Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VAIC-U 2020-2021

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Cooling Fans


AIR6 states:

<AIR6> There is no restriction on sensors and other additional electronics that Robots may use for sensing and processing, except as follows: a. Sensors and electronics MUST be connected to the V5 Robot Brain via any of the externally accessible ports (i.e. without any modification to the microcontroller). A sensor may be connected to a processing unit which then connects to the V5 Robot Brain. b. Sensors and electronics CANNOT directly electrically interface with VEX motors. c. The additional sensors and electronics may only receive power from any of the following: i. Directly from the V5 Robot Brain via any externally accessible port. ii. From an additional lithium ion, lithium iron or nickel metal hydride battery pack (only one (1) additional battery can be used for sensor/processing power). Battery pack must operate at a maximum of 12 volts nominal. d. Only the V5 Battery can power the V5 Brain.

Is it legal to use a fan for the sole purpose of cooling custom electronics? A common example where this would be useful is a CPU cooling fan for a compact external processor, such as an Nvidia Jetson or Raspberry Pi.

If this is ruled as legal, would it also be legal to use a fan for the purpose of cooling non-custom electrical components, such as V5 Smart Motors?

In the past this was ruled as illegal for VEXU (, and AIR6 is worded identically to VUR6. However, this would mean that the cooling fan included in the VAIC kit would be illegal to use on the robot. To confirm, does the old VEXU ruling not apply any more and is the cooling fan for the Jetson nano legal?

Answered by Game Design Committee