Answered: Preloads In Inspection

My robot has a mechanism on a hinge that once expanded, will make the robot larger than 18 inches cubed. The hinge is not powered; it relies on gravity to expand. At the beginning of a match, my preloaded barrel is under the mechanism, propping up this hinge. The barrel is touching the robot and the field tiles. The barrel also is partially out of the 18 inches cubed that my robot is in. Once the match starts, my drive train will be able to dislodge the barrel, and allow my robot to expand. Am I breaking any rules, and if not, how will I pass inspection with this robot if I need a barrel for the robot to be in the size dimension?

Let’s take a look at the applicable rule from the VEX Gateway Manual. I’ve bolded some text for emphasis.

Your preloaded Barrel would be considered a restraint to maintain starting size. Since it would not remain attached to the robot for the duration of the match, this approach would not be legal. You’ll need to find someway to use part a permanent part of the robot to keep that hinge propped up.