On numerous occasions, my team used tape to round certain edges and make some surfaces smoother on our robot. For example, our ramp is so low to the ground, it cuts into the foam sometimes. And, the discs sometimes have trouble going up the ramp due to screws in the ramp that we cannot really move. So, we just added tape to those places and it worked pretty well.
Are we allowed to use tape like this to make things smoother? This would probably go against though since its no longer a “non-functional” decoration, so how would you guys decrease friction on like a ramp or something?
No, and none of the tape you’ve used(or at least what you described) is legal either.
The Rulebook’s R10 states that a limited amount of tape may be used for:
securing connections between the ends of vex cables
covering the backs of license plates
preventing leaks on threaded portions of pneumatic fittings
Any other application falls under R12, so any other use has to be non-functional
I don’t have much help for you in reducing friction. If those screws on the ramp absolutely cannot be moved and you absolutely can’t redesign to solve that issue, maybe just put more screws on the ramp so instead of going on the ramp and hitting the screws they just ride on a bunch of screws instead. Just a weird idea, might only work in my head.
If your ramp is so close to the ground, either move it, file it, or if you use polycarb, cut it again.
You know you are expected to read the Game Manual thoroughly - ignorance of the rules will yield to some uncomfortable discussions with Inspectors and Head Referee - more so if your robot is designed breaking robot rules for competitive advantage.
I would urge your team (all members) to print out a copy of the Game Manual and go over each section carefully.
We have had similar problems as far as bolt heads and stopping the ramp from digging in. For stopping the ramp from digging in I put a hard stop on the ramp so that it cannot flex backwards, then cut the bottom to where it is barely over the ground. It’s something that takes a while and I’m interested to see if any other teams have had these issues. For the bolt heads, what I have done before is drill a hole slightly too small, then screw the bolt in through the bottom so that it is flush with the ramp. This threads the polycarbonate (if that’s what you are using for your ramp) and creates a secure-ish connection. I say secure-ish because it can fall out if executed wrong or has too much stress on it, but maybe if you wrap the screws in teflon it will hold better