The Roles in Robot Inspection

The following roles contribute to Robot Inspection at FRC events:

The Robot Inspection Process

Each robot goes through a sequence of inspections.  An inspection by a certified Robot Inspector is required to move the robot through the sequence.  The Inspector may perform multiple checks at a time and move the robot ahead by multiple steps in the sequence.   After inspection, the robot may enter a new ‘state’ which may allow it to participate in matches.





Team is registered for the event.

Team may not yet have arrived at the event site.


Robot compliance form has been checked.  Ready for weighing & Safety checks.

Team should have checked in and registered with the Pit Admin


Robot ready to be safety checked. 

Safety checking can be done simultaneously while weighing.

Safety Checked

Cleared for practice matches

Robot may be overweight and have other unresolved checklist issues.


Robot has been inspected at least once, but has issues

Robot is not OK for Qualification matches

Qualification OK

Cleared for Qualification matches

Robots will not be queued for qualification until they pass this state.

Playoff OK

Cleared for Playoff matches

Robots will not be queued for Playoff until they pass this state.


In addition to the above states, a robot can be marked for re-inspection or re-check.

Re-inspection required


Possible robot modifications or  safety concerns that require immediate fixes.

Robots will not be queued for any matches in this state

Re-check suggested


Robot flagged for further investigation for minor concerns.

Robots can be queued for matches in this state


Teams are often not ready for an inspection.  They may be working on the robot or testing on the practice field.  When they are ready, they need to request to be placed on the queue for inspection.  The LRI (or Robot Inspection Manager) will assign a RI to inspect the robot (typically) in order of the queue.  The earlier the team gets on the queue, the earlier they will get inspected.  This may take a while since there can be a sudden burst of teams ready for Safety Checks.  There can be some variations: the queue may get adjusted based on match schedules, or the LRI may choose to bump a team into the queue if they are simply taking too long.  The type of inspection will also be a factor, e.g., a robot needing to be un-bagged will have priority over all other robots waiting for a weigh in.

The difference between the LRI and IM roles is that the LRI can also make technical decisions about the robot’s safety and conformations to rules.  Next to the FTA, the LRI is the authority for these issues.  The LRI often works as a RI, mostly for fun.

The RI’s process is easy to describe, though hard to perform.  They are assigned the task of inspecting a team.  The inspection may be a safety check, a full inspection or a re-inspection.  After the inspection, the RI reports the results back to the LRI (or IM) and is assigned the next task.  If the robot passed the inspection, they would move it to a new ‘state’.  The robot will get an inspection sticker which authorizes it to enter the playing field.  Team signatures are required at the end of qualification inspections.

From an administration point of view, the LRI (or IM) must track teams that are falling behind in the inspection process.  They should also manage queues so that teams are inspected in a fair sequence.  They should track the inspections done for each team and ensure that a team does not get conflicting technical directives from Robot Inspectors.  Lastly, they should monitor the rates at which inspections are being completed to ensure that all inspections are completed in a timely manner for matches.

The current system (without GMS) uses paper checklists to track team statuses.  These checklists are often organized into piles labeled ‘completed’, ‘in progress’, etc.  Checklists are sometimes misplaced or taken away by a Robot Inspector.  Sometimes they are left behind at a team’s pit.  All of these make life unnecessarily difficult and stressful for the LRI or IM.  GMS was developed to alleviate these tribulations.