Is it legal to have identical robots?

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If China gets away with it like this you can, but are you really getting anything out of making clone bots?
Sure, we do this competition for the glory, game, and a lot of other stuff but at the end of the day it’s about learning, designing, and less about a trophy sitting on the wall gathering dust over time, but more about what you can do with the skills you gain afterwards


I believe that this is not correct.
You CAN have 2 identical robots.
You can NOT have 1 robot used by 2 different teams as their robot.

Game Manual R1 c. Multiple Teams may not use the same Robot. Once a Robot has competed under a given team number at an event, it is “their” Robot - no other Teams may compete with it for the duration of the competition season.

As Karthik provided info on from the Judge’s Guide, if you do have 2 identical robots those teams should not be considered for judged awards.

As far as I’m aware, there is nothing in the rules saying they cannot have identical robots competing (this assumes, of course, that the teams did build those robots themselves and stayed in the safe areas of the student-centered policy). Please post specific rules info if you think there is some area of the rules that supports your position.


Since it is your first year, I would guess what you meant, was that they settled on the same overall design.

If they did an online research and found a popular “meta” design, like 448X complex tray, then there is nothing wrong with them following it, even if limited set of parts forces them to use very similar technical solutions.

What you want to encourage them, though, is to work in cooperation with each other and test different ideas on each robot. For example, 169 teams, mentioned above, who are a local powerhouse, all come to early competitions with completely different subsystems to figure out what works the best. As the season progresses they narrow their choices down to the most effective designs. And similar design convergence happens within regions and large alliances all the time.

What may look like very similar robots to the outside observer, may be all variants of a popular “meta” design, but with significant differences in built style and quality on a subsystem level. Even two screw-by-screw identical robots may end up performing in the top and bottom of the rankings if the quality of the build/aligning procedures and program tuning of the clone did not match that of the original design.

On the other hand, you can build two robots with essentially the same set of technical solutions, mechanical and programming tricks, but make them look very different to the casual observer.

The subject of design convergence, robot identity, and clones have been discussed on many occasions in the past.

Design Award and Original Ideas

Two different teams with identical robots

Identical robot designs from same school/club

The future of "clone" bots

UNOFFICIAL: <R1> Identity of the robot

Answered: Same Robot Clarification

Answered: Design Convergene issue within a School

How to determine multiple robots are identical?

Too Much Design Collaboration


Copying Robots


I don’t think it is if they are the exact same. If they are the same idea, it is completely fine, IE Claw-bots, Tray-bots, Tower-bots, Push-bots

So, where in the game manual ( do you draw your conclusion? It’s not a matter of “think”, it is either legal, or it isn’t legal.

The rule is R1 subrule C, or Multiple teams may not use the same robot/

Rule R1 is referring to a single robot being “passed around” from team to team, not to several teams each building their own, but identical, robot. This rule was added to the game manual a few years ago, along the the rule about drivers not being allowed to drive for more than one team, because there were organizations qualifying multiple teams by having a robot and/or driver move from team to team to earn qualifications.


This rule was put in place to prevent Team A from an organization to build a robot, then give it to Team B to qualify to advance. What is being described is one design used by multiple teams in an organization - so more than one robot.

Ok, sorry for my mistake. I thought it meant something else.


wait wait wait. so a team cant give a sister team a bot that the original team had

No they can’t, according to R1c

not saying i did it just curious. what would happen if caught

You could be banned from event, future events, for the remainder of season, or removed from program altogether.


in a more advanced competition, I would say you might be banned from performing.

dang man. harsh but makes sense

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