What were you ever worried about?


Did you ever have to prove how far you could actually shoot a hatch panel?

Were you ever questioned if your velcro hatch panel mechanism (if you still have one) could damage the field?

Have you been screwed by the cargo being out of tolerance?

Did an inspector ever ask where the wood on your bumpers is on your BOM?

Edit: I appreciate hearing about general worries. Keep them coming if you would like. In case it wasn’t clear, these are all early season worries and popular QA questions/nonanswers that I’m wondering if had any meat.


Having enough time to finish everything and also make sure I stay on top of my responsibilities outside of FRC. Manpower is sadly limited for us this year so it’s extra hard.

  1. Alligators
  2. Crocodiles
  3. A brain aneurysm

  1. No. Our inspector asked us if we shot them more than 3 feet, we told the truth and said no, and they check us off.
  2. We use a Velcro hatch system and no questions came of it.
  3. No out of tolerance balls messed us up.
  4. The bom was only briefly looked at, and no questions came about the bumpers.


Last Year I started sweating bullets when at one of our events the scale was extremely poorly calibrated. We knew our robot was under by at least 10lbs before the event and telling us we had 0.1lbs remaning was scary. I feel bad for the teams that had to make major modifications because of this.


Thanks Sterling. How about your robot?


Every year I worry about things that may or may not matter. I remember in 2017 I should have been more concerned with floppy springs.


We didn’t have any problems with out of tolerance cargo at Mt. Vernon week 1. Our manipulator is fairly sensitive to overinflated cargo and we were worried that cargo would get stuck but none did. This might vary competition to competition but I’m less worried than I was week 0.


No but our alliance partner was called for doing so in the Quarter Finals of Northern Lights and it cost us the match. They also aren’t capable of launching a Hatch Panel… so that was fun.


I know that there were multiple teams in week 1 who had to remove/replace the dual-lock Velcro they had on hatch mechanisms.


Wasn’t there a QA a while ago saying dual-lock specifically wasn’t ok because the mushroom heads broke off in the loop-side Velcro? I haven’t heard of anyone having issues with actual hook-side Velcro on their robot.


Yes there was. Any sort of residue left by dual lock, velcro, etc. is considered a violation of G15. Be careful about what you interact with.


Was concerned when the inspector asked us to put a sticker on our plastic air tanks.


Was it on the white Clippard tanks that you heated up and bent into a ‘U’ shape? Because that would be a travesty.


Currently rank 37/40, but after reviewing scouting data, we are the second best hatch bot and the best level 2 climb. (And more consistent than any of the level 3s)


In our weeek 2 competition (NE Waterbury) we were asked to demonstrate how far we could shoot a hatch and ended up having to do some modifications because it was a little over 3 feet. We did originally have a velcro hatch mechanism,but were not questioned about whether it could damage the field.
Our cargo mechanism did have to be adjusted because it had trouble releasing over-inflated cargo (not sure how big they were, but they were larger on the field than the ones we had measured ourselves)


Answered as an inspector:

I did a majority of the inspection for at least six teams at Rock City, and smaller parts of another six to ten. Most teams’ HP mechanisms were grippers or hook carriers or non-existent, and couldn’t have launched the HP in any reasonable maneuver. I only had one team (who pushed the HP with a skinny pneumatic cylinder) do a demo; it went about a foot before hitting the floor.

The few (two?) I saw were real hook tape, not dual-lock, so I didn’t ask past that.

I confess to having forgotten about checking for bumpers on the BOM until mid-Friday morning, after everybody had passed.


Oh no! A team with priceless bumpers may have slipped past!


Only one 3-digit team, 323. We had 18 rookies, quite a few of whom arrived with no bumpers at all and made them in “the bumper shop”, and quite a few other teams who needed serious rework. The only thing that came close to home-grown lumber was one team which used some rather dark (and apparently seriously dense hardwood) planks, but then bored a significant number* of 2"+ (5cm+) diameter holes into them to lighten them. From about a 50 foot (15m) distance, my first thought was that they had used a doorknob hole saw. I wasn’t part of their inspection, but I did see their old bumpers taken apart - it wasn’t pretty at all at all.

* at least a dozen per ~30inch (~75cm) side. There was more wood than hole, but by a factor which appeared to be between 2 and 3.


Yep, worried about most of those.
Didn’t have to demonstrate HP launch. Ours does eject but it doesn’t go far, main worry is if it rotated just past 90 degrees as it falls, the leading edge might exceed 3’.
BOM got a very short look, like always. With the major changes to the rules about only this year KOP and quantities, I expected a better look. We were close with a simple robot but lots of motors and gearboxes. One team removed parts to stay under the limit.
My other worries was the very bright limelight. Concerned some team would complain during a match. There were so many limelights, seems like it was accepted.
We’ll see how our next couple tournaments go. Expect Houston will be more rigorous, usually is.