Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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The Q&A is closed for the 2021-2022 season. Any rule changes or clarifications pertaining to the 2022 VEX Robotics World Championship will be included in the April 5 Game Manual Update. Teams attending VEX Worlds who wish to pre-submit questions for the driver's meeting should have received a contact form via email; if not, please contact your REC Foundation Team Engagement Manager for more information.

Official Q&A: VRC 2021-2022: Tipping Point

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Are ESD Boards Considered Non-Functional Decoration When Unplugged?


Jess Zarchi
30-Oct-2021

Hello,

R13

Decorations are allowed. Teams may add non-functional decorations, provided that they do not affect Robot performance in any significant way or affect the outcome of the Match. These decorations must be in the spirit of the competition. Inspectors will have final say in what is considered “non-functional”. Unless otherwise specified below, non-functional decorations are governed by all standard Robot rules.

In order to be “non-functional,” any guards, decals, or other decorations must be backed by legal materials that provide the same functionality. For example, if your Robot has a giant decal that prevents Scoring Objects from falling out of the Robot, the decal must be backed by VEX material that would also prevent the Scoring Objects from falling out.

a. Anodizing and painting of parts is considered a legal nonfunctional decoration. b. Small cameras are permitted as non-functional decorations, provided that any transmitting functions or wireless communications are disabled. Unusually large cameras being used as ballast are not permitted. c. VEX electronics may not be used as non-functional decorations. d. Decorations that visually mimic field elements, or could otherwise interfere with an opponent’s Vision Sensor, are considered functional and are not permitted. This includes lights, such as the VEX Flashlight. The Inspector and Head Referee will make the final decision on whether a given decoration or mechanism violates this rule. e. Internal power sources (e.g. for a small blinking light) are permitted, provided that no other rules are violated and this source only provides power to the non-functional decoration (e.g. does not directly or indirectly influence any functional portions of the Robot). f. Decorations which provide feedback to the Robot (e.g. by influencing legal sensors) would be considered “functional”, and are not permitted. g. Decorations which provide visual feedback to Drive Team Members (e.g. decorative lighting) are permitted, provided that they do not violate any other rules and serve no other function (e.g. structural support).

R16

Robots have one microcontroller. Robots must ONLY use one (1) VEX V5 Robot Brain (276-4810). a. Any other microcontrollers or processing devices are not allowed, even as non-functional decorations. This includes microcontrollers that are part of other VEX product lines, such as Cortex, VEXpro, VEX RCR, VEX IQ, VEX GO, or VEX Robotics by HEXB

R21

No modifications to electronic components are allowed. Motors (including the internal PTC or Smart Motor firmware), microcontrollers (including V5 Robot Brain firmware), extension cords, sensors, controllers, battery packs, reservoirs, solenoids, pneumatic cylinders, and any other electrical component or pneumatics component of the VEX platform may NOT be altered from their original state in ANY way.

a. External wires on VEX electrical components may be repaired by soldering, using twist / crimp connectors, electrical tape or shrink tubing such that the original functionality / length is not modified in any way. Wire used in repairs must be identical to VEX wire. Teams may make these repairs at their own risk; incorrect wiring may have undesired results. b. Teams must use the latest official VEXos firmware updates, found at www.vexrobotics.com. Custom firmware modifications are not permitted. c. Teams may make the following modifications to the V5 Smart Motor’s user-serviceable features. No other modifications are permitted. i. Changing or replacing the gear cartridge with other official replacement cartridges. ii. Replacing the V5 Smart Motor Cap (276-6780). iii. Replacing the threaded mounting inserts (276-6781).

BLRS Wiki - V5 ESD Protection Board https://wiki.purduesigbots.com/vex-electronics/v5-esd-protection-board


It is my understanding these boards are illegal for use during competition. But, as these boards don't violate <R16> or <R21> when unplugged on a robot, if the team follows <R13>, these would be considered non-functional decoration. Is this a correct interpretation?

Thank you for your time!

Answered by committee

It is my understanding these boards are illegal for use during competition. But, as these boards don't violate <R16> or <R21> when unplugged on a robot, if the team follows <R13>, these would be considered non-functional decoration. Is this a correct interpretation?

Yes, this is correct.