Our robot uses a catapult powered with rubber bands. During the robot inspection do these bands have to be installed on the robot or can we put them on the robot after the inspection to preserve the strength of the bands.
I would start with bands on and then change them out if you are that concerned about their elasticity.
As a ref, I would say you must go thru inspection with the rubber bands; the game manual is very specific about legal materials to use, and it is certainly possible to have “illegal rubber bands”. All participants would be best served to surface “illegal rubber bands” as early as possible in the competition; I’m sure a team would hate to be DQed from a match (or barred from playing) they just won when their opponents correctly question the legality of the bands in use.
The most important thing to consider is that the robot must pass inspection in the configuration that you would place it on the field. If it is inspected without rubber bands, then placing it on the field with rubber bands would be a violation.
You will want to keep the rubber bands on during inspection. First, the judges will not see them, and later if they see them, that’s a violation and you can get DQed. So to answer your question: don’t ditch the bands. Leave them
Just to be clear, inspection is generally done by referees or inspectors working under the supervision of the head referee. The Judges have other duties, such as reviewing engineering notebooks and interviewing the teams for the various judged awards.
Leave the rubber bands on. But you don’t need to go to inspection with the rubber bands at the stretched state (so that it will not affect the elasticity of the bands).
But really… if the elasticity of the bands will be affected that much just by going through inspection, then either there must be something wrong with the bands or the way it is being used.
sorry… still learning things about competition and didn’t know… lol.