different climbing design, just to save time. It’s not like a Velcro climber is hard, people.

They are really going to need to address this Velcro thing one way or another at some point. I’m a bit worried that the Velcro questions in the Q&A are going to be dismissed as “can’t rule on legality of specific designs” or something like that, and we’ll carry this ambiguity past the first week of build season.

This is what any smart team is doing, I think, but the second that Velcro is confirmed legal is the second we can redirect those efforts elsewhere.

Yeah, I read that as saying “you can’t use a strip of Velcro and claim it is the mechanism by which you are preventing the end of your rope from fraying”, as it then has more purpose than simply fusing the end of the rope.

I actually don’t see any prevention of velcro in the current rules, Team updates, and Q&A AS LONG AS you pay attention to how the material is constructed, and how you attach it to your rope.

From the Q&A and this update, it looks like if you weave the loops portion into the rope it’ll be legal. And if the loops portion of specifically Velcro is banned, it should not be very difficult to find another natural fiber with similar properties. I don’t think the GDC will come out and say “Velcro as a rope is legal,” because you’ll have some team that tries to use the hooks portion only of Velcro with adhesives when that doesn’t meet the definition of rope.

Assuming the GDC wants to ban Velcro, their easiest option is to just ban the use of hook and loop fastener to attach to the field.

From what I interpret, you’re still allowed to stitch non-tape velcro to the end of your rope, just not fuse your rope with velcro.

If the Q&A is fixed long enough I think the Velcro question will be answered. But with I am thinking the way the update 2 is written, it will not be legal.

On the other hand you should be weave fibers in the rope to simulate the hoop part of the velcro. That would be enough to thread the rope on the lift drum. Think 'Superfrayed" the polar opposite of superfusion.

This is highly relevant. I forgot the strand part of the definition. I don’t think braiding strips of Velcro will work, since a strip of Velcro is hardly a strand. I think the Velcro brigade is down to hoping that a strip of Velcro counts as a rope.

I think if you read for intent and not just wording at this point… the GDC could have very easily have just said the rope is a standard field element. They probably would have liked to, but know that many climbers are going to damage the rope over time, which will lead to a lot of backlash, so they put the onus on teams to bring their own rope.

If the wording is ambiguous, they will continue to qualify the wording to meet the intent, or teams will just run the risk of designing around something that gets banned post bag/tag.

Yes, there are ways to solve the problem via rope design, but the intent is to solve it via robot design (acquire/climb). I really don’t see an about-face on this direction, and I think the very few updates we’ve gotten so far have been consistent with my reading of the original intent. If they are going to argue that the 4" whipped end cannot be modified to make acquisition easier, ONLY to prevent fraying, I cannot see why they would say the rest of the rope can be modified to make acquisition easier (short of the approved knotting).

it’s important to remember that the 4" end that has fraying prevention applied and the point that the rope length is measures to don’t have to be the same thing. the rope anatomy diagram shows this clearly.

you can keep the end of your rope from fraying (using legal methods), and then tie that end of the rope into a knot or a loop, and that is NOT superfusion.

My question is couldn’t someone just braid, mesh or tie a rope of less than 1 inch out of yarn that would be strong enough to support a robot, and still use the “hook Portion” of the Velcro on the robots spooling mechanism? I feel like that would be really easy to create, and still have the “Velcro” properties that everyone is trying to achieve.

consist entirely of flexible, non-metallic fibers twisted, tied, woven, or braided together except for the last 4 in. (~10 cm) of any cut end (E) which may be whipped, (with material that is flexible and non-metallic) or fused only to prevent fraying.

So to anyone thinking that the hoops portion of Velcro is illegal, would a tow strap be legal?

See figure 9-1