View Full Version : Wedge bot DQ

03-25-2003, 08:49 PM
How about some opinions?

We were told that we could not move forward towards another bot with our front (wedge) or face disqualification if the other robot fell over. (Halfway through qualifying). An opponent went over while we were fighting for the top and we were DQed.

We had to use other strategies less effective for pushing and hill fighting, hurting our performance.

We were subsequently flipped multiple times by other bots who continued pushing after it was apparent we were going over. No DQ was issued to them. (we were able to self right and continue)

We are now redesigning our front area for the nats. (no more wedge)

Sound like a good call? Did we miss something in the rules? Any other wedge bots get this ruling?

Looking forward to your opinions . . .

Team 353
Semi finalist, 2003 LI regional

Solon Jhee
03-25-2003, 08:53 PM
Well, I am very sorry to hear that. The wedge idea is great and you shouldnt scrap it. If you have been to both the regionals that my team has (302) then you know how great the wedge idea is. Our front wedge and back wedges lie low to the ground and the front can lift up. We were told in the buckeye that it would lead to DQing if we used it, but we sat and watched while other teams flipped top heavy robots and no DQs ever. During the GLR we sucessfully pushed many people off with our robot and im sure people will remember us for nationals. Sorry to hear that you scraping it.

03-25-2003, 08:55 PM
We tipped a TON of robots at the Phoenix, AZ regional. We never once got a penalty or DQ (we didn't get any awards either:( ) Our robot, however, does not have a wedge. Our CG is so low, and most everyone else's is so high, and we hit so hard that tipping is possible even without a wedge. But, because our robot was not designed to tip other robots, it is allowed. Fair, no. Awesome, oh yeah!:cool:

Fear 696...

Yan Wang
03-25-2003, 09:00 PM
Not very fair.

Btw, did you pass inspection with the light barely sticking out as it does in that pic you attached? :/

03-25-2003, 09:05 PM
I can't speak for the referees or field manager, but. . .

your wedge does a good job at breaking traction. Other robots drive up onto it and significantly reduce their own tractive effort.

This, in an of itself, seems like it should be good enough. If a robot has it's traction reduced by this method, you'd win a pushing match. If they continue to have traction, they'll flip themselves (as 467 did.)

If a robot has climbed atop your wedge, moving forward into them offers no additional advantage, save for the possibility of tipping them or otherwise making them immobile. Both of those actions are illegal.

If they tip themselves by driving up your wedge, it'd be okay, as best as I can see. If you facilitate or otherwise aid their tipping by moving forward, you're at fault and deserve a DQ.

03-25-2003, 09:24 PM
At the BAE regional, you migt have run into the robot that I put alot of effort into. I call it the Baha Basher, after the engineer who helped design it. We were focusing on being a box slammer, if they were in the worng place, out they went. But then the wedge was added, ::eary music:: and we had to be smart with it. You have to have strategy, and there is a well known fact that this isn't Battlebots, so going around flipping people over is NOT a good thing. dont you be the one who makes the action, let the other person tip themselves. be dead right in front of where they are driving, if u want the hill, be in front of them, when they ride up u, and tip, its their own fault. Play it safe, or otherwise the refs will hate u, trust me. Be on the refs good side. Defense, not offense.

Ben Mitchell
03-25-2003, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by M. Krass
If they tip themselves by driving up your wedge, it'd be okay, as best as I can see. If you facilitate or otherwise aid their tipping by moving forward, you're at fault and deserve a DQ.


If a robot, under thier own power, drives onto you...and flips, it is thier fault.

If you ram other teams, get underneath them, and flip them - you just built a Battlebot - which is illegal.

Think about it: you are designed to intentionally disable other robots, which is a direct violation of the rules.

03-25-2003, 10:21 PM
I don not believe that you need to remove the wedge in order to comply with the judges' ruling. all it needs is a little redesigning

You will get DQ'd if you use it to flip someone. However, it was obvious that (from watching the SBPLI regional) that your wedge works primarily to lift an opponent up so that they are easier to move. All you have to do is make sure that the opponent doesn't flip over when you push them. Its not the design or its intention (easily shoving other robots) that is illegal, its the fact that they flip over.

Time for some wild speculation on my part.

Robots will flip over not only because of the wedge, but because they will ride complete up and over another bot. All you would need to do is put a stop of some kind ensuring that an opponent rides up the ramp portion of your robot and then stops.

Consider this - take a couple pieces of square aluminum and attach them to the top of the robot. You would probably want to position them at such an angle so that they are perpendicular to the wedge, but are far enough beyond the top of the wedge that they do not interfere with the flip-up acrtion of the wedge
With this, you could still pick an opponent's front wheels off of the ground, but they would hit and snag on the stop before actually flipping over.

Sorry if I'm blabbing incoherently, but having seen your robot in action (and I must agree that it flips over opponents a little to much) I think its a simple but ingenious design and I wouldn't want you to have to scrap it.

03-25-2003, 10:44 PM
Look at the Stang. They have a wedge, they are smart about using it, so they dont have any problems. In the one match that was linked to on CD, 111 was blocking their HP stack with 226 going after it. 226 drove up onto wildstang, and was on the verge of tipping. had 111 driven forward, 226 would of tipped, but they didnt, acheiving GP and playing by the rules, while still using their wedge to their advantage.


03-25-2003, 10:50 PM
The wedge seems to be a popular tool in this years toolbox. Having one is not against the rules but how you use it does. 179 and 229 both have wedge-esk rampdoms and neither of them have run into trouble because they don't use them agressively.

If you drive toward someone your wedge is designed to push them up and over. However if they drive toward you your wedge is designed to help you stay in place. The diffirence is subtle but key in this situation.

Look at it like this. The judges made the ruling because you tried to flip IE damage/disable another bot. Had a bot taken its arm and beat a bot into submission it would be disabled for the same reason. The arm doesn't have to be removed it just can't be used to do that.

03-25-2003, 11:14 PM
This is one of those issues that depends completely on the intentions behind the act.

During UCF, we ended up flipping two robots unintentionally. Both times, we were starting to head down the ramp right as they were cresting it, meaning the front end of their robot was dangling in the air right where we were moving towards at full speed. In neither case was the flipping intentional, and both times we went to the teams afterwards and apologized and asked if they took any damage and if there was anything we could do to help. This kind of flipping, in my opinion, is not illegal.

On the other hand, if you consistently use a wedge to get under a robot and subsequently flip them, it establishes a pattern and makes the judges think it was a design feature. This is clearly illegal, not to mention completely against the spirit of FIRST.

From what I've read here, it sounds like your robot falls in the first category and doesn't violate any rules. Just be careful, and make a point of backing off if it looks like your opponent is about to tip.

03-26-2003, 03:07 AM
We have a wedge on our bot & didn't run into any trouble with the refs. We accidentally flipped a bot too. We were both headed for the wall at the same time & couldn't see each other. By the time we could, it was either back up & let the other bot take all the bins or just go for it. We went for it. They went over but we didn't have any problems with refs or the other team for that matter. We went & offered them spare parts, made peace & such.

03-26-2003, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Cory
Look at the Stang. They have a wedge, they are smart about using it, so they dont have any problems. In the one match that was linked to on CD, 111 was blocking their HP stack with 226 going after it. 226 drove up onto wildstang, and was on the verge of tipping. had 111 driven forward, 226 would of tipped, but they didnt, acheiving GP and playing by the rules, while still using their wedge to their advantage.

Cory Thank you for noticing. We could have very easily tipped 226 in that situation; but that is never our intention. We are aware that our design could cause tall robots to tip. So we try not to push too far on tall robots. Luckily, no one tipped while trying to ram us and they just wound up driving on top of us.

Our KOTH design intent was to prevent robots from ramming us off the HDPE (rather than use suction cups) while we tried to hold our position on the top of the hill and keep other robots off. Other teams also realized that a wedge is the easiest way to accomplish this.

03-26-2003, 09:02 AM
We have had a movable wedge design since 2001.

We finally tipped a robot over this year (for the first time). It was a very top heavy robot that we pushed over the lip of the hill. We kept moving forward and they fell over.

It was not our intent to tip them. I thought that the refs could have issued a DQ or not. They could have warned us. However, our behavior was deemed acceptable under the circumstances.

However, for the most part, our drivers are both trained and instructed in -not- tipping other vehicles. The fact that we have gone three years (four regionals, two nationals) and tipped a robot once, is a testimony to the concept that wedges can be used effectively without being a tipping device.

We actually use the wedge as a movable end-effector. It allows us to adjust the height of our pushing force. It also makes us difficult to push, since pushing robots ride up on the wedge. When we want to push a bot, we typically raise the wedge so that we avoid picking up or tipping.

As to your problem with DQ and the warnings, I would have to watch the match. Perhaps the refs saw something in your driving which they interpreted as deliberate action. However, there are enough wedge bots out there this year that clearly this is an acceptable device.

03-26-2003, 09:49 AM
I saw the match you at the Long Island regional where 353 was dq'd. I think there was a little more to it than just tipping the other robot. First, when the robot fell its light was extending beyond the role cage on it and got smashed. The judges probably saw the damage and immediatley thought of of battle bots as i'm sure many of us in the stands did. Second, your wedge was movable. You could have lifted it and pushed them with the blunt side which probably wouldn't have tipped them. If you had at least attempted this and shown that it wasn't working i dont think the refs would have had as much of a problem with you hitting them with the wedge to knock them off. Third, you went straight at them. There was room to try and get up next to them and then ram them off. But instead you hit them dead on wedge down. That made the flipping look intentional and the damage of course made it serious.
You also got a bit unlucky with your oponent. The bot you were up against (dont remember the number) had a curve underneath the front of there bot, where the very front was a bit higher and then sloped down to the base. This practically invited a wedge, or even a short robot, to get underneath and flip them. Second There weight was closer to there back set of wheels and that was also where the extra height was. Pushing there cg towards and above the back wheels. A front hit could quite easily flip them just for that.
All in all i'm I believe the judges made the right call. Your drive system was more than enough to shove through the opponent without having the wedge down and risking the flip.

Matt Reiland
03-26-2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by Raul
Thank you for noticing. We could have very easily tipped 226 in that situation; but that is never our intention. We are aware that our design could cause tall robots to tip. So we try not to push too far on tall robots. Luckily, no one tipped while trying to ram us and they just wound up driving on top of us.

Still not sure why our driver was trying to drive up 111? He did it once and realized it wasn't going to work, then did it again and got stuck (Not listening to the coach either). I am sure it would have been cool if we could have got over the wedge but the rear bumper was on the floor so we were stuck almost the whole match. The fact that they didn't drive forward says allot about team 111, they successfully guarded the stack and controlled that match. One thing though, you would be surprised how low our center of gravity it for a cage stacker, we haven't actually went over yet after 2 regionals, most caged stacker's have.

fast frank
03-26-2003, 12:37 PM
i liked your robot a lot. great design. i know that you know the importance of a low CG because you race a modified. we also have a very low CG, plus our articulating base also helps our stability.

if your drivers can adjust their driving techniques a little, your robot can be very effective and legal at the same time. they just have to use a little more patience and self control. if they can learn to back off a little if the other robot starts to get tipsy, you should be fine. as a driver, i know it is hard to back off and use patience and all the stuff i just said, but it may be neccasary in your situation.

i think many teams have to realize that this is a contact sport and that their robot will take hard hits. they need to learn the importance of a low center of gravity, or have a self-righting mechanism.

good luck in texas!

03-26-2003, 02:43 PM
you have to love the articulating chassis's. So far I've only seen two though - ours and 271. Does anyone else have one?

The coolest thing about articulation is that it helps keep at least the back wheels on the ground if the front ones are lifted by another robot. I remember when we almost got tipped by BUZZ 175 at UTC, but the back axle pivoted to match the ground instead of lifting up, so we were able to remain upright. As soon as you catch the back of of your chassis on the carpet though, its all over.

03-26-2003, 03:13 PM
In regards to hitting someone with our wedge lifted, after we got d'qd in the matches following that one we did hit people w/ the wedge lifted. But with it lifted it led to us being flipped over or ontop of the ramp it just made us go on top of other robots instead of hit them so it wasnt good for us. We did the best we could and we are doing driver training as i write this to get the drivers better w/ the flipping issue. I am actually one of the operators i operate ours arms specifically.

Alex Salomonsky
03-26-2003, 03:22 PM
My team had a wedge, but since we had little room, we had it drop with a motor. It looked like a bot that could flip any bot with no problem, but we didn't design it that way. Surprisingly, we were not called for anything illegal, and i don't feel we should have. We never flipped anyone, and if we did, it wasn't intentional. It was a great design that could push around any bot we wanted to, but not flip. I feel that no team who has a wedge, designed it to flip robots, and only to use it to win pushing matches, so no wedge should be DQ'ed unless it is a blatant attempt to flip someone.

03-26-2003, 05:54 PM
But if you have a wedge and are at the King of the Hill position if you stand there and another team trys to ram you it isn't your fault to my understanding. But it sux that ya got DQed.

The Lucas
03-26-2003, 09:51 PM
One of my criticism during the early phases of building Tippy the Wonder MOEbot (also know as GeroniMOE) was: teams would intentionally flip us every match as part of their strategy and the refs would do nothing. I have to give the general FIRST community credit because my pessimistic prediction did not come true in Annapolis.

GeroniMOE tipped about 4 times (1 in final match 2) in competition. All of these flips were done on the ramp where we are obviously very vulnerable to flipping (the Wheelie Bars are effective on the flat). Only once was the tipping really forced by a two bot attack but it was not malicious. In the finals, Cory, Sparky and Spartechs did nothing to make us tip. The spectacular fall at the end of Finals match 2 was just Dan-o (our driver) being a little overzealous in his attempt to pull another comeback out of his green sequined hat. He did a great job controlling that crazy bot.

I guess my pessimism about other bots' lack of GP about intentionally tipping bots was probably based around MOEhawk's experience last year. Many bots would do anything they could to maliciously destroy MOEhawk, repeatedly ramming into structural points while ignoring the goals. Bots were never DQed for that and instead we were probably DQed more than any other bot. I predicted bots would do that as soon as the concept for a 3 goal grabber was proposed last year and I was right. I

had every reason to believe that I would be right about Toro BattleBot Clones running around flipping both opponent and doing a victory dance on the top of the ramp. So far I have been wrong and I hope it stays that way. Stay Graciously Professional about flipping bot by showing restraint. This year's game has a giant ramp so some bots (even with low cg) flipping over is inevitable.

03-26-2003, 10:05 PM
Doesn't your wedge have a flipping action to it, where it could get under something and then flip it over?

If you do have this ability, on top of being a wedge, it looks like a design that would be used to flip other robots. I guess it could be used to flip over stacks but once you drove the wedge into them, but they would fall anyway, so why the flipping motion?

Please understand that I'm not saying you intend to flip other bots, nor am I saying you should or should not have been DQ'ed, but if the wedge has a flipping action, and from the shape of the wedge, it could easily give the appearance of being a robot flipper.

If I'm mistaken about the flipping action, and it's just a wedge, then, as others had stated, I would suggest you need to be careful how you use it.

See you in Houston!!!


03-27-2003, 12:26 PM
The flipper action was necessary to get on the ramp, otherwise the wedge would get stuck under the mesh(we did that once, DUH), also to bring the robot to legal length(too long with the flipper down)

Our intent was never to flip other robots, only to gain a pushing advantage. As a matter of fact, our driver had instructions to right any robot that was upset, regardless of team (If time allowed).

We have a new design that should not put us at a disadvantage. :D

Amanda M
03-27-2003, 05:38 PM
Well, lets me see. We, as a team, haven't used this method. In fact, it never occured to me.... hmm... (I feel like I've been under a rock... >.<). Anyway, I had no idea this was going on, either. In fact, if it was, then one of our matches might have ended differently.

At the Phoenix Regional, we played against team 989, a small, wooden wedge bot. They had us up against walls, and (well it looked to me) like they were trying to tip us. BUT, as their opponent, I can say that it was an awesome match. It was kind of neat to see such a small robot overcome ours (which is HUGE).

So, as a person who was opposed to a robot like this, I would like to say that I think that it's all part of the game. It is a good strategy, and even though FIRST might not agree, I commend you.