Official Q&A: VRC 2020-2021: Change Up Usage Guidelines

Tetherbots and R4


2114C
1 month ago

R4 states:

Robots must be safe. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed: c. Those that pose an unnecessary risk of Entanglement

The definition of Entanglement states:

Entanglement – A Robot status. A Robot is Entangled if it has grabbed, hooked, or attached to an opposing Robot or a Field Element.

Say a Robot has multiple drive bases (known as a “tetherbot”) connected by V5 smart cables (the “tether”). In some past seasons it has been said that in order to satisfy R4c, the tether must be backed by a rigid material (see www.vexforum.com/t/answered-partner-minibot/27092 ). Is it still the case that tethers must be backed by a rigid material?

R4  
Answered by Game Design Committee

Say a Robot has multiple drive bases (known as a “tetherbot”) connected by V5 smart cables (the “tether”). In some past seasons it has been said that in order to satisfy R4c, the tether must be backed by a rigid material (see www.vexforum.com/t/answered-partner-minibot/27092 ). Is it still the case that tethers must be backed by a rigid material?

R4 does not provide any specific build guidelines. To minimize any risks of confusion or conflict during inspection, Teams should make it abundantly clear to Head Referees that their Robots do not pose any unnecessary risks of Entanglement.

It is impossible to issue a blanket ruling that would encompass all hypothetical Robot designs (or, in this case, rigid backing materials). In most cases, "cable carriers" made of VEX metal are typically sufficient for satisfying R4. However, we are not going to provide a definition of "rigid" or a guaranteed/recommended build solution.