Answered: Clarification on <R15>

Rule <R15> states that


Parts may NOT be modified as follows:
a. Motors, extension cords, sensors, controllers, battery packs, and any other electrical component of the VEX Robotics Design System may NOT be altered from their original state in ANY way.

Our team is experiencing problems with the IME we have mounted on one of our wheels. It has been suggested to us by several teams and engineers at events that it is possible our robot is generating large amounts of static electricity by running wheels against the foam tiles, and it has no way to discharge this as no metal elements ever connect with the field.

We have a plan to essentially isolate this motor from the frame of our robot with plastic spacers and long screws. We also intended to remove the plastic coating from one of our (broken) two wire extension cables, loop it around the spinning axle attached to the motor and wheel, and also anchor it to the frame of the robot. To us, this seems like it would prevent the buildup of static electricity that is currently thought to be interfering with the IME from the other base motors while also discharging any that may buildup as a result of this wheel in particular.

If this is not a legal use of a wire, can you please direct us to a troubleshooting guide for the IME’s? We’re looking right now without much success.

No, this is not a legal use of wire. Based on our testing, it also does not seem to help fix the problem.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an easy fix for us to recommend to users who encounter this issue – if it was as simple as a dragger chain or daisy-chain terminator, we would already be providing these to customers. We recommend that users experiencing static problems spray their field tiles with a coating of anti-static spray. At VEX World Championship, every field will be treated with Techspray 1726-QT (available from This seems to greatly reduce the likelihood of an ESD incident.

Okay, then. We’ll stop worrying about the problem.

Thanks for looking into it.

You’re welcome.

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