Now, I know Velcro is not permitted to fasten bumpers according to rule <R07> I. But what about using velcro to fasten other items, such as control system components? I couldn’t find anything in the manual addressing that. I ask because I feel as though I’m getting away with a lot if use Velcro. And yes, I believe it is robust and secure enough for the application I’m using it for.

The only restrictions on the use of Velcro are on bumpers and traction devices.


I made this post last year. Do you really think Velcro cuts it?

Note: Not all Velcro is equal. Some types are meant for very harsh conditions but this isn’t what you will find at the local hardware store…



My team mounts the wireless bridge with Velcro. Have for years, no problems with it.

Only had the wireless bridge last year, radio modems before that.
Velcro is OK but not what you would want if your robot will be crossing the bump. 3M makes a product called Scotchlock. It is like Velcro except it is not a loop and hook fastener. It is available from Digikey with differing holding strengths. However, you really can’t beat ty-wraps (wire ties). They are cheap, strong, readily available in different sizes and colors and cut off with a wire cutter.

Our wireless bridge was held last year and will be this year using an extra strong Velcro. It isn’t hooks and loops it’s little interlocking balls on stalks. Very strong, it takes a screwdriver to get it started to get it off.

We have a little quad-pot adjustment board that will most likely get the same treatment.

Everything else is bolted down with at least two bolts. And all the cables will be zip tied in nice bundles.

The battery cable looks strong so it should hold it into the robot.

Just kidding, the battery sits in a Tuffak box, between two frame rails and has a cover holding it into place. It will most likely get a strap around it during the last day of build season as a final touch.

This years bot is designed to roll onto any side for easy maintenance. At just under 90 lbs it’s a pleasure to work on. We did the final install of all the electrics tonight. (We needed to weld, so everything came off) 5 Polycarbonate sub-panels, entire process took 4 people under 45 minutes to do.

I would bet that the strap will be mandatory. With the chance of being inverted, batteries will need a substantial and positive holding mechanism.

Sure would be nice to see the inspection checklist :slight_smile:

Velcro is good stuff, the industrial strength version is available at our local hardware stores and at Walmart. I saw some of the 3M type at Walmart too, in the crafts department.

Whether or not Velcro will work for your application is hard to say without knowing all about what you’re trying to secure, and how you plan to do it. We use it for a few things that are light or require frequent access, but we go to some trouble to make sure the part won’t come loose accidently.

Mandatory? Not really, in the sense there is no rule stating, “Every robot must have a strap to hold the battery in.” But using a strap may be the best way to demonstrate compliance with <R18>.

<R18> When positioned on the ROBOT, the primary battery must be secured so that it will not dislodge should the ROBOT be turned over or placed in any arbitrary orientation.

Mandatory from your team standpoint. Battery falls out of robot and you are disabled=no play. Battery flopping around in robot and you are disabled=no play. Other teams noticing that you can’t keep your battery in robot=no play on Saturday afternoon.

I’m jealous!

And you should be!! :yikes:

It’s taken some time to get to the point where we can do this. Prior year robots were kind of messy. Four years ago the electrical mentor, Frank, built some electrical boards that are things of beauty. Components on one side, wiring on the other. The designs have stuck but rather than one board we now move Jags as close to the motors as possible. This means a number of electrical sub-panels than are fed from the central power distribution board. We feed all the sub-panels with #10 wire. Motors are close to their Jags and we use their wires without extending it. Low voltage loss, good traceability, lots of labels and things are easy to work on.

Our Tuffak battery box is shown below. It wraps around the battery and holds it in place in case the robot turns turtle. The battery is held side to side between two frame rails. So it’s not going anywhere in a crash, but it comes out quickly for fast pit stops.

The real box is clear, it’s shown in blue here to make it easy to see. The side wings are how the box mounts to the frame

We will put a safety strap around the battery, but in upside down testing the box alone works well.

Our heavy use of Tuffak allows us to “see through” the robot and see all the parts, it makes troubleshooting easy. We expect to make our welded frame out of transparent aluminum for the 2011 season (cost was a factor this year)

((Posting karma: The message at the top is “You trip my breaker.” ))

You just made my day. Thank you. And Kirk is still my favorite.

. We expect to make our welded frame out of transparent aluminum for the 2011 season (cost was a factor this year)

Isn’t transparent Aluminum part of the Periodic Group ‘Unobtanium’?:cool:

I actually think it’s in the Balonyum group

No. Look up Aluminum Oxynitride (ALON).

Just this morning our robot autonomously backed off a 33 inch high table and crashed back-first, bumperless to the floor. Our cRIO, Jaguars, Spikes, PD, DSC, 120A breaker, gaming adaptor and solenoids are all mounted only with this super-adhesive-backed velcro tape from McMaster - product # 94985K913. Some of our bumper zone welds failed but not a single control component moved (except the battery which was not secured whatsoever at the time).

I had been daring my team to collision test the velcro for weeks because I didn’t think it could endure, but apparently I was wrong. It might not hurt that all of our electronics are squeezed in so tight that there’s barely any room for things to move.