Withholding Allowance

Per Q904, if a part is never used on a Robot, then it is never part of the Withholding Allowance.

Q: When you say “part of a BUMPER” do you mean an assembled Bumper Segment, or do you mean “Bumper parts”, which would include individual fabricated parts, that when combined with other parts, could be assembled into a Bumper Segment. Since you only get to load-in once, it is important to know in advance what is included in the Withholding Allowance, and what is not. Retroactive determinations does not help. Parts dedicated to bumper use only are exempt?

A: There are no rules governing FABRICATED ITEMS that are never used on a ROBOT. If the FABRICATED ITEMS you bring with you are used in your BUMPERS at the time of inspection (and not in other ways, such as your drivetrain or similar) then the FABRICATED ITEMS are governed by R18-C and are exempt from the WITHHOLDING ALLOWANCE.

This makes sense. When our team brings a bag of giveaways into the pit, they are obviously fabricated, but they are never used on the Robot.

I have thought of the Withholding Allowance as: If the part is of the type of thing that goes on a robot, and is not COTS, then it is part of the Withholding Allowance.

Example: the Team brings along assembled gear boxes with motors. Those are fabricated, and count against the Withholding Allowance.

However, the ruling seems to permit the following:

The team brings along a 20# shooter to attach to the bagged competition robot, and a 120# completely assembled identical practice robot to cannibalize for spare parts. The shooter is attached to the bagged competition Robot, and weighed for inspection. As long as the team never uses more than 10# of spare parts from the practice robot then the Withholding Allowance rule is not violated.

I don’t take that answer to mean that you can have a large number of spare fabricated items, as long as you only use a limited subset on the actual robot.

The answer specifically states “(and not in other ways, such as your drivetrain or similar)”. This answer only applies to bumper materials that are not used for non-bumper purposes.

  • If you bring spare bumper (fabricated) parts that you do not use, they are Exempt under R18-C
  • If you bring spare bumper (fabricated) parts that you use on your robot as a bumper, they are Exempt under R18-C
  • If you bring spare bumper (fabricated) parts that you use on your robot, but as something that is not a Bumper (like a spacer or frame repair, or whatever), they are NOT Exempt under R18-C, and are counted against your withholding allowance.

But you get 30 lbs, not 120lbs. Just because you don’t use it doesn’t mean you can bring all the parts you want. 30 lbs is 30 lbs.

I have seen teams pull parts from a practice bot in the parking lot before, I’ve even seen teams question each other on pulling parts from practice bots in the parking lot. The 30 lb limit is there to make you chose what you bring just in case something goes wrong or you plan to add a new component. Either way it’s a choice you have to make. Bringing a full backup robot takes away a lot of the restrictions that make this competition challenging.

There have been threads on this every year I can remember. The rules aren’t different this year.

Are you trying to claim that those spare parts don’t count toward the Withholding Allowance because they’re “never used on a robot” even though they are actually on a robot when you bring them in?

I’d award that argument a red card.

Wait am I reading this right.
A team brings 120 pounds of robot to a venue but for only 10 pounds of gear? Regardless of it being illegal that seems incredibly inefficient I guess.
Coupled with the withholding allowance is the COTS supply rules, and I mean unless nothing on your robot qualifies as COTS or nothing on the robot can be quickly made out of COTS parts at competition then you are just being reckless with your design especially in a year where the field is taking shots at your robot.
I dunno maybe you just like powder coating your bearings…

“There are no rules governing FABRICATED ITEMS that are never used on a ROBOT.” - Is an unambiguous sentence.

If an Item never makes it on to the robot during the event, it doesn’t count against your Withholding Allowance. I was using a Practice Bot as an extreme example. It is A robot, but not THE Robot. It doesn’t matter if it is assembled as a practice bot, or a crate of modular parts that could be quickly assembled into a robot.

Another extreme example: I bring 2 20# assemblies to the competition.
Assembly A is an ok shooter that can go under the low goal.
Assembly B is a great Shooter, can easily block opposing alliance shots, climbs during the end game, but can’t fit under the low goal.

During the practice rounds I watch what other bots are doing, and then decide which shooter to mount onto the robot.

For the sake of completeness, assume the robot passes inspection without a shooter attached. About 1 hour before qualification matches start is when I select a shooter, mount it, and get reinspected.

Since one assembly is never mounted on the robot, it does not count against the Withholding Allowance.

Not even close.

Don’t even think about bringing a second robot. The robot rules are very specific about one robot and repeatedly uses words like “the ROBOT”, and “their ROBOT”. Everything is singular for a reason. You may disassemble the second robot at your build space and bring spares under the WITHHOLDING ALLOWANCE. Please note that the WITHHOLDING ALLOWANCE is a one time only, bring in at load in.

R18 At an Event, Teams may have access to a WITHHOLDING ALLOWANCE of FABRICATED ITEMS,not bagged per R15, to be used to repair and/or upgrade their ROBOT. The WITHHOLDING ALLOWANCE is a static set of items that shall not exceed 30 lbs. With permission from another Team, Teams may also have access to FABRICATED ITEMS that are part of that other Team’s WITHHOLDING ALLOWANCE to repair and/or upgrade their ROBOT. **The WITHHOLDING ALLOWANCE may only be brought into the Venue when the Team initially loads in at the Event. Items made at an Event do not count towards this weight limit.

**Emphasis mine. You may not have a second robot or a pile of FABRICATED PARTS out in the car that you constantly go out and bring into the venue throughout the competition.

Al, I had no intention of bringing a second robot. I was just giving an extreme example.

When I posted the question on the Q&A, I was hoping to get clarification that Bumper Parts (vs assembled Bumpers) were exempt from the Withholding Allowance. What I got back shocked me. Thus this thread showing how the Q&A response creates a new interpretation of Withholding Allowance (WA).

My prior understanding of the WA is: If it is non-cots, and potentially a Robot Part (vs. buttons you had out), then it is part of the WA. A “look forward” analysis.

The Q&A response seems to be a “look back” analysis. “There are no rules governing FABRICATED ITEMS that are never used on a ROBOT.” - If a part (fabricated or whatever) is never used on a ROBOT, then it is not part of the WA.

I can appreciate that certain bumper parts could be used either way. Plywood could be used on the robot, or part of the Bumper. It seems pretty clear to me that if the plywood is cut into 5" high lengths, that it is intended for Bumpers. A 24x32 piece that happens to be the size of the Robot is probably not intended for Bumpers. However, by the Q&A response, if that piece of wood is never used on the Robot, then it is not part of the WA.

I can appreciate the clear wording of the WA rules. One set of parts brought in during load-in, which is not more than 30#. What the Q&A response allows is: 60# of fabricated parts (Parent Set) of parts brought in during load-in. As parts are “used on the robot”, they become part of the 30# subset that is counted against the WA.

Another possible interpretation is this: You get the 30# WA limit the way it has been typically understood. But, nothing prevents you from bringing in more Fabricated Parts that you never use on the Robot. Maybe this is what they were getting at. However, that creates an inspection nightmare: How do the RI’s enforce the 30# limit when there can be 100+# of fabricated items in the Pit? In the past, they looked during load-in for fabricated items that could exceed 30#. Since teams can easily cheat (bring in a part from the parking lot after load it), it ultimately is an Honor system.

I imagine that Q&As like this is why Al has white hair. :slight_smile:

Anyway I interpret the answer to mean no limit to fabricated parts that are not potentially part of the robot. IE bumbers, hand outs, parts of your pit, tools, etc. This doesn’t apply to parts that might be part of your robot. They are still a static 30 lb set that you brought in at load in. Q&A does not change rules as written. If that is required, they do it as part of a team update.

I read the response in relation to the original question which related to Bumper materials. Precut parts for bumpers, plywood, noodles, fabric, etc. are not part of Withholding because bumpers do not need to be built during the robot build period.
As far as plywood, almost anywhere near me, a person can walk in off the street and ask the lumber person to cut them a specific size of plywood and then put a price on it including 5" wide strips. Under the definition, that is not a fabricated part for either the withholding allowance or the CAW (BOM). If I see a piece of plywood cut to a shape and drilled for mounting for something other than bumpers, then I have to assume it is a robot part and will be evaluated for withholding. Bumpers, while mounted on a robot and covered under robot rules are not part of the robot for build period or withholding.
I cannot know that parts that are brought in during load in will never be used on a robot. If they are fabricated items (non-COTS) that are not bumpers, I will assume them to be spares or withheld robot parts. If you never intend them to be used on a robot why would you bring them in?
To be clear, this does not include motors that have the wires cut and terminated, it does not include batteries that have cable attached as described in R18 exclusions.

I don’t understand the distinction you’re trying to make. Other than being stated in the opposite sense, how does “potentially a Robot Part -> part of WA” differ from “not a ROBOT part -> not part of WA”?

Are you perhaps trying to interpret the GDC’s answer to refer to robot parts that have not been actually installed on a robot by the end of the event, even if they are parts like gearboxes and 3DOF arms that do get used on a robot? I think it’s clear that it’s intended to cover stuff like specialized tools and pit decorations and other non-robot parts (in addition to things that already don’t get counted against the WA). You know, things that are never used on a robot.

So when the GDC and the CRI disagree, who wins? Q&A 823 seems to indicate that terminated motors must be included in your withholding allowance:

Q823 Q. R13 describes Fabricated Items that may be constructed prior to Kickoff. Exceptions A through C are also excluded from R18 Withholding Allowance. Is it the intent of the rules that the only allowable spare motors not part of R18 are COTS motors that have not been modified in any way? Can R13-D items be excluded from the Withholding Allowance?
FRC2202 on 2016-02-14
A. Yes, COTS items (motors, etc.) that have been modified from their original condition (e.g. connectors have been added) are FABRICATED ITEMS. Specific FABRICATED ITEMS are exceptions to R13, but not exceptions to R18.

I work for the GDC, so what they say goes. They do ask for my input and that is always a good thing. Please standby…

I honestly think that the Answer was supposed to be:

There are no rules governing FABRICATED ITEMS that are never** intended to be** used on a ROBOT

IMO Any fabricated part that is intended to be used on the robot with the exceptions in R-18
B. any ROBOT battery assemblies (as described in R5).

are part of the 30 lb withholding limit. That is a static set of pieces.

Interestingly, second robots are allowed so long as they are bagged at the same time as the first, and brought in at loading time and classed as spare parts

This is according to rulings that First made at the SC Palmetto regional, where a team did bring a second robot

You are also allowed to work on one of the robots in the pits while the other robot is on the practice field/competing

Unfortunately, that would be a violation of R1. ROBOT is ALWAYS singular. And almost always, it is referred to in with a definite article (“the” instead of “an” or “a”).

That would be my opinion. I don’t know who made that call, but I’d be interested to know their logic.

I would also be highly unsurprised to find the “only one robot” rule specifically returning; that’s a rule that was around for quite a while.

… Teams are going to start building 3 robots…

Four, six, twelve - how many robots do figure you can fit in two robot bags?:ahh:

Rule # ???. Perhaps if they paid a second entrance fee as a second team? Makes no sense.