This question came up at a scrimmage today, which we weren’t completely sure how to rule on:
If a team wants to use a second battery on their robot as a counterweight (or for anything else), they have to be “utilising” a power expander.
Does this mean using a power expander for its intended purpose, using a power expander for something functional, simply having a power expander on the robot, or something else? It seems odd that a team who wants to use a second battery for reasons unrelated to power should have to pass one of their motor wires through a power expander just to satisfy a technicality in the rules.
Yes, this is correct, if a team wishes to use a second battery they must be using a power expander. Batteries are meant to power robots, not to be used as ballast. If you really insist on using a battery as ballast, you must plug into a power expander and plug the power expander into the robot. You are not required to use the power expander for its intended purpose, but it must be present.