Painted treads

A question has been raised about painting of the treads used in the VEX robots. We have painted, for decoration purposes only, some of the tread. It does NOT assist in gripping of the cubes. I have read the entire section 4 on the robot, and do not see anything that would prohibit this.

I have enclosed a picture of what I am asking about.



Well the rules say as follows:

<R5> d. Teams may add non-functional decorations from parts not on the above list, provided that these
parts do not affect the outcome of the match, and must be in the spirit of the competition.

After reading this rules, it is definitely clear that painting the threads is illegal because it has a function and that function is to maximize the traction in the threads to pick up the cubes with ease(by this I’m not saying that you did it with this purpose, but it is doing just that). Therefore it affects the outcome of the match.

It’s too bad eh. Slaggy looks good with the the dragon teeth. :slight_smile:

Take care. See you at Dallas!

Not sure that I can see how that paint can help in the game.

And what a WAY COOL look!

If I were a judge I would insist you kept it that way.

I wouldn’t rule it as fully illegal, but my opinion is that if it affects the grip on the cube as in

A. It has a different texture than the regular green paint on the tread
B. It’s grippier/more slippery

Then I’d say you were pushing the line. It’s probably better to bring along some spare tread if possible though, just in case or just bring some money to buy it from the store.

even if the paint worsened the traction, it would still be illegal. its unfortunate, but true that it does affect traction

If you compare the friction of most common metal/plastic based paints they do not give any serious advantage in traction.

I would like the VEX official inspectors to chime in on this topic instead of community members giving their interpreted rulings.

I am an official Vex inspector and I would have to either get a ruling from the chief inspector or see the robot myself. On the face of it, I would not make an assumption that the paint either is an illegal material or not. If I were on team 1429, though, I’d bring an extra set of unpainted tracks just in case.

They are already packed. Hopefully we won’t need them…

This isn’t the official Q&A, but I’ll chime in…

Painting VEX components is legal, as the paint is considered a non-functional decoration. If the paint becomes “functional” in some way, it would no longer be legal. The interpretation of whether the paint is “functional” will ultimately be up to the Inspectors at the event.

If asked to consult on such a decision, I would compare the coefficient of friction of the painted tank treads with non-painted tank treads. If the coefficients of friction are similar, I would probably allow it.

We want to encourage creativity which is why we allow non-functional decorations. We also don’t want a team to get an advantage (either on purpose, or not) from something like this. If the inspectors believe the team is getting an advantage, they would be politely asked to change the tread.

Make sense?


Absolutely, and I agree 100%

Thanks, John.