Withholding Allowance Questions

My team and I would like to make sure that we do not violate any rules when it comes to the withholding allowance.

Our interpretation of the withholding allowance is that we could, potentially, take 30lbs of fabricated parts off of our robot (not including the COTS items such as gearboxes, motors, motor controllers, fasteners, etc) and put it back on during the unbag time before our first district event.

My only 2 questions are

  1. is our interpretation right? If we only include the things we fabricated (and other things such as cut hex shaft and an aluminum slider which we modified), is that fair play?

  2. building on this, can we include wire, pneumatic tubing, and fasteners as COTS items (subtract it from the total weight of which we are taking off)?

So, there’s one key element you’re missing:

If the COTS item is assembled into one of the Fabricated Items you have, it DOES count towards the weight. So you’ll want to remove the COTS items from the Fabricated items. When I’ve been inspecting, I’ve made teams remove a motor to get under the Withholding Allowance.

Wire and tubing are not COTS unless they’re on the reel…

Would you be able to clarify what you mean by assembled into one of the fabricated items?

Does this basically mean that any motor and gearbox counts if its attached to a fabricated part?

Also, were these teams able to put the motor back on after inspection?

Let’s say that you have a CIM and a VersaPlanetary. Both are COTS. However, if you assemble the CIM to the VersaPlanetary, you now have a Fabricated Item. If you then attach that to a mechanism, you have a bigger Fabricated Item. If you disassemble the CIM from that, the CIM is now COTS but the VersaPlanetary is still considered a Fabricated Item until it’s removed.

Yes, the teams were able to put the motor back on. Work AT competition is not restricted by weight… you can build from Raw Materials (which are also “unlimited”) and add those to the robot, build from COTS and add to the robot, add Fabricated Items to the robot…

So, hypothetical situation:

We take our lift/arm to the competition; we take our 775’s and versaplanetary’s off of the mechanisms to be within our withholding allowance and we get passed. We put them back on after inspection and are good to go.

What do we do about unbag time? We had planned on just putting it back on during our unbag time. Do we have to undo all of that work and weigh it at the competition if so?

The unbag time adds a minor wrinkle–but basically you add it and plan on not carrying anything in with you. No big deal.

Withholding can be used either during your unbag or at the event, as long as the total isn’t over 30 lb.

So it is just based on the honor system then?

If we have 20lbs of fabricated parts, and 10lbs of COTS parts, in order for us to bring 10lbs of spare fabricated parts we would have to take off the 10lbs of COTS parts and put them on at the competition, correct?

Yes. And, yes, to get that last 10 lb of spare fabricated parts you’d have to pull the COTS. (Bear in mind: Withholding is 30 lb.)

You COULD possibly build those spare parts during the unbag window, and bag them with the robot. Parts in the bag that are built entirely during the unbag window (or the build season) don’t count towards the withholding.

I believe as long as the COTS parts are COTS (not assembled) before the unbag time begins, you wouldn’t need to count them at all as long as everything went back in the bag. In this case, let’s say your robot weighs 80 pounds in the bag. You unbag it and add 20 pounds of fabricated items and 10 pounds of COTS parts. You put the robot back in the bag now weighing 110 pounds. You can bring 10 pounds of fabricated parts and any amount of unassembled COTS parts to competition with you. If I misinterpreted your question or made a mistake, please let me know.

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