Autonomous dial plate Nonfunctional Decoration

We were using this wooden, laser-engraved plate to help the driver dial the potentiometer to select which autonomous we would run for the match. Would this be considered a nonfunctional decoration? It doesn’t do anything other than help us human beings remember which rotation selects which autonomous.


But isn’t that a functional decoration for the robot? Wouldn’t that be illegal. I however think that is a great idea, and consider using it if it’s going to be legal

It is not functioning during the match itself.

It should pass as decoration.


yes that’s true
20 char

If you printed these instructions on a legal VEX material, I think that would be legal, since the color itself doesn’t affect the robot. And a wooden plate that was purely decorative would probably be legal, so I assume printing instructions on it would also be legal.

I seem to remember there was a ruling about something like this in a previous season, but if the rules don’t say anything to prove whether or not it’s legal, someone should probably ask a Q&A question about it (since answers from previous seasons don’t carry over anymore).


Are you sure that it’s a potentiometer that looks like an encoder to me

I can tell it’s a potentiometer because of the shape. The potentiometers have two straight sides and two curved sides (and two curved grooves near the curved sides, but those are hidden by the gear in the photo), while the encoders are rounded rectangles.

The potentiometer is the same color as the encoders, though, and I’m guessing they used the same plastic material.


I think it should be fine. Just make sure it’s easy to remove as an inspector can tell you to remove any nonfunctional decoration.

If worst comes to worst and you are asked to remove it, you can always just place it up against the dial when setting auto. Use it as an instructions chart. I also know that in the past my team would mark the potentiometer with sharpie.


Not seeing the back side, assuming there is no other VEX Structure backing it, it would be consider functional, since taking it away would cause it to flop in that case (Note I am specifically indicating the structural support aspect.

Remember, that if it is truly “non-functional” decoration, the referee is at liberty to ask you to remove it.

As long as it’s backed by a vex-legal part (as in it has no structural impact), it should be fine.
Then it simply qualifies as decoration.

We actually used something very similar in ITZ, and (aside from a few debates) had no problems with passing tech inspection, including at worlds.
If you can operate without it, then in my experience it is fine.


There is a vex C-Channel behind the wooden plate, and the plate is essentially just acting as a spacer between the potentiometer and the C-Channel.

R12 - Decorations are allowed. Teams may add non-functional decorations, provided that they do not affect 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 “non-functional”. Unless otherwise specified below, non-functional decorations are governed by all standard Robot rules.

I’m focusing on the portion “…provided that they do not affect Robot performance in any significant way…” My understanding (not a proven fact) is that because the plate is for the driver to choose the autonomous, it doesn’t affect robot performance, but just the driver’s “performance”.

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