Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2023-2024: Over Under

Usage Guidelines All Questions

<R1> Legality of switching motors between subsystems


What is the legality of having more than 8 motor caps, with the intention of being able to switch one of the motors to a different mechanism? For example: switching a motor to a different subsystem for skills, then switching it back for matches, while remaining under the 88W limit. I have seen teams do this and not get called out for it, but none are fully clear about the legality of it.

Rule <R1c> states

Teams may not switch back and forth between multiple Robots during a competition. This includes using different Robots for Skills Challenges, Qualification Matches and/or Elimination Matches.

However, if no subsystems are being modified, even though the motor allocation is, would it be considered "switching between multiple Robots"?

Answered by committee

Yes, this would be legal. The red box in <R1> includes the following note:

To help determine if a Robot is a “separate Robot” or not, use the subsystem definitions found in <R1>. Above that, use common sense as referenced in <G3>. If you can place two Robots on a table next to each other, and they look like two separate legal/complete Robots (i.e., each has the 3 subsystems defined by <R1>), then they are two Robots. Trying to decide if changing a screw, a wheel, or a microcontroller constitutes a separate Robot is missing the intent and spirit of this rule.

To avoid any confusion, the Robot should be inspected in both configurations, per <R3>.

b. All possible functional Robot configurations must be inspected before being used in competition. This especially pertains to modular or swappable mechanisms (per <R1>) and Match starting configurations/sizes (per <R4>).