As a team that builds two identical robots (to very high standards of quality), I’d like to offer my perspective which you may find interesting.
Last night at 12:30 AM when trying to move this darn thing all bagged up, I found myself asking this same question. It’s entirely an honor system anyway. Not that anyone would, but you could just put it in the bag the night before the regional and no one would ever know. I could sign a form saying I didn’t touch it, and that’s the same as signing a form saying I bagged it, just, without the bag. It’s just a pain to move while in the bag, and I’d be happy if it went away.
We continue work every day starting this afternoon on our second robot anyhow. There is no real end of the build, especially not with a 45 pound withholding allowance. (and I know we’ve discussed this in other threads, so I don’t want to repeat it all).
To us, all that the current bagging rule does is cause us to spend thousands of more dollars and hundreds of more hours that wouldn’t be necessary if we didn’t have to bag. Imagine how far all that time and money would go in other efforts if it wasn’t spent on building a twin robot, because the real one is off limits by a millimeter of plastic.
The bagging does not stop anyone from continuing to build their robot. It only makes it more expensive to keep doing so. When you build a practice robot, you’re literally buying time. We do this, and I don’t like it. It becomes a competition of who has more dollars and who has more adults with more hours to spend away from their families and responsibilities. This is one area that there is really a disparity in FIRST, and I say this coming from the upper end of this spectrum. It’s easy to tell the others to work harder if they want your results, but not always practical for them to do so. It all boils down to who is involved with your program, and to what extents they’re willing to go to make it awesome.
The only real issue with not bagging is, nobody would attend the first two weeks of events if the build season extended right up to the events, and for that problem, I have no solution.
Either let everyone keep working, or (preferably) go back to the real, hard limit 6 weeks, so we don’t have this 3 month build season.
Let’s not continue this whole build two robots thing. I’m out of space to put them, and out of money to fund them.