Step up voltage regulators

Hi. I am competing in soccer open. I am using 12v batteries and wanted to add some power to the dribbler by bringing it up to 15v using a step up voltage regulator. My driving motor controllers can’t use more voltage than 13 and they are expensive so I don’t want to use higher voltage batteries. I see in the rules that “voltage pumps” can be used for the kicker and nothing else so I can’t use one for my dribbler even though it won’t be higher than 15v. What is the reason for this rule that won’t let me step up the dribbler voltage to 15v even though other teams will have 15v? Thank you very much. Also great forum!

Hi @Robo17,

In this case we will probably have to agree upon the definition of “Voltage pump circuits”. The rules indeed say in Rule 8.2.2 that

Voltage pump circuits are permitted only for a kicker drive.

However, the next sentence says

All other electrical circuits inside the robot cannot exceed 15.0 V for Soccer Open and 12.0 V for Soccer Lightweight.

(the bold emphasis was added by me)

My reading of the rules therefore is that the “Voltage pump circuits” can “pump the voltage” above the allowed 15.0V and 12.0V, respectively. This “voltage pumping” is therefore only allowed for a kicker drive.

With all this in mind, I believe we can safely conclude that your use case (that is, using a step up voltage regulator to bring 12.0V to 15.0V) does not violate the rules in any way. On the contrary, the use of voltage regulators is expected and encouraged, as it is a pretty common part in many electronics designs.

It’s great you see it this way too! Thanks for asking your question – it is exactly the type of requests for which a forum like this one was envisioned.

I hope my response helped to clarify the situation a bit. If not, please feel free to ask further questions.


– Marek

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Thanks. I saw the word other but still dont think that’s clear because the voltage pump sentence doesn’t mention the 15 volt limit. Maybe you should say something like voltage pumps that cause the voltage to exceed 15 volts are not allowed except for the kicker. That way you aren’t saying voltage pumps aren’t allowed.

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Hi @Robo17,

Right, I totally agree that it is not clear. My comment tried to make it a bit more clear – hopefully, it was to some extend successful in doing that.

That would indeed probably be the best solution. To be honest, I also believe that is what this part of the rules was meant to say in the first place.

The rules for this year have already been finalized, but I’ll make sure to note this for the next year’s TC, so that it gets fixed in the next version.

Thanks again!

– Marek