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Creative ways to "glue" an axel without violating R01 (LEGO-made building parts)?

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  • Creative ways to "glue" an axel without violating R01 (LEGO-made building parts)?

    A fellow coach mentioned a Lego Movie building set that might include "Kragle"... turns out it wasn't actually superglue, just a Lego piece made to look like a bottle of superglue, but it got me thinking. I know you can use any Lego component from any Lego branded set on your robot, and my team has been creative in the past - Lego Pulley's have been used as rubber bands to pull stray cords out of the way, and stickers from a Lego Friends set have been used as tape (all are Lego-made building parts, and thus allowed by the rules under R01 "All Equipment must be made of LEGO-made building parts in original factory condition").

    Is anyone aware of a branded Lego set that includes any sort of glue? 2 drops of glue would make a HUGE difference in my teams robot where an axel keeps coming loose, but I don't believe that's allowed by the rules unless I can find glue that is part of a Lego-made set...

    Dual-lock comes with the challenge set, which ships from Lego Education and thus is a Lego-made set. If my girls were to scrape the stickiness off of the dual-lock, could they use it to gum up an axel that keeps popping out, or would that not be "original factory condition"? Are there any options to find creative uses for Lego-made building parts without breaking the rules?
    Last edited by Suzann1701; 11-06-2018, 12:00 PM.

  • #2
    No glue.
    FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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    • #3
      Dual Lock is made by 3M, and is not a LEGO part. Do not use it on your robot.
      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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      • #4
        Using that argument, a lot of the tires would not be allowed since a large number of them are made by Goodyear, Michelin and Bridgestone.

        But I agree, do not use duallock on your robot.
        Norfolk, Virginia, USA
        2014 World Class Learning (coach)
        2015 Trash Trek (coach, judge)
        2016 Animal Allies (coach, judge)
        2017 Hydrodynamics (coach, judge)
        2018 Into Orbit (coach, head judge)

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        • #5
          And some referees may question whether LEGO stickers are "building parts". So be aware.
          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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          • #6
            Stickers used as tape probably isn't allowed. Way back in the RCX and early NXT days there was a rule that stickers could only be applied per the building instructions. Some refs will remember that rule and think it still applies while other refs will say using stickers to tape things together is disallowed by the rule that says the only LEGO parts you are allowed to modify are string and flex hose, all other parts must be in original condition. For stickers this can be interpreted to mean the stickers must be left on the sticker sheet or applied per the building instructions.

            Tom is right about duallock. There is no LEGO set that includes duallock. FLL field kids are not LEGO sets. You purchase FLL field kits from FLL, not LEGO Education. You cannot go to the LEGO web page or the LEGO Education web page and order an Into Orbit field kit. These days you cannot purchase field kits at all.

            There are thousands of teams that have figured out ways to build robots that doesn't include using glue. Trying to find a dodge is an admission that your team is not as smart as they are. Is that an admission you are willing to make?

            As for finding creative ways to use LEGO parts that don't break the rules, I think that is a good description of the robot game. That is what you are supposed to be doing.

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            • #7
              Yes, I know that a tube of glue from Walmart would definitely NOT be allowed, I just wondered if there was a set out there that included glue where the Lego instructions specifically called for gluing two pieces together AND included glue with the kit (if the building instructions that came with a set included a step saying to use the glue, then one could make the argument that glue is a "building component" since it was called for in the building instructions, esp if it was cleared with a head ref in advance).

              However, if doesn't sound like anyone is aware of a Lego branded set that includes glue, so it's a moot point.

              I guess I was crossing my fingers and hoping that there was some Lego branded / Lego Manufactured item that I didn't know about that could help with this axel that keeps popping out when it's hitting the exercise bars to move the yellow needle into the gray. I'll suggest that my kids make that the last mission, and if it pops out, it pops out.

              I DO think that a team can make the case that stickers are a "building component", especially if they brought the Lego Friends building instructions that showed the stickers included as specific steps in those instructions. If building instructions have a specific step to add the stickers, that makes them a building component.

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              • #8
                I'd also suggest that there are very few cases where glue would be any stronger than the connectors available. If you have something that is pulling that hard, think about ways to add a brick and some friction pegs to create bracing in the opposite direction. And if it still wants to break, then glue will just move the stress to a different point and something else will break.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post
                  Stickers used as tape probably isn't allowed. Way back in the RCX and early NXT days there was a rule that stickers could only be applied per the building instructions. Some refs will remember that rule and think it still applies while other refs will say using stickers to tape things together is disallowed by the rule that says the only LEGO parts you are allowed to modify are string and flex hose, all other parts must be in original condition. For stickers this can be interpreted to mean the stickers must be left on the sticker sheet or applied per the building instructions.

                  Tom is right about duallock. There is no LEGO set that includes duallock. FLL field kids are not LEGO sets. You purchase FLL field kits from FLL, not LEGO Education. You cannot go to the LEGO web page or the LEGO Education web page and order an Into Orbit field kit. These days you cannot purchase field kits at all.

                  There are thousands of teams that have figured out ways to build robots that doesn't include using glue. Trying to find a dodge is an admission that your team is not as smart as they are. Is that an admission you are willing to make?

                  As for finding creative ways to use LEGO parts that don't break the rules, I think that is a good description of the robot game. That is what you are supposed to be doing.
                  Quick response to Dean, I wasn't trying to "find a dodge", just asking the question "is there a branded Lego kit that includes glue"? If the FLL forum community identified that such a set existed, then I'd want to know whether or not it might be allowed as a building component.

                  My guess was that the answer was no... but I wanted to see if anyone was aware of something that I wasn't. My girls are very smart and have built a good robot with one major flaw... the axel has to use connectors on the INSIDE of the robot arm instead of the outside (otherwise it's getting caught on one of the mission models). They're working hard to solve this problem without having to reprogram the other missions, and another coach mentioned that a Lego Movie set might include Kragle. This was something I hadn't heard of before, and I was trying to "ask the experts" in the forum.

                  You guys have infinitely more experience than the other coach who made the suggestion... thank you for your help!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Suzann1701 View Post
                    Yes, I know that a tube of glue from Walmart would definitely NOT be allowed, I just wondered if there was a set out there that included glue where the Lego instructions specifically called for gluing two pieces together AND included glue with the kit (if the building instructions that came with a set included a step saying to use the glue, then one could make the argument that glue is a "building component" since it was called for in the building instructions, esp if it was cleared with a head ref in advance).

                    However, if doesn't sound like anyone is aware of a Lego branded set that includes glue, so it's a moot point.

                    I guess I was crossing my fingers and hoping that there was some Lego branded / Lego Manufactured item that I didn't know about that could help with this axel that keeps popping out when it's hitting the exercise bars to move the yellow needle into the gray. I'll suggest that my kids make that the last mission, and if it pops out, it pops out.

                    I DO think that a team can make the case that stickers are a "building component", especially if they brought the Lego Friends building instructions that showed the stickers included as specific steps in those instructions. If building instructions have a specific step to add the stickers, that makes them a building component.
                    Some (most?) refs will argue that the stickers must be applied exactly as directed in the building instructions. NXT came with stickers. I still have the sticker sheets. You could put NXT stickers on your NXT robot. I could put a little microphone sticker on my sound sensor or an "A" sticker on each end of one of the cables. What I couldn't do was use any of the stickers to tape two LEGO parts together. I could use any sticker I wanted as long as it was applied per the building instructions.

                    It certainly can be argued that sticker placement is not specified in the rules. You are allowed to use LEGO parts in ways other than specified in the building instructions, so why not stickers? I would agree with your argument, but I am a judge and my opinion doesn't matter one bit. Most refs I know are not going to allow using stickers as tape. It doesn't matter how well you craft your argument.

                    It really shouldn't matter. Tape is a great construction tool but you won't see it used as a structural component. LEGO provides lots of parts that are much better for making strong structures that don't fall apart. Look up "cross bracing". Nearly all LEGO connections are good in "compression". When you push two parts together you reach a point where you cannot push them together any more, even if you push really hard. A lot of LEGO connections are good in "shear". If you snap two LEGO blocks together (compression) and try to slide them sideways (shear) they will not slide. Most LEGO connections are weak in "tension". When you try to pull two LEGO pieces apart it usually isn't difficult (though it sometimes is when you wish it weren't). In cross bracing you reinforce a weak connection by adding a connection that is strong. For example, snapping two Technic style beams (look like LEGO blocks with holes in the side) results in a connection that is easy to pull apart (weak in tension). If I put pins in the holes and snap a beam onto those pins I am using a connection that is strong in sheer to reinforce the weak compression connection. The technic beams cannot be pulled apart. This is cross bracing and it is a great way to make really strong robots and attachments.
                    Last edited by Dean Hystad; 11-06-2018, 02:53 PM.

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                    • #11
                      A strategy that relies on a referee to agree with the team's interpretation of the rule text carries a lot of risk. Sometimes it can become a Benefit of the Doubt ruling in the team's favor. Sometimes not.
                      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                      • #12
                        I guess my confidence in the stickers argument was based on having never used anything but EV3, and never seeing any rules from the old NXT/RCX days. The current rules don't say anything about stickers (unless I've overlooked something), but that's a good point that refs may be recalling the old rules...

                        Again, I appreciate the help and you taking the time to answer my question. I'm glad I have a community of 'experts' willing to chime in!

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                        • #13
                          You are not wrong--there is nothing in the current rules to prohibit the use of stickers (other than the "must be in original condition", as Dean pointed out, but I'm not sure if that is enough. After all, the lego pieces all come in a box. Does that mean you have to keep the piece in the box?). However, I can tell you as a coach for five years, I personally would not allow it on my team even if FIRST came out and specifically allowed stickers. It is better to find a good engineering solution rather than trying to hold pieces together with stickers.
                          Norfolk, Virginia, USA
                          2014 World Class Learning (coach)
                          2015 Trash Trek (coach, judge)
                          2016 Animal Allies (coach, judge)
                          2017 Hydrodynamics (coach, judge)
                          2018 Into Orbit (coach, head judge)

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                          • #14
                            Mention to your team that pneumatic tubing or string can be cut to any length. If they can figure out how to make something stay on an axle on both sides of the standard piece, they might get the functionality you're describing.

                            Or it might be better if the end of the axle was captured in a piece of the frame. There are many ways to keep the piece from sliding off, and a lot of them would be more appealing to an experienced Robot Design judge.

                            And, of course, it's great to ask questions of the kids that might lead them in a fun direction, but it's never good to solve their problems for them.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Suzann1701 View Post
                              I guess my confidence in the stickers argument was based on having never used anything but EV3, and never seeing any rules from the old NXT/RCX days. The current rules don't say anything about stickers (unless I've overlooked something), but that's a good point that refs may be recalling the old rules...

                              Again, I appreciate the help and you taking the time to answer my question. I'm glad I have a community of 'experts' willing to chime in!
                              Already answered re: stickers - debatable whether they are a "building part". Not everything that comes in a kit qualifes automatically.

                              Risking a referee interpretation is a strategy of luck.
                              FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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