Vacuum Legality


We considered on our team to use vacuum to pick up and place objects this year, that is something that happened before in FRC and was shown at FUN a few days ago.

Is it legal this season?

And if so can we use a none standard vacuum generator?


As long as it is powered by an approved motor, any vacuum design is legal. You may have to retrofit COTS vacuums to use one of the FRC legal motors.

While I don’t recommend a vacuum, it is totally legal, and because it’s not pressurized air, FIRST basically doesn’t have any rules about it because it isn’t really a safety risk. You just need a blower to push air out and draw a vacuum. The real trick is getting the right suction cup thing (get one with bellows if you’re going that route) and you need tubing that is rigid enough not to just collapse under negative pressure (like when you suck on a straw too hard and it just flattens).

Armabot makes a vacuum for 775pro type motors:

G301-C Prohibits using vacuum to attach to field elements. It specifically excludes game pieces so vacuum is legal for that. A overly quick reading of the rule might be mis-interpreted.

Would you think this would include suction cups?

You can use suction cups to attach to the game pieces. Not to field elements. So yes the rule applies to suction cups.


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