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

Usage Guidelines All Questions

R6 - What is a "V5 Component"?


Charles Jeffries (Event Partner)
8-Jan-2024

<R6> states (in part):

Robots are built from the VEX V5 system. Robots may be built ONLY using official VEX V5 components, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules.Teams are responsible for providing documentation proving a part’s legality in the event of a question. Examples of documentation include receipts, part numbers, official VEX websites, or other printed evidence.

h. Official VEX products are ONLY available from VEX Robotics. All official products are listed on www.vexrobotics.com.

Red Box: Using VEX apparel, competition support materials, packaging, or other non-Robot products on a VEX Robotics Competition Robot goes against the spirit of this rule and is not permitted.

There is some confusion as to what exactly constitutes a "V5 component". For example, the V5 VersaPlanetary Mount (217-7762): https://www.vexrobotics.com/ftc-motor-mounts.html

Is this component legal for use in VRC? It says "Works with V5 and PRO products and accessories", but it is not clear if this label itself means that the component is a V5 component. Furthermore, the product description lists it as "VEX U, VAIRC, FTC, FRC legal.", but does not mention VRC. This is confusing, because if the part is a V5 component, then how would it be legal for VEXU and yet not legal for VRC?

As a further example, there is the GPS Field Code strip Set V2 (276-7823): https://www.vexrobotics.com/276-7823.html

My first reaction would be to say that this product is not legal for use on a competition robot because it is a "competition support material" and thus not legal due to the Red Box under R6. However, the description of the product itself states: "Works with VEX V5 products and accessories products and accessories. VRC, VEX U, VAIRC legal." Is this product legal for use on competition robots in VRC, VEXU, and VAIRC?

Some other miscellaneous examples:

  • Smart Field Controller Kit (276-7741) - "Works with VEX V5 products and accessories products and accessories. VRC, VEX U, VAIRC legal."
  • V5 Competition Field Controller Power Cable (276-7581) - "Works with VEX V5 products and accessories products and accessories. VRC, VEX U, VAIRC legal."
  • Smart Field Controller (276-7577) - "Works with VEX V5 products and accessories products and accessories. VRC, VEX U, VAIRC legal."
  • V5 Robot Battery Charger (276-4812) - "Works with VEX V5 products and accessories products and accessories. VRC, VEX U, VAIRC legal."
  • License Plate Alphabet Sticker Sheet (276-3937) - "Works with VEX V5 products and accessories products and accessories. VRC, VEX U, VAIRC legal."

These parts are only a couple examples; there have been several other instances of product descriptions with similar issues in the past. Therefore, my goal isn't just to get an answer for these specific products only, but more to get clearer guidelines on what teams should be looking for in product descriptions on vexrobotics.com in order to determine if they can use a component or not.

Thank you.

R6  
Answered by committee
16-Jan-2024

We apologize if this has caused any confusion for inspectors at an event. The GDC works alongside the VEX product and web teams to provide product legality clarifications on the VEX website wherever possible. However, due to the broad scope of the VEX customer base beyond VRC competitors, it is sometimes difficult to offer a "one size fits all" solution.

Although there are occasional exceptions, a "V5 robot part" in the context of VRC can usually be identified by some combination of the following.

  • If the part number begins with 276- or 275- .
  • If the part is listed on the VEX website under the V5 product line filter.
  • If the part is listed on the VEX website under the "VRC competition legal" product filter. These will also say "VRC legal" on their product page.
  • If the part is not "apparel, competition support materials, packaging, or other non-Robot products", as noted in the red box in <R6>.
  • If a product falls outside of these bullet points, it usually receives some clarification directly in the game manual, on the product website, or a Q&A.

To address the specific examples in your post:

V5 VersaPlanetary Mount (217-7762)

  • This part has a 217 part number, and is found under the VEXpro product line. As you noticed, it is not listed as "VRC legal". However, V5 construction components can be used in applications outside of VRC (e.g. Workcell / FAC, FTC, PLTW or other classroom curricula). These groups also use the same website as VRC competitors, and is who the "works with V5 products" tags are intended for in this case.

Smart Field Controller Kit (276-7741), V5 Competition Field Controller Power Cable (276-7581), Smart Field Controller (276-7577)

  • These would be considered "competition support materials", are not intended for competition Robot construction. The "VRC legal" tag is meant to show that these are the intended exclusive legal field control components. Third-party or unofficial field controllers are not permitted, per <T23>.

V5 Robot Battery Charger (276-4812)

  • This would be considered a "non-Robot product", and is not intended for competition Robot construction. Similar to the above, the "VRC legal" tag is meant to show that this is the intended exclusive legal battery charger. Third-party or unofficial battery chargers are not permitted, per <R13>.

License Plate Alphabet Sticker Sheet (276-3937)

  • As noted in the product name, these are intended to be a part of Robot License Plates, and are therefore governed by <R9>. As noted in <R9>, License Plates are considered non-functional decorations, which would also apply to this product. For example, if you are referring to the stickers' backing sheet, this would be considered a "non-Robot product", and only legal for use as a non-functional decoration.