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Unread 03-17-2014, 07:46 PM
GeorgePBurdell GeorgePBurdell is offline
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

OK - as the LRI who "started" this, some background.

When I saw the designs of a number of teams at our scrimmage, I became concerned about the potential for injury due to the potential for the "stored energy" mechanisms to accidentally deploy while being handled. In discussions among the LRI's, it became apparent that I was not alone. Week 1 events announced the "requirement" for a safety interlock if the robot was to be moved in a stored energy state. I proposed this to my Regional Committee who decided to await further developments before announcing the policy. As results of injuries - even minor ones - began to come in, and bolstered by the GDC's Team Update - we decided to emphasise the need for a safety device. As noted previously by Dr. Bob, who worked with me to develop the wording of the announcement, this was not a decision taken lightly. His post accurately describes the thinking behind the process

It is not my nor the Peachtree Committee's intention to place an undue burden on teams, but as noted earlier, the intent was merely to inform teams that the inspection team would be looking for safe operation of the teams' robots - particularly when being transported. As stated in the notice to the teams, recognizing the implications after Stop Work day, the implementation of a "safety device" - probably better wording in hind sight than "safety interlock" - the weight of the device wouldn't be counted in the 45 pound limit for fabricated parts and as long as it was "removed" from the robot in the starting configuration, would not be counted in the robot weight. I also noted that the inspection team would be open and receptive to innovative safety devices.

As has been noted, the expectation is that the device would be as simple as a bolt through a rod, a strap or tie-down to restrain the mechanism, or any equivalent simple device - not to require some elaborate device that would place a burden on teams. Also, as has been noted, my intent was to get the word to the teams prior to the event so they could think about it and develop a simple, basic device to assure the safety of their mechanism and to meet the intent of this policy. Suggestions in this thread alone are basic, easily implemented devices for many designs. If a team's device is inherently "safe," the inspection team will require nothing more.

I trust that teams will agree with the intent of the policy. My and the Committee's only intent is the safety of the participants.

Jeff Rees
LRI Peachtree Regional
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Unread 03-17-2014, 08:02 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by Karthik View Post
Martin,
Individual events should not have additional robot requirements that either supplement or contradict the FRC Manual / Q&A. If this ruling was created in conjunction with the GDC, then it needs to be publicized to all teams through an official form of communication (i.e. A Team Update).
I agree. Orlando had a similar issue where our inspector "made up" the pneumatics rules as he went along. We pulled up the diagram in the manual and asked him where we wrong and where told "its not on there but its not ok". So we fixed that problem and where then ordered to move our main breaker because he felt like telling us to move it.(no rule was violated whatsoever).

None of these "unofficial" updates where conveyed to us before the event.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 08:06 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by Max Boord View Post
I agree. Orlando had a similar issue where our inspector "made up" the pneumatics rules as he went along. We pulled up the diagram in the manual and asked him where we wrong and where told "its not on there but its not ok". So we fixed that problem and where then ordered to move our main breaker because he felt like telling us to move it.(no rule was violated whatsoever).

None of these "unofficial" updates where conveyed to us before the event.
Out of curiosity, was was the issue with the pneumatic? And was your main breaker easy to reach before you had to move it?
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Unread 03-17-2014, 08:06 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

I applaud everyone involved in this decision for pushing for changes to help ensure the safety of all participants. Considering the inherent risks of transporting a loaded stored energy device, in the interest of safety wouldn't the best solution be to not allow these devices to be transported in a loaded state at all? Especially considering the concerns expressed by some regarding the safety of actually applying the lockout device to a loaded stored energy device, it seems that the safest solution would be to transport your robot to the field while the device is not loaded, then tether up and load the device once on the field.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 08:29 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by Nirvash View Post
Out of curiosity, was was the issue with the pneumatic? And was your main breaker easy to reach before you had to move it?
We had our pneumatics done as the diagram had showed. however, the inspector required us to add a manual valve and pressure gauge to our off board setup despite both already being installed on the robot.

Our main breaker was installed about an inch in from our chassis perimeter out of reach of any moving mechanism. We where told to move it within 2 inches of our shooter arms.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 08:35 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by Max Boord View Post
We had our pneumatics done as the diagram had showed. however, the inspector required us to add a manual valve and pressure gauge to our off board setup despite both already being installed on the robot.
R89 says the manual valve needs to be in both places for an offboard system. The stored pressure gauge can be in either place... but I think the inspector took a good idea and made it law.

FYI, if you disagree with an inspector, ask to see the LRI, and the copy of the Manual the LRI should have with him.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 10:18 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by EricH View Post
R89 says the manual valve needs to be in both places for an offboard system. The stored pressure gauge can be in either place... but I think the inspector took a good idea and made it law.

FYI, if you disagree with an inspector, ask to see the LRI, and the copy of the Manual the LRI should have with him.
Nope. It states that a pressure vent valve must be in both places. This is different from a ball valve. We had a pressure vent valve in place on both but where required to add a ball valve in addition to our vent valve on our off board setup.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 10:27 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by Max Boord View Post
Nope. It states that a pressure vent valve must be in both places. This is different from a ball valve. We had a pressure vent valve in place on both but where required to add a ball valve in addition to our vent valve on our off board setup.
When you plugged in the compressor to the robot, did this go through your (at the time, one and only) manual ball valve? R85 (Figure 4-16) shows the ball valve as still be available to vent all pressure while an off board compressor is hooked up to the system. The intent is for the manual release to be available at all times - for those purposes, having two on the robot or one on the robot and one with the off board compressor satisfies that intent, and helps keep the entire system safe.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 11:03 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by Max Boord View Post
We had a pressure vent valve in place on both but where required to add a ball valve in addition to our vent valve on our off board setup.
The compressor's vent valve (solid brass, trips automatically, also known as "Pressure Relief Valve") or the "Pressure Vent Plug" (better known as "dump valve" and activated manually)? The compressor's pressure relief valve, I'll buy. But R89 specifically calls for the pressure vent plug, NOT the relief valve. It's not shown on any diagram (in that part of the circuit, at least).
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Unread 03-17-2014, 11:04 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by Karthik View Post
I applaud everyone involved in this decision for pushing for changes to help ensure the safety of all participants. Considering the inherent risks of transporting a loaded stored energy device, in the interest of safety wouldn't the best solution be to not allow these devices to be transported in a loaded state at all? Especially considering the concerns expressed by some regarding the safety of actually applying the lockout device to a loaded stored energy device, it seems that the safest solution would be to transport your robot to the field while the device is not loaded, then tether up and load the device once on the field.
There needs to be a sense of reasonableness about this. Sure, hauling the robot to the field in its lowest energy state would certainly be safer, but there are safe ways to move the robot in a high energy state. We have allowed pneumatic systems to be moved in a charged state for a number of years, and if the system is designed and built properly, there should be no danger. For instance, if the pneumatic system only has air stored in approved tanks, and this air is isolated from actuators with approved valves, everything should be OK, and there is no real need for interlocks. If, however, the air valves are in an open state so the stored air is being fed to actuators which are PHYSICALLY restrained from firing by some mechanical latch, then inspectors are going to look long and hard at that robot.

On the practical side, there is not enough setup time on the field to allow some robot designs to fully charge their air systems. Charging while in the queue line doesn't help since the most dangerous time, in my opinion, is between removing the robot from the cart and placing it on the field; here is where kids are in close contact with the robot. Likewise for some spring systems.

The compromise is to design the robot so it can't accidentally deploy while being moved.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 11:10 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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There needs to be a sense of reasonableness about this.
Sorry for being so unreasonable.

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Originally Posted by Retired Starman View Post
On the practical side, there is not enough setup time on the field to allow some robot designs to fully charge their air systems.
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Originally Posted by Retired Starman View Post
Again, our goal is not to harass teams, but to try to reduce obvious risks. To do less would be unthinkable.
Shouldn't safety trump match timing. If this is that big of an issue and risk to participants, shouldn't we sacrifice a few matches to ensure the robots are as safe as possible? At what point does safety become a secondary concern behind cycle times?
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Unread 03-17-2014, 11:28 PM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by GeorgePBurdell View Post
OK - as the LRI who "started" this, some background.

When I saw the designs of a number of teams at our scrimmage, I became concerned about the potential for injury due to the potential for the "stored energy" mechanisms to accidentally deploy while being handled. In discussions among the LRI's, it became apparent that I was not alone. Week 1 events announced the "requirement" for a safety interlock if the robot was to be moved in a stored energy state. I proposed this to my Regional Committee who decided to await further developments before announcing the policy. As results of injuries - even minor ones - began to come in, and bolstered by the GDC's Team Update - we decided to emphasise the need for a safety device. As noted previously by Dr. Bob, who worked with me to develop the wording of the announcement, this was not a decision taken lightly. His post accurately describes the thinking behind the process

It is not my nor the Peachtree Committee's intention to place an undue burden on teams, but as noted earlier, the intent was merely to inform teams that the inspection team would be looking for safe operation of the teams' robots - particularly when being transported. As stated in the notice to the teams, recognizing the implications after Stop Work day, the implementation of a "safety device" - probably better wording in hind sight than "safety interlock" - the weight of the device wouldn't be counted in the 45 pound limit for fabricated parts and as long as it was "removed" from the robot in the starting configuration, would not be counted in the robot weight. I also noted that the inspection team would be open and receptive to innovative safety devices.

As has been noted, the expectation is that the device would be as simple as a bolt through a rod, a strap or tie-down to restrain the mechanism, or any equivalent simple device - not to require some elaborate device that would place a burden on teams. Also, as has been noted, my intent was to get the word to the teams prior to the event so they could think about it and develop a simple, basic device to assure the safety of their mechanism and to meet the intent of this policy. Suggestions in this thread alone are basic, easily implemented devices for many designs. If a team's device is inherently "safe," the inspection team will require nothing more.

I trust that teams will agree with the intent of the policy. My and the Committee's only intent is the safety of the participants.

Jeff Rees
LRI Peachtree Regional
Can you confirm whether the underlying authority to implement this restriction stems from the robot rules (2014 game manual, section 4), or some other authority, like the inherent responsibility of the event organizers to conduct the event in a safe manner? (Please specify the exact rationale and supporting rules/principles.)
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Unread 03-18-2014, 12:49 AM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgePBurdell View Post
OK - as the LRI who "started" this, some background.

When I saw the designs of a number of teams at our scrimmage, I became concerned about the potential for injury due to the potential for the "stored energy" mechanisms to accidentally deploy while being handled. In discussions among the LRI's, it became apparent that I was not alone. Week 1 events announced the "requirement" for a safety interlock if the robot was to be moved in a stored energy state. I proposed this to my Regional Committee who decided to await further developments before announcing the policy. As results of injuries - even minor ones - began to come in, and bolstered by the GDC's Team Update - we decided to emphasise the need for a safety device. As noted previously by Dr. Bob, who worked with me to develop the wording of the announcement, this was not a decision taken lightly. His post accurately describes the thinking behind the process

It is not my nor the Peachtree Committee's intention to place an undue burden on teams, but as noted earlier, the intent was merely to inform teams that the inspection team would be looking for safe operation of the teams' robots - particularly when being transported. As stated in the notice to the teams, recognizing the implications after Stop Work day, the implementation of a "safety device" - probably better wording in hind sight than "safety interlock" - the weight of the device wouldn't be counted in the 45 pound limit for fabricated parts and as long as it was "removed" from the robot in the starting configuration, would not be counted in the robot weight. I also noted that the inspection team would be open and receptive to innovative safety devices.

As has been noted, the expectation is that the device would be as simple as a bolt through a rod, a strap or tie-down to restrain the mechanism, or any equivalent simple device - not to require some elaborate device that would place a burden on teams. Also, as has been noted, my intent was to get the word to the teams prior to the event so they could think about it and develop a simple, basic device to assure the safety of their mechanism and to meet the intent of this policy. Suggestions in this thread alone are basic, easily implemented devices for many designs. If a team's device is inherently "safe," the inspection team will require nothing more.

I trust that teams will agree with the intent of the policy. My and the Committee's only intent is the safety of the participants.

Jeff Rees
LRI Peachtree Regional
I agree with this decision. Once our team started to test our shooter I told them I wanted a safety installed back in January. I would not want to be the LRI that let this go by to make people happy about the rules and a student gets hurt. He also has to live with his decisions.
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Unread 03-18-2014, 07:38 AM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

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Originally Posted by Tristan Lall View Post
Can you confirm whether the underlying authority to implement this restriction stems from the robot rules (2014 game manual, section 4), or some other authority, like the inherent responsibility of the event organizers to conduct the event in a safe manner? (Please specify the exact rationale and supporting rules/principles.)
R8
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ROBOT parts shall not be made from hazardous materials, be unsafe, cause an unsafe condition, or interfere with the
operation of other ROBOTS
If the in LRIs view the robot is unsafe, it is in violation of R8. This is not new. Not unheard of or even infrequent that robots have been modified to meet this rule. Even even when at other competitions. the robot met this rule.
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Unread 03-18-2014, 08:23 AM
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Re: New robot rules at Peachtree

And Tristan - isn't it nice to know how a rule as vague and all encompassing as R08 is going to be handled before you actually get to the venue?

The LRI here could have just kept quiet until the event, then walked around telling teams they needed to rig something at the event, and there would have been no room for complaining. Instead, a pro-active approach to the issue is raising complaints here.
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