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Brandon Holley
01-17-2005, 09:24 PM
Me and one of our mentors on the team were talking about this topic and it came up to be very interesting. What were to happen if a team were to be capping, and another, in an effort to play defense, not intentially tip their bot, just push them out of the way. In the course of this, the stacking robot is pushed and tipped over with their arm fully extended ( say about 10 feet for reference ) Now the team that had tipped them is on the wrong side of the field and needs to get back to score. An opposing bot is blocking one alley, and the 10 foot long tipped robot is laying down on the other side. What is this one bot to do? Should they attempt to drive through the alley that is blocked by the opposing bot? Are they penalized for tipping another bot? Just an interesting scenario that I'm sure will come up often this year.. POST AWAY

Swampdude
01-17-2005, 09:46 PM
Unfortunatley I think this year is going to be a real shocking mess when it comes to situations like this. I predict this will happen quite a bit during the first week of competitions. But like stack attack, all those elevators came off and the game was reduced to defensive smashups. I think teams are going to attempt simplified mechanisms to get by. I suggest teams with high CG designs consider making that mechanism modular and detachable from the lower chasis, to allow for this pit reconfiguration. Although this year, the only things you can do without some sort of arm is defense and possibly score under the tetras.

With the speed and power provided in the kit, it's going to be ugly. But when someones in your way, and the adrenaline is pumping - pushing through a roadblock will likely be option #1. And this means our cherished robots suddenly become doormats for viscous projectiles. I know this feeling, it's not a good one. So build them tough and be ready for your baby to take it lying down.

BRAVESaj25bd8
01-17-2005, 10:01 PM
Our team ran into this problem in one game last year. A robot's hook grabbed us while it was on its side. The referees actually determined that by not letting us drive away (even though their drivers were not controlling their robot), they were pinning us and they received penalties. But that was probably something I will never see again in another match. I'd say with proper scouting, you will know if you can make it through the robot on the other side by a pushing match. Everyone be careful of detachable parts getting stuck on things.

Andy Baker
01-17-2005, 10:07 PM
Notice rule G25 under "Game":

(for speed's sake, I will paste it here):

<G25> Strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or entanglement of ROBOTS are not in the spirit of FIRST Robotics Competition and are not allowed. However, Triple Play is a highly interactive contact game. Some tipping, entanglement, and damage may occur as a part of normal game play. If the tipping, entanglement, or damage occurs where it is not a part of normal game play, at the referee’s discretion, the offending team/ROBOT may be disqualified from that match. Repeated offenses could result in a team/ROBOT being disqualified from the remainder of the Regional or Championship competition.
Examples of normal game play interaction include:
• Pushing low on another ROBOT.
• Blocking or pushing on a TETRA that is in possession of an opposing ROBOT.
• Establishing ROBOT position to block access to a GOAL by an opposing ROBOT.
• Using an arm or gripper to prevent an opposing ROBOT from placing a TETRA on a GOAL.
Examples of inappropriate robot interaction include:
• Pushing high on a robot and tipping it over.
• Using an arm or gripper to repeatedly strike an opposing ROBOT that is not in the process of placing a TETRA on a GOAL.
• Placing any part of your ROBOT under an opposing ROBOT, and then lifting to flip it over.
• Using an arm and gripper to pull a ROBOT by grabbing electrical cables, hoses, etc. or disabling a ROBOT by tearing out wires or hoses.
• Grasping or attaching to a TETRA that is in the possession of an opposing ROBOT, and using it to pull over the opposing ROBOT.
• Ramming another ROBOT at high speed.


NOTICE that "pushing high on a robot and tipping it over" and "ramming another robot at high speed" are both moves that can get a team DQ'ed. This verbage has not been seen in the FIRST game rules before. These rules tell me that FIRST is cracking down on ramming and tipping. The typical "back up and ram until you get on top" mentality from 2003 will be penalized, according to this rule. Pushing high on robots as they try to get on/near the puck in 1999 would be illegal with this new rule.

Personally, I like the rule. Ramming and tipping are easy moves to do, while scoring is not. This gives the offensive teams some needed protection. I just hope that the referees call this rule as it is written. It is not easy to make a tough call and penalize a team, even if it is needed.

Andy B.

jpsaul7usa
01-17-2005, 10:09 PM
Granted I haven't talked much about the game with anyone since there are only 3 FIRST-ers I know of in Flag, but since this year's field is so much more open I don't see there being a lot of pushing and shoving since the easier route will be to simply go around. Both Stack Attack and FIRST Frenzy had few and narrow pathways to cross the field and switching from one to the other required a lot of time.

If I were the driver in the above scenario, I would try to push (not ram) the upended robot out of my path so I could get back to my endzone. If possible I would do it in such a way as to upright the robot and make the match more interesting. I love robot heroics. Ah, I miss my driving days...

Also I don't think there would be a penalty for tipping the capping robot. It's a valid defensive move according to my understanding of the rules. I wouldn't hold anything against the other team if it was me getting tipped either. It's ok to tackle the QB right before he throws the pass, isn't it?

That being said, seeing 330's bot get tipped last year in the Archimedes finals outraged me, but that's because I wanted to see it swing crazily on the bar and defend those goals. That was a sight to see.

BRAVESaj25bd8
01-17-2005, 10:11 PM
That is a very good point, however, pushing is pushing. If a robot is on the floor, I personally hope they immediately disable and disqualify any robot trying to take vicious blows at it. However, if two robots are running fine, I see nothing wrong with showing them how much torque your robot really has.

EddieMcD
01-17-2005, 11:10 PM
Here's one for you: how do you define ramming? Are you considered ramming if while in the last few seconds, you are making a mad dash at the end zone, and you run into an obviously stationary robot blocking you?

And then there's the rule about going under an opponent with a mechanism and lifting it. What happens when the opponent (accidently or purposfully) drives on to your tetra mechanism (it could be low to nab one from the floor). Is it legal to free your mechanism by getting the opponent off of it?

I'm just saying that there are still going to be some odd judgement calls this season. But props go to FIRST for spelling out specifically the rules for <G25>.

Andy A.
01-17-2005, 11:38 PM
<G25>

...

Examples of inappropriate robot interaction include:

• Ramming another ROBOT at high speed.

...

Personally, I like the rule. Ramming and tipping are easy moves to do, while scoring is not. This gives the offensive teams some needed protection. I just hope that the referees call this rule as it is written. It is not easy to make a tough call and penalize a team, even if it is needed.

Andy B.

I agree, I like the rule. I also share your hopes that the rule is upheld and used in the spirit it was written.

What constitutes ramming at high speed though? Obviously, it's going to be up to the refs, but I am a little worried about the subjectiveness of this. Trying to define it any more and expecting those definitions to be used in a match is asking for trouble. FIRST and the refs are walking a fine line with these kinds of rules. On one hand, you want all you're refs to make the same call for the same situation, and clearly defined rules help that cause. However, trying to define and write a rule for everything is impossible and makes the game overly complex. To some degree, you need a ref to just make a call based on his/her interpritation of the game and move on.

Like I said, it's a fine line these folks walk. I liken it a lot to the role of a Supreme court judge. There are lots of precidents for thier desicions, but often it comes down to their interpritation of the law. Which ones are right? The supream court takes a vote, what does FIRST do?

How would thus kind of rule effect driving? My interpritation is that, to satisfy the rule compeltly, If you wanted to push a 'bot, you would have to drive over to it engage it 'slowly' (or at least, not at 'high' speeds), then apply power once the two 'bots were in contact. That would take care of any ramming issues. But, who's going to do that in a match? Speed in these match's is so critical that I can't imagine a driving slowing below about 1/3 throttle (say 3 feet per second) when going to push someone. Ramming is such a accustomed aspect of the past few years that I doubt many teams really consider high speed ramming a issue at all.

The format of the game being what it is, and the robots being what they are, I see ramming as being a part of the FIRST game. Theres no way to outlaw ramming when you have 6 robots in that small a space fighting over limited resources. Having a rule that at least tries to civilize the matter is a step in the right direction. I applaud FIRST here. I just hope that the rule doesn't become a source of controversy.

Bottom line? Don't break stuff. If you do break stuff, don't break my teams stuff. We're fragile (our robots and our egos) .

-Andy A.

Stephen Kowski
01-17-2005, 11:57 PM
Personally, I like the rule. Ramming and tipping are easy moves to do, while scoring is not. This gives the offensive teams some needed protection. I just hope that the referees call this rule as it is written. It is not easy to make a tough call and penalize a team, even if it is needed.

Andy B.

fair enough, but I think it somewhat hypocritical when they put rules in like this and then show in the animation robots banging it up.....quite frankly just like all the other similar rules i think this one will go the way of the dodo simply because refs don't like handing out DQs (i can understand why)

basically i see this being useful only if the refs stay strict on this but i have seen sooo many rules go lax i will be extremely surprised if we don't have a crash em up derby (2003) on our hands.....:(

i have seen rules in the past against tipping, but then seen teams with ramps that would extend out in front of them/behind them and they would blatantly tip without penalty, specifically in 2002 and 2003 i can remember distinctly a few robots doing this...so the possible inaction makes me nervous

dhitchco
01-18-2005, 11:04 AM
Something to think about for a future game:

The only party that can assess a penalty in the game is the floor judge(s). With six robots on the field, it will take pretty sharp eyes to watch each robot for any offensive penalizable move.

In other sports (e.g. sailboat racing) a lot of things go on outside the view of anyone except the two parties involved.

So....maybe we allow the driver (or teammates behind the line) to fly a "protest flag". As an example, if an enemy robot is "sitting" on my robot's grab arm on purpose, but not seen by the judges, I might fly a protest flag.

After the match as time penalties are assessed, if I win my protest, I get the benefit of my intentions. However, if I falsely raise a protest and then "lose" the protest, the penalty is against me. So, you don't want to be flagging a protest just for fun; it has repercussions.

Anyways, just like football......stuff happens....and it will continue to happen.

Oh, by the way, the words "GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM" keep haunting me.

bhweezer
01-18-2005, 11:21 AM
Here's one for you: how do you define ramming? Are you considered ramming if while in the last few seconds, you are making a mad dash at the end zone, and you run into an obviously stationary robot blocking you?


Well instead of intentionally damaging the robot blocking you, why not try to block the other teams on his alliance or try to stack another tetra. It wouldn't be the most favorable thing to do, but I agree with most everyone else on this. Intentionally hitting a robot like that, no matter what the scenario might be, is against the rules.

Brandon Holley
01-18-2005, 12:06 PM
Well instead of intentionally damaging the robot blocking you, why not try to block the other teams on his alliance or try to stack another tetra. It wouldn't be the most favorable thing to do, but I agree with most everyone else on this. Intentionally hitting a robot like that, no matter what the scenario might be, is against the rules.

What if there are no tetras on your side of the field of your color. What if they are not trying to go to the endzone. What if they are trying to block YOU! :eek: