Alignment vex tool for autonomous

Can an alignment tool made froimage m vex parts (2x20 vex piece) be used to align the robot at the start of autonomous. It’s removed from the field during the autonomous run but used again when the robots position is reset. It helps to get a consistent starting position, is this allowed?

I think it would be allowed. I used one at our last competition and the refs didn’t say anything about it. I assume that would be part of the normal “pre-match” setup, e.g. calibrating sensors as mentioned in

This is something not explicitly mentioned in the rules for both IQ and VRC, we have never had any issues using setup tools in VRC. We used a tool to setup our robot in ITZ and turning point. Basically, no one is going to bother you about it.

I think it was rule legal before the match but not during… I have posted the question for this season. I could not find the previous ruling.

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When a question contains the words “is this allowed,” or “is it legal to” then we must turn to the game manual for the answer. As you read the game manual, remember that it tells you what you are NOT allowed to do. It would be impossible to tell you every single thing that you ARE allowed to do. Since the manual does not say you are not allowed to use an alignment tool then, yes, it is perfectly legal. Unfortunately, there are overzealous EPs and referees who decide to add their own rules to the game manual rather than interpreting it the way it is written. If this happens, your team needs to respectfully approach the head referee and ask them to show them the rule in the game manual.


Yes, but to protect the kids from those EP’s then clarifications are necessary. I would note that the manual does state:



It could them be argued that the because the alignment tool was not part of the inspection process then it could not be placed on the field.

However, I would think that there is no reason that the alignment tool would need to be removed at all, and that you could put an alignment tool on the field in both starting positions for the convenience of the team, and that there is no reason that the alignment tool would have to be in the starting position as it’s not part of the robot. There is nothing in the manual that says that you can’t add field elements.

While we have to contend with , the existence of the official Q&A shows that is insufficient to settle what we should do. I could see this one going either way only given the manual.

I will also point out that the Manual should try and reflect the issues that the previous game brought up. Alignment tools have been used for a while now, and best practices should be included in the manual so we don’t have to go around this every year…


If it doesn’t meet the definition of a robot, I’m not sure why you should be allowed to place it on the field after the match starts (i.e. in resetting during a programming skills run) but there is definitely no reason why such a tool couldn’t be used to align a robot before a match starts.

The rules don’t state that you can’t put something on the field other than the robot… I know that reads like a double negative but it’s the only thing I think I can say… Unless I’m missing an “only” or a “not” somewhere in the manual…

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  1. I agree, lessons learned need to be included. And this has taken place, VEX Robotics was very similar to Aussie Football rules: “Not a lot of rules, here is how you score points”, The rules have changed across time. We are still well under the length of other competitions.
  2. Physical guides are a pretty new thing in the last 3 years. I’ve explained to teams that the VIQ field has 1" grids on it with the holes, with the +/- spacing you should be able to position it.
  3. Let’s talk friction, tire usage, battery voltage, placement of the elements, etc. Does a guide make a difference?
  4. And is the next step using the guide to place the cubes so they are “exactly” where you want them?
  5. This is the kind of low level thing that drives the GDC crazy. It makes you pull your hair out. (Glance at Kathik then Dilon) :crazy_face:
  6. These questions ALWAYS need to go to the Q&A, I’m just a guy in a well stocked robot lab…

Sort of. But the definition of a Robot is “anything that a team places on the field at the start of a match”
“At” the start of a match suggests that before the start, you can use other stuff (i.e. alignment tool) but at the start, only the robot must be there.
Now the bit about inspection is ambiguous because it kinda reads like anything that hasn’t passed inspection is not a robot but can still be placed on the field, but we all know that is not what it means otherwise you could add all manner of structures to the field for your benefit.

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