The Appendix D description of the Amaze award criteria makes no mention of sensors whatsoever (does not even use the word anywhere in the description). However, the signs to post in the Judges Room for their deliberations have a separate sub-bullet point underneath the bullet point about the autonomous code, stating “Integration of sensors for use in both autonomous and tele-operated mode”. (This is the same for the new documents released this week as well as last year’s documents.)
It seems a little unfair to tell the judges to look for something that you have not told the participants is important or will be evaluated. Certainly many amazing teams will use sensors to make their robot work better, but isn’t it possible that a team can do amazing things without sensors? Unless they download the Judges Room signs and compare the text side-by-side with Appendix D, teams will have no idea that judges are specifically looking at sensor use.
Consistent guidelines for judges and participants is what would be considered fair, in my book.