Robot scratches during inspection

So when we put our robot through one of the 18" sizing tools, it scratches the side of it. Is this ok?

No, the robot must be smaller than the 18X18X18 box.

It depends on how hard it scratches. The vast majority of inspectors are extremely lenient, so as long as slice of your robot is larger than 18x18 you will probably pass despite size. Check your tool as well, it could be slightly too small (or too big) and bend it to the correct size.

At all the competitions I have been to when they check for sizing as long as they can take the sizing tool and kind of wiggle it through your robot then you will pass. If it gets stuck though and they can’t move it through even after they reposition the sizing tool then you have to fix it.

While the wiggle-it-through-to-pass-inspection is quite common at local-level events, it will not pass muster once you go higher up the pyramid. <R4> Clearly states that the robot is not allowed to touch the sides or top of the sizing box or arch. It’s the luck of the draw whether your particular inspector will enforce it or not.

So do they do the “can’t touch the wall” thing at nationals and worlds?

At worlds, YES. At the US Open, maybe.

Technically, that would be illegal. The robot must pass inspection in exactly the configuration that it would be in when placed on the field. It is not an issue of advantage. It is an issue of how the rules are written. If you come to the field out of the correct size and could not correct it, you could be asked to remove your robot and leave your alliance partner 1 on 2 or if you continue to come to the field out of size, you could be disqualified.

This is quite risky, because robots can be reinspected at any time, including at the beginning of a match. If the only way the robot stays inside 18" is to have a ziptie holding it together, but that needs to be removed before the match, then it is not likely to be within size for the match itself. Depending on the head official, that may mean not allowing you to compete in a match, or requiring the other robot in an alliance of 3 during eliminations to take the spot of the offending bot. This happened recently in one of our tournaments.

Robots are required to pass inspection in the configuration they are going to use during a match.

Ok thanks. I was just curious because this happened at our last tournament, and I was wondering what should happen in this case

Yes they are strict at US Open too–we had to file an axle by about 1/32 of an inch because it just barely touched the sizing box.

He was saying some people are strict while others aren’t.