I have a girls team that would like to paint some of the parts or their robot. They want to have several pieces pink, purple, yellow, green, etc. Is there a rule against painting some of the metal used on the robot?
Though it’s ultimately up to judges’ discretion, a general guideline:
Spray painted/altered metal must be purely decorative and mustn’t change the coefficient of friction for any actively used mechanism
Decoration shouldn’t be too much of a distraction or something that obscures the view of drivers or judges
-Things like custom nameplates cannot be used as structure or support (even for things like wire holders, etc).
As long as none of the decorations affect gameplay in any way, you can have as many decorations as you want. This means, they can’t touch any game objects.
P.S. The flag and nameplates are considered non-functional decorations.
There has been more than one FAQ thread in which Karthik has said that this is illegal, unless the LEDs are vex LEDs powered by the cortex. You cannot exceed the allowed battery limit even if those batteries are for non-functional decorations.
It’s understandable that the inspectors and refs of the event you went to might not know that, though. It’s an obscure rule that has only been clarified in FAQ threads from past seasons:
The issue here is one of safety. A camera with a self contained battery has almost certainly gone through some type of certification process (FCC, CE whatever) to ensure that that it is safe and does not produce any number of potentially disruptive emissions. Generic LED’s hooked up with student wiring to an unknown battery are potentially hazardous. I understand that they will mostly be safe but what if someone takes this to the extreme and uses several of these, hooks them up to a large battery that shorts to the chassis causing a fire. A small possibility but VEX has to consider the worst case scenario.