Using motors only as weight?

R12 says no more than 6 motors, but doesn’t specify anything else about the motors. If the motor count on the robot is 6 but 3 (no cords attached) are used only as weight for balance, is that legal?

This same question was asked 4 years ago, and responses said yes but I wanted to make sure this is still ok?

What specifically about rule R12 of the game manual that makes you believe this might be illegal?


It doesn’t specify anything about the motors at all other than the number, so I assume it is legal, but haven’t seen anyone use them only as weight so I just wanted to make sure it is ok.

This method is totally legal but it takes up one of the motors you can have which can limit you.

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It is legal. I’ve seen many teams use this method of weights.


Thank you for responding.

I’m in awe of someone that would take the time to carefully hang motors 5 and 6 on a robot to use as weight without thinking "Hey, I have a motor here that I can use as an effector, but it’s best use is dead weight. Oh wait I have two dead weights to use as weight, lets not use them as a motor but dangle them and helpful mass to balance the robot. "

Isn’t there something you can use them for? Extra motive power, a second or third claw? There is something you can use a $20 motor for other than additional mass. Rules saying things are fine, but not taking advantage of that objects true ability is sad.


These are not robotics geniuses like yourself, these are young children that are new to building robots and I’m just trying to help them out.

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So help them, there are lots of us that will say, why add weight, can you move things around, can you change the center of mass another way. One team was hard core on using a motor as weight, but after some thought they now have a tiny rear claw to grapple onto a cube on the back to help drag a cube to the other side of the field.

Good luck, help them think outside the box.


I came back to add that the Student Guide has Green Yellow Red areas. It’s Ok that you are in a Yellow area moving towards green. Being in green and stranding roboteers isn’t what you want to do. Grab the wheel for a few seconds with stuck roboteers and get them moving forward is fine. Zip into yellow and get them moving to green then let go of the wheel.

My inner voice says “Hey, these roboteers are really frustrated, they are moments away from this being fun to hating this” and I step in and pull them the right way. You as the mentor has an awkward position, help / don’t help. Do the best you can. Just don’t build the robot.

I’m still working with @DanMantz on creating a VEXIQ Adult league, cause we all want to go 1-1 with @hassenplug and @Gear_Geeks. I did an all adult Pinewood Derby meet and the cars were just amazing. But help your roboteers out, we support your efforts on helping them.


I would 100% join this league.

But I’d still have my kids do the programming :sweat_smile:


@mtaylor, @Foster If you guys are in Omaha at the end of May we are doing an adult night fundraiser. Assemble IQ bots then play freeze tag on an open field (probably double size) and a race, with the freeze tag feature still on. :grinning:

Some adult matches at the US Open or Worlds would be a cool addition

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Have you seriously not seen this a hundred times? Motors, wheels, plastic beams, all to keep flex/clutch from falling forward.

Every time I see it, I get a bad feeling about it [this]. I think “Just build a better robot, so it doesn’t need that weight…”


<in case someone doesn’t get it, that intended to be sarcastic. I’m happy the kids have found a way to solve their problem.>

hmm. 9 hour drive.


Yea, the goto item is “moar weight”, like a screw looking for a hammer. It’s hard, @20mrscox10 is helping, but she’s not a roboteer (parents that care :heart: :heart: ) a strategy is to poke hard at the "OK, lets write 4 things down to fix this until they get past the “add a big motor” or “another battery” . I’m always looking for a solution to this. I try to get the team mentors/teachers to go “What would Mr Foster suggest” and that opens the box some.

Off topic: Yea, Omaha isn’t happening. I’m hard pressed to get off the Delaware coast. I’m gonna need to start a PA/NJ/VA/DE league up (well all the teams but those guys that run team 7, cause they have some voodoo magic going on there.)

What I had proposed was to build robots, ship them to a location and have roboteers get them and drive them in a proxy event, There was some event in the 2010-2012 range that offered that.

And wildly off topic is I want VEX to strap Art and two other builders to come to a big city tour and demo “Level 4 building with VEX” I went to one of these for Lego and that changes how you look at the little blocks. I’d commit to having 50 people in Philly to see this.


Staying off topic…

I got to do a wonderfully fun thing with LEGO in 2006 called “Big Robot On Campus”, just before the NXT was first released.

I’m in if I can get one of our interns to build my robot… Or is that a Code of Conduct violation?


With @SamBarbee at vex now I’d put my money on the interns.


Ugg, he’s going to ask @Art_Dutra_IV and then it’s all over.

@DanMantz umm, sure, maybe, I think, maybe @Jim_Crane would work. He hasn’t touched a robot in 5 years so I think that could work. On the other hand my current RSM Dan Troy is a non starter, he has 20 years in robotics, 15 of which is kicking me to the curb. :smile:


My $0.02 is that this adult league should be divided by ages… under 25, 25 to 49 and 50 and up. :grinning: But unlike the rest of Vex, the adult age brackets can play DOWN but not up

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Ugg, So let me set the record sort of straight. Dan asked about interns and my brain went:

  1. Art Dutra is one of the more famous FRC mentors (as an aside, most of us mentors have mentors), that we FRC people are in awe of.

  2. He has a son @Art_Dutra_IV that did an internship at IFI, got an engineering degree. So my brain went Art is an intern.

  3. In that prior post I did Art a disservice. Art 4 is one of the brain trust behind VEX Hexbug/VEXIQ. He’s my goto engineer for VEXIQ stuff, you’ve seen his posts here. He is not an intern, he is one of the most accomplished VEXIQ builders that I know.

  4. IFI has an incredible track record of internships, Google map the IFI address, see that house in the back? That is their intern house.

  5. Art doesn’t live there, he’s not an intern. Someday I hope to get an invite to live there as an intern.

Sorry to Art for calling him an intern. On the other hand, if Dan selects Art as his proxy builder it’s game over