Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2020-2021: Change Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Would it be a violation of the intent of <G6> to outsource fabrication of parts for a team


Pascal Chesnais (Event Partner)
1 year ago

Suppose team A has CNC gear and team B does not and does not have experience using such machinery. Team A offers to cut plastic for team B from team B's CAD file without team B being present at the facility. Team A is offering their services to others. Would team A be assuming role of "Builder" for team B, and presumably all other teams using their service.

By extension could team A also offer service to provide pre-assembled subsystems to teams that submit designs if they have all the parts handy.

My understanding of <G6> intent is that teams must function with the equipment and abilities they have - that all components should be of their own making.

G6  
Answered by Game Design Committee

Please review the Q&A Usage Guidelines, specifically point 3, "Quote the applicable rule from the latest version of the manual in your question.".

In general, the intent of <G6> is as stated in the first sentence of the rule:

The Robot must represent the skill level of the Team.

As well as its closing line and "red box":

Violations of this rule will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in tandem with the REC Foundation Student Centered Policy as noted in <G2>, and the REC Foundation Code of Conduct as noted in <G1>.

Event Partners should bear in mind <G3>, and use common sense when enforcing this rule. It is not the intent to punish a Team who may change Team members over the course of a season due to illness, changing schools, conflicts within a Team, etc. Event Partners and referees are not expected to keep a roster of any Students who has ever driven for a day. This rule is intended to block any instance of loaning or sharing Team members for the sole purpose of gaining a competitive advantage.

The definition of Builder is as follows:

Builder – The Student(s) on the Team who assemble(s) the Robot. An Adult cannot be the Builder on a Team. Adult are permitted to teach the Builder associated concepts, but may never be working on the Robot without the Builder present and actively participating.

The definition of Designer is as follows:

Designer – The Student(s) on the Team who design(s) the Robot to be built for competition. An Adult cannot be the Designer on a Team. Adults are permitted to teach the Designer associated concepts, but may never be working on the design of the Robot without the Designer present and actively participating.

With the above context in mind, hopefully it is clear that it is impossible to provide a blanket answer that would cover all hypothetical Team-to-Team circumstances. The ruling would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis (as noted in <G6>), and would depend on the specifics of the situation at hand.

Suppose team A has CNC gear and team B does not and does not have experience using such machinery. Team A offers to cut plastic for team B from team B's CAD file without team B being present at the facility. Team A is offering their services to others. Would team A be assuming role of "Builder" for team B, and presumably all other teams using their service.

By extension could team A also offer service to provide pre-assembled subsystems to teams that submit designs if they have all the parts handy.

Some "thought experiment" questions to ask in these situations would be:

  • Can the Student(s) from Team B consider themselves to be the Designer of the part? That is, can they support the engineering design process that was used to arrive at the part in their Engineering Notebook, provide examples of prototypes, explain why the part is an effective part of their overall Robot?
  • The definition of Builder states that it represents the Students who "assemble" the Robot. Did the Student(s) from Team B "assemble" their Robot? When no VRC-specific definition is available, a standard dictionary definition is used. "Assemble: to fit together the separate component parts of (a machine or other object)".
  • Are the Student(s) from Team B "present and actively participating" in the assembly and/or design of their Robot?
  • Is anyone involved (from Team A or Team B) violating the Student-Centered policy per <G2>, or the Code of Conduct via <G1>?