VEX Flashlights relevant?

Will the standard VEX flashlight ever be useful for competition? Also, is it powerful enough to blind the V5 Vision sensor?

The VEX Flashlight cannot be used at competitions.

My interpretation was that flashlights could be used, just not in such a way which might interfere with the V5 Vision Sensor

As an inspector, I would’ve read that rule to disallow any flashlights.

Sounds like a good Q&A question to clean up any confusion.

It says could interfere, not would or intended to.

The only way to avoid edge cases of unintended interference is to have a blanket rule not open to interpretation.

But still, an official Q&A determination may be warranted.

would it be illegal to have flashlight shells without any wires to connect to a power source? for example, if a team has a damaged pair of flashlights, could they take the wires off and just use the bodies of the lights as decoration? without wires to attach to the cortex they wouldnt be capable of turning on and/or causing interferance

The VEX flashlight is legal for functional purposes… although I think RECF might have been trying to ban it due to fears it could interfere with vision sensors, they only banned it when used as a non-functional decoration. My reading is as follows:

R8 refers to decorations. The VEX flashlight is listed on the VEX website as an official VEX EDR component… right above the potentiometer and right below the light sensor. This means that it may be used as a functional device, and should not be included in R8. If a student was using the VEX flashlight – say to help align the robot with a target – it would clearly not be a non-functional decoration.

I’m pretty sure that’s not what RECF intended, but it IS what they have said… there is a bit of confusion because R5 which says that official EDR components are legal does say “Unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules”

<R5> Robots may be built ONLY using official VEX EDR components, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules.

but R8.g only refers to “decorations that visually mimic field elements or could otherwise interfere with an opponents’ Vision Sensor are considered functional”. If the VEX flashlight light was already functional, then it would not be covered under this rule because it was not a decoration. The rule is very clear that it is banning “decorations that… interfere” not functional items that interfere.

If RECF wishes to ban the VEX Flashlight it is very simple: add a clause R5.f “The VEX Flashlight is not allowed in this years game.”

Writing rules can be challenging, and R8.g is a new section that probably needed a bit more critique from within GDC. It’s wording is ambiguous and contradictory to other sections of the game manual. Unless there is an update to the rules, or a clearly worded Q&A response I’ll be considering VEX flashlights used for functional purposes to be legal at the competitions where I’m doing tech inspection.

I mean, sure, but why would you attach a non-functional flashlight to your robot for decor?

We used it for aiming our rookie year in sack attack.

In the second sentence, “this” refers to “decorations.” In other words, if my reading of the rule is correct, you can’t use a flashlight to make pretty lights if those pretty lights interfere with another team’s functioning. But if you’re using the flashlights as a functional piece, they wouldn’t be considered decorations at all, and therefore they should be legal according to this rule. But, as Karthik can tell you, I’ve been known to misinterpret rules :slight_smile: so it should definitely be asked on the Q and A for an official answer.

Anyhow, is this even viable? How bright are the flashlights? Would their beams be easily visible in a brightly lit room or in the dome at worlds? Maybe someone that owns a flashlight could help clear up these questions?

Because, as ive seen before some robots look good with the flashlights mounted correctly. Even when turned off if its done right they add that little appearance that i think make a robot look just a little bit better.

sounds like the justification behind a +5 horse power sticker.

Considering the information above, I would have to say that it would be best to avoid using the VEX Flashlight for this season and for the future. I don’t believe that it would be best to take such risks for decoration and/or strategic aiming system when there is plentiful amounts of alternatives for visual, mechanical, and programming systems that aid in aiming. With the addition that some referees may interpret rules differently, I would rather stick with the good-side of the referees.

I think robots with a “DRow for GDC” sticker would look just a bit better :wink:

O K A Y That is EPIC