Would it be legal to have a GoPro camera or any other small camera on board the robot?
No, this would not be legal. Cameras are not part of the VEX Robotics Design System (Rule <R5>) and not among the allowed additional “non-VEX” components allowed by Rule <R7>. These rules can be found in the
VEX Sack Attack Game Manual. They are quoted below for your convenience.
VEX Sack Attack Game Manual:
<R5> Robots may be built ONLY from Official Robot Components from the VEX Robotics Design System unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules.
a. During inspections if there is a question about whether something is an official VEX component, a team will be required to provide documentation to an inspector, which proves the component’s source. Such types of documentation include receipts, part numbers, or other printed documentation.
b. Only the VEX Robotics Design System Components specifically designed to be used for Robot construction are allowed. Using additional components outside their typical purpose is against the intent of the rule (i.e. please don’t try using VEX apparel, competition support materials, packaging or other non-robot products on a VEX Robotics Competition Robot).
c. Products from the VEXpro product line cannot be used for robot construction. Products from the VEXpro line which are also cross listed as part of the VEX EDR product are legal.
d. Official Robotics Components from the VEX Robotics Design System which have been discontinued are still legal for competition use. However teams must be cognizant of <R5a>
VEX Sack Attack Game Manual:
<R7> Robots are allowed the following additional “non-VEX” components:
a. Any material strictly used as a color filter or a color marker for a VEX Light Sensor.
b. Any parts which are identical to legal VEX parts. For the purposes of this rule, products which are identical in all ways except for color are permissible. Note: It is up to inspectors to determine whether a component is “identical” to an official VEX component.
c. Any #4, #6, #8, M2, M2.5, M3 or M4 screw up to 2" long, and any commercially available nut to fit these screws.
d. Teams may add non-functional decorations provided that these do not affect the robot performance in any significant way or affect the outcome of the match. These decorations must be in the spirit of the competition. Inspectors will have final say in what is considered “nonfunctional”.
i. Anodizing and painting of parts would be considered a legal nonfunctional decoration
ii. Any guards or decals must be backed by legal materials that provide the same functionality. i.e. If your robot has a giant decal that prevents Sacks from falling out of the robot, the decal must be backed by VEX material that also prevents the Sacks from falling out.
iii. If using the VEX speaker (Part #276-1504), the chosen audio must not be distracting and must be in good taste. The Head Inspector and Head Referee will make the final decision on the appropriateness of the audio
e. Any non-aerosol based grease, when used in extreme moderation on surfaces and locations that do NOT come into contact with the playing field walls, foam field surface, game objects, or other robots.
f. Non shattering plastic from the following list; polycarbonate, acetel monopolymer (Delrin), acetal copolymer (Acetron GP), POM (acetal), ABS, PEEK, PET, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon (all grades), Polypropylene, FEP; as cut from a single 12" x 24" sheet up to 0.063" thick.
i. Plastic can be mechanically altered by cutting, drilling or bending etc., but it cannot be chemically treated, melted or cast. Teams may heat the polycarbonate to aid in bending.
g. A small amount of tape may be used for the following purposes:
i. For the sole purpose of securing any connection between the ends of two (2) VEX cables.
ii. For labeling wires and motors.
iii. Teflon tape solely for the purposes of preventing leaks may be used on the threaded portions of pneumatic fittings.
iv. For securing and retaining a VEXnet key to the Cortex Microcontroller. Using tape in this manner is highly recommended to ensure a robust connection.
h. Hot glue for securing cable connections
j. A USB extension cable may be used for the sole purpose of remote mounting of a VEXnet key. The key must be mounted in the following manner. (See the below image for reference)
i. The VEXnet key must be mounted such that no metal is touching the key above the VEXnet logo.
ii. No metal may be within 2” of the top of the VEXnet key.
Even if it does not help the robot perform better in any way…basically it is just to be able to record the matches from the inside of the robot it does not benefit the robot or driver in any way during competition
Alright, we’re going to go with last year’s ruling, and allow the use of a “small” camera.
A small camera that is self powered (i.e. not connected to the VEX Microcontroller), not using any wireless capabilities and is not transmitting any data during the match would be considered a non functional decoration, thus legal. Teams using a small camera to record videos or pictures for use after the match is legal. Teams using a camera for feedback during the match is prohibited.
Please note the use of the word “small”. We do not want to see teams taking advantage of this rule to use a large camera as ballast for their robot. It will be up to the inspectors to determine if they think a camera is inappropriately large. A good guideline to follow; small webcams and digital cameras are fine, large SLR cameras not so much. Please use common sense when choosing your camera.