View Full Version : Send-Home Devices

02-17-2002, 10:10 PM
We were almost disqualified at a local scrimmage when our alliance partner used a send-home device. Use of this mecahnism does seem problematic and there's always the possibility of the opposition purposefully entangling themselves in order to disqualify the other alliance. What do you think about this? Should these devices even be used?

02-17-2002, 10:18 PM
We had a similar issue, see my other thread (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2606).

02-17-2002, 10:36 PM
I can't find ur other thread! Link directly!

02-18-2002, 05:39 AM
It would be stupid to discualify your opponent BECAUSE all that matters is the total number of points you get not whether you win or the opponent wins (in the qualifings)

Alfred Thompson
02-19-2002, 05:04 PM
Send home devices seem pretty risky to me. I would not use one.
AS for getting a DQ for the other team, in the elimination rounds your score is based on your score not the other teams. That is just in the seeding rounds I think.

03-04-2002, 12:01 AM
We have one. It shouldn't be an entaglement issue...
1/4" (maybe 1/8") PVC in 4 foot sections. Think that will pass the check in entaglement plausibility test. As well as I think it won't get tangled on the field.
We'll see.

03-05-2002, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by Wetzel
We have one. It shouldn't be an entaglement issue...

To comply with the philosophy of full disclosure of robot abilities (everyone should read this thread (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2886)), we should point out that "we have a send-home device" is slightly different than "we have a send home device that we have actually tested and are highly confident actually works." Our "mouse" (or the "rat" when we weren't in a good mood) went in to the crate having been tested as a stand-alone subsystem, but never fully integrated with the rest of the robot. So we make no claims about how well it really works - yet (maybe that should be extended to the rest of the robot as well???).

Many on our team really wanted to finish integrating all the parts of the robot and actually test all the systems. But if we did that then we would not have anything do on Thursday at the Richmond Regional! :)



Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
- Albert Einstein

Wayne C.
03-06-2002, 09:14 PM
we have a send home device made of sections of linked 1' square tubular aluminum sections which pull out 30 feet. It has been thoroughly tested and it works like a dream, reliably. This "arm", while it runs on small wheels along the floor, is fairly rigid and should be high enough above the carpet not to be considered an entanglement. As described below- it is flimsy, as any arm 30 ft long deploying from a 3 ft box would be!. It is also easily changeable between rounds and others have been made to replace it should a rambunctious opponent get malicious.

In FRC Engineer update 144 I quote- "A telescoping arm, given sufficient lack of sharp features etc, would likely not present entanglement but might prove flimsy and unreliable. The ultimate determination of what presents a risk of entanglement is made by inspectors at each event"

To me it sounds like the INSPECTORS who clear the robot for competition will not let it enter the field if it is deemed an entanglement. It also sounds like there will be a great deal of inconsistency from regional to regional. At the NH kickoff Kamen offered "Kamen points" for a robot which could score in both end zones. We can do that easily

If there is a disqualification for us we do have an alternative device to replace the arm. But quite frankly it will make us play another strategy which I am CERTAIN our opponents will not like.

I would like to know whether all these judges at the pregame events we've been hearing about are actually FIRST certified inspectors and are totally familiar with all the fine points the FRC engineers gave us during the season?

Should they be used? Certainly!! Unless you have another way to simultaneously control two goals on the field and get the additional 10 pts.

My $.04 worth


03-12-2002, 07:34 AM
We are our own send home mouse bot??????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????

03-19-2002, 09:43 PM
guys I have to say I was a little disappointed with how the entanglement rulings were made. Our team spent many hours making, what everyone an SBPLI will agree, is a rocking fast 18 foot arm with absolutely no possible entanglements. Then we get there and see loose wires and such. I thought they would have been DQ'd for sure but guess not. I think nationals will be much more strict however I have heard rulings were equally lax at KSC and Virginia

03-20-2002, 12:38 PM
What happens when a red alliance robot blocks the effort of a blue alliance robot to successfully maneuver their send-home device into the home zone in the closing seconds of a match? Assume that this move is strategically sensible, pointwise, in that particular match, be it qualifying or elimination.

Do you think red is attempting to entangle in blue's device and draw a DQ for blue? Would you protest this action if you were blue? If blue's "mouse" ran into the mouth of a red "ball eater", what happens?


Dan 550
03-20-2002, 03:41 PM
My team's bot's send-home is a roll of duct tape and a metal roller. The duct tapwe is affixed to the carpet, and it's light-adhesive blue painter's duct tape, so it's easily removed from the carpet during the post-match seconds. It doesn't pose any entanglement threat, no more than the floor itself, and doesn't actually damage the game surface. Legal? I think that's for the judges to decide, but I'd like feedback on the point.

03-20-2002, 04:21 PM
I hope you are joking! The manual specifically stated that no device may adhere to the carpet. This is most definatly illegal. In essance, you are using the adhesive to gain traction on the carpet (so your tether will not get bunched up when driven over), so you are in direct violation of rule M11. Plus, the blue painter's tape is masking tape, not duct tape.

03-20-2002, 06:53 PM
blocking of a mouse is certainly legal. I can roll my bot infront of yours, and infront of your mouse. I couldn't entrap it, say pin it to a rail or cage it, but I can certainly make it turn. this occurred in our regional when a team stopped another teams mouse and the judges didn't bat an eye.

Wayne C.
03-20-2002, 11:23 PM

Feel free to block a "mouse" - but doesn't that defeat the purpose? The mouse doesn't get 10 pts but neither do you so it is a wash.

If in the last few seconds you decide to race home it is a matter of who is faster. Sounds good to me.

Of course if you can pick it up and drag it home with you there is a definite bonus.

Just my $.02


03-21-2002, 05:32 AM
I was really dissapointed about the whole entanglement rule. There was so much fuss on the FIRST Q&A message board with regards to entanglement that our team decided it would be safer to design a telescoping pole than try and design something with a cable and wires. Had we known it was going to be like this we probably would have tried a couple of the mice type ideas instead.

-John D.

Wayne Doenges
03-21-2002, 05:35 AM
That is kinda what happened to Team 302 in one of their qualification matches. They have a 4" wide x unknown length of lexan that they can deploy behind their bot. One match they deployed the lexan only to have another team intercept it and bend it back into 302's opponent scoring zone, thus scoring 10 points for the opposition. They lost the match by 2 points :o

Wayne Doenges

03-21-2002, 03:26 PM
I admit that stopping the mouse it pretty silly, especially because if a team can drag bundled wires they can certianly make a steerable mouse, which will inevitable be more maneuverabke than your bot. However if our team has a reach home device. . .(and we do) then we could stop a mouse no prob, or atleast make it steer around us.

Matt Reiland
03-21-2002, 07:33 PM
I am rather suprised that FIRST is allowing many of the send home devices, I now see a bunch of teams in the pits adding upside down tape measures which is a real rip for all of the teams that spend so much time designing devices that were not only somewhat robust parts of the robots but also not entangling. As for the mice that is just the same, dragging a steerable coil of wire seems to be just what first didn't want to see on YAHOO but yet there are so many out there. We don't have any type device but if we had an elaborate one I can bet you we would be upset at all of the gray area ones out there. We didn't have the weight or time to do it so we didn't, but if I would have known a tape measure was good enough it would have been easy to ad. FIRST what is YOUR say on these devices for real???!!!

R Bohannan
03-22-2002, 11:55 AM
I'm just curious about what will happen if a robot drives over the tape measure or bundles of wires and gets entangled by them. From what I've seen from the telecasts (haven't gone to our regional yet), there have been few if any DQs.

Another interesting thought - we have a pretty powerful ball lift mechanism that could effectively "eat" a mouse (assuming we can catch it) - I'm going to be really upset if we get DQ'd for malicious behavior when we are just trying to play the game against an illegal mechanism.

Basically, I think the whole tethering issue has gone too far. FIRST made the rules, explained them on the website (causing us to bypass building a mouse) - and now are not enforcing their rules.

Kris Verdeyen
03-22-2002, 01:22 PM
All of this complaining about the tether rulings is starting annoy me. The truth of the matter is, it is really difficult to become entangled in a tether that had the slightest amount of engineering design to it. That is, it's really easy to design a tether that won't entangle.

The three teams that I have details about tether/mouse system design are:

118: (my team) We use 2' links of semi-flexible plastic tubing which encase our wires.

114: They used rigid PVC pipe.

57: Uses ~1' lengths of small diameter steel tubing or bar that runs alongside the wire and is encased with heat shrink.

In the Lone Star Regoinal, 118 and 57 each used their mouse bots in nearly every round, with no trouble. The only entanglement I saw at LSR was between two alliance partners (16 and 609) in the last finals match. Neither had a tether. 609's goal grabber got hung up on a part of 16's ball grabber. Should we also outlaw rigid goal grabbers? The truth is, most goal grabbers have a higher probablilty of getting snagged because they are rigid and designed to snag. A flexible tether with any significant mass to it (i.e. not simply a piece of string.) will not entangle.

As for the tape measure ruling, I don't know what to tell you. I thought it was strange (and out of character) that FRC would outlaw the mechanism without first seeing it, but I think that the tape measure is probably the wrong answer to this problem anyway.

03-22-2002, 08:48 PM
Today (Friday) at the Rutgers Mid Atlantic Regional we had a problem. While our allaince was holding a goal in our goal zone, a team we were competing with had two goals in their goal zone. Our team mate went to drive in front of a teathered device to prevent the opposing team to score 10 pts. Our alliance didn't get in the way of the device, the drove on top of it. Our team mate got stuck and their wheel was propped up off of the ground. They kept turning the wheels to get off of the teathered device becasuse the teathered device was knocked over. The judje disqualified us because it was called a malicious move for our team mate to grind their weels on teathered device. This is a story where it does seem difficult by looking at both sides of the story.

Sorry team 25 for breaking your teather. We never intended to purposeley damage your teather, we just wanted to block it from driving home.

03-27-2002, 07:19 AM
Originally posted by R Bohannan

Another interesting thought - we have a pretty powerful ball lift mechanism that could effectively "eat" a mouse (assuming we can catch it) - I'm going to be really upset if we get DQ'd for malicious behavior when we are just trying to play the game against an illegal mechanism.

Basically, I think the whole tethering issue has gone too far. FIRST made the rules, explained them on the website (causing us to bypass building a mouse) - and now are not enforcing their rules.

Dont be mad because other teams built a mouse and you did not, such teams took measures to make sure these devices would not entangle other robots. These devices ARE LEGAL and do not cause entanglement and if they did durring a match then they should be DQ'ed for that device. People are following the rules, it is up to the judge to say if it seems like a device could entangle.
I dont feel it is right any team should wreck any part of another teams robot unless it is in their way. If you would not just block or hold such a device but feel that you should destroy it, then you should be DQ'ed for such action

03-27-2002, 09:39 AM
Our team also has an arm to pick balls up of the field, and if I get a chance I plan to pick up a mouse also, I see no problem with it, and if it breaks then its poor design, mmmm 60psi smacking power, I can't wait to snach them all up.

Paul Copioli
03-27-2002, 12:07 PM
I understand that many discussions are occuring about this subject, and most of them are emotional, but the tether debacle (that is what I'm calling it) is out of hand.

First, my position on the tether:

(1) Rolling/sliding out lexan or some other really flexible stuff out along the floor (like 302) is definitely not an entaglement risk.

(2) Tape measure type device (very similar to 1) is also relatively safe.

(3) Mousebot on a wire tether could also be made non entagling, but is more of a challenge.

We thought of all these ideas and were implementing (1) when all the rulings started flying. Whether htese devices entangle or not is irrelevant.

FIRST made specific rulings on tape measures, robots splitting apart with just wires, etc. and the rulings on the field are absolutely not consistent with the rulings during design time. For those teams that designed the mechanisms anyways using common sense and logic as your guide, bravo! We did not have the courage to take on such risk. The fact still remains that FIRST is completely inconsistant on this issue and it would have been better for the entire FIRST community if nothing would have been said at all. The rule should have been left at: DO NOT ENTANGLE OR YOU WILL BE DQ'd.

Anyway, I think many of us agree that most of the devices being used do not entagle, but violate FIRST's initially rulings.


Amy Beth
03-27-2002, 01:47 PM
It is disappointing to see so much disparity between what FIRST said and what their referees seem to be allowing. I was refereeing a local scrimmage about a month ago, and I and my fellow ref were very strict about send-home devices, and we ended up DQ-ing two alliances (one of them being my own, even!). We were only trying to interpret FIRST's rules to the best of our ability. If i could have seen then what would be happening in the regionals, there is a chance i would have called the matches differently (still apologizing, Zan). Has anyone been called for risk of entanglement in any of the regionals??

03-27-2002, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by asher
Our team also has an arm to pick balls up of the field, and if I get a chance I plan to pick up a mouse also, I see no problem with it, and if it breaks then its poor design, mmmm 60psi smacking power, I can't wait to snach them all up.

Ok, but i hope our mouse wont break your claw being welded steel angle and lexan. Oh and I will hope to use our goal grabber to rip out wires from another robot , oh sorry I guess i'm lapsing into battle bots by breaking other robot's parts, but I guess that would be ok because that would be a poor robot design not protecting their wires and all right? :rolleyes: .

whats the diffrence??

All you anti-mouse people out there:

If a mouse dosent entangle it breaks NO rules EVER, you are more and more sounding like what FIRST should not be, Battle Bots. If you can grab a mouse then great stratigy but dont threaten that if it cant take 60psi (and is actually more due to the nature of a piston) then it is poor design. You can grab it but not crush it, such is the spirit of FIRST.
The only reason the entanglement rule was in place was to prevent robots deploying something that was made only for the purpose to hang up other robots. How far can you go with entanglement, would one robot hitting another be called entanglement, would a covered flat wire on the ground soo hang up a robot that it cant move? If a robot is so low a wire cant go under it then it will just push the tether but if it is so hight that it will go over it then fine, i dont think much of any tether device out there can be not run over or pushed. It is hard for a judge to define the diffrence between a arm and a tether, how can they define the diffrence? They can't they must go by common sence with something they think had not been designed to be driven over (this is why FIRST would not further define entanglement on the boards, they wanted to leave it up to the judges and your common sence).
I feel that entanglement is not the issue i think it is pure hatered for the mice. None of this is any teams falt, the rules should have read " If a robot gets entangled on a tether durring a match then it is dq'ed "
Again threatening dammage to any part of any robot is not in the FIRST spirit and nor should it intentionally be done.

Matt Reiland
03-27-2002, 05:36 PM
After reviewing the YAHOO board once again you mousers out there need to look at the wording in the early responses from FIRST which is why so many people are angry at these devices.

Most if not all responses from FRCTECHS said if the device presents a RISK of being entangled it will either be disqualified or disallowed. Every mouse I have seen so far leaves a wire behind it and this wire has the RISK of becoming entangled. In fact responses like this one:

Suppose there is a robot that can split down the middle.
> Suppose that at the start of the match, the robot splits with only a
> 30 ft bundle of wires connecting them.
> Assume that it is a bundle of four 10 gauge wires and four 16 gauge
> wires. Also assume that they are strain relieved and bundled
> appropriately.
> Question A:
> Is it legal for such a robot to drive around the entire match in
> fashion?

A.No, because the wires would present a risk of entanglement

They specifically state that if you lay a string down on the ground even if someone doesn't get entangled in it, it is not allowed because it presents the risk, doesn't actually have to happen.
This answer specifically states that a bundle of wires is not allowed and presents a risk of entagnlement. So for everyone out there with a mouse, consider yourself lucky to be competing with an illegal device and don't be so upset if someone blocks it keep it from scoring.

I am not a driver or a coach but if I was either I would be telling my team to go get the thing. Tape measures are just as bad since they were stated as being entanglement, and ripping carpet? Add that to the list. At this rate we should all put glue, velcro and tacks on our wheels because even though its illegal no one is going to call it, heck we ought to try 2 or more batteries, how about Quad Chippy Drive since the rules about motors are only suggestions?!

FIRST what have you done to this season, its time to enforce the rules.

03-27-2002, 06:35 PM
Our tether is made from poly tubing and not just wires, it is stiff enough and flat enough not to present a risk of entanglement and it was so judged that way. I also so a robot with 1/2in pvc over their wires, that is not like string, should they be dqed dust because it is a tether. In that FRC responce it was not specified how the wires are bundeled is it by tie wraps or a metal tube? Also it has the words "The entire match" whiche mice are not out for, also it says nothing about wires on the ground. Too much is left open, it seems like they took it as being "bundeled" like a bundle of sticks would be and not covered. Everyone just assumes if someone has a mouse that its tether it will automaticly present a risk. Again this is left up to the judge to decide what is entanglement.

Also tacks and glue are the type of things that dont need to be interperted so that refrence has nothing to do with this.

Mouses should not be disallowed, some tethers that are bare wires should be, but with proper covering it would not present a risk of entanglement. I do agree that there should be some standard such as if a wheelchair wheel can go over it or some such thing.

I am not upset of a mouse being blocked, I am concerned about people using parts of their robot to distroy it, it is still part of a robot. (even though we will not have this worry)

Kevin Ray
03-27-2002, 09:16 PM
Matt Reiland,

[After reviewing the YAHOO board once again you mousers out there need to look at the wording in the early responses from FIRST which is why so many people are angry at these devices ]

I really respect your opinion and usually give a lot of weight to what you say in your posts/replies, USUALLY!

The definitive words from above were, "early responses". They realized that they needed to clarify that and have since come out with a clearer, albeit not sufficient, definition of a tether. If we stay with the early clarifications we would all still be using only the batteries that came with this year's kit along with the trickle charger (later clarifications on YAHOO corrected this). If you want to use an argument for not using a tether, please use the LAST clarification given by FIRST.

Also, no one, at least on my team, cares if you want to go after our mouse (for WHATEVER reason), you won't catch it, and even it you did you couldn't harm it. We are not crying about the "BB" mentality, we are just tired of hearing about all the waa waa teams who said that they "coulda', shoulda' and woulda' " built a mouse if they weren't so afraid of creating an entangling tether. WELL WE DID. And it works very well, and it won't entangle. In fact we won the Xerox Award for innovation and design--specifically for the mouse. Woodie Flowers personally said that he loved the mouse and watched it run 7 times and didn't seem to have a problem with it or its design. And as for the entangling issue, we counted 8 separate instances in the qualification rounds where teams were entangled together by BALL GRABBERS and none of those teams were DQ"D. ---and rightfully so!!! The intent to entangle wasn't there when the devices were designed and manufactured.

I think I know why people are saying so much about mice and entanglement. There is probably a 10-1 ratio between entanglements by ball grabbers and other assorted robot parts vs. mice tethers. I think that most of the people are really angry that the mice (and All Send Home Devices) give a decided advantage to the teams who have them. Proof of this is that many of the replies state that they now feel that they should have built one or that they are going to try to "come up with something by time of the Nats". The sooner the mouse haters accept the true basis of their animosity, the sooner this issue will be put to rest.

We had to forgo a ball gathering device because we put so much energy into mollifying the concerns of others regarding the tether. I don't begrudge those who have ball gathering devices when they entangle another robot. "IT'S THE SAME PRINCIPLE!!!

Please don't take this as a personal attack, I honestly just want people to not PREJUDGE any robot! If it entangles, that team will lose and the opponents will win, and from THAT point forward, they won't be able to use the tether--the way the rules state.

WHEW!!!! :(

Kris Verdeyen
03-27-2002, 09:36 PM
Hear hear, Kevin Ray.

If a tether is a "risk of entanglement" and shouldn't be allowed past inspection (which is the most consistently misread rule in these arguments - once matches start, only actual entanglement is an issue) then where are all the entanglement complaints from these risky robots mistakenly let on the field? In over 100 matches (my estimate: 10% * ~1000 matches) nationwide that had tether bots competing, where is the entanglement that these mini bots are a risk of?

To hear some people talk, you'd think that every match that featured a mini bot would end in giant square knot at the middle of the field, but the truth is, there haven't been many entanglement calls because - surprise surprise - the tethers were designed not to entangle.

Now, on the other point - blocking tethers from scoring, picking them up and the like. Go for it! It's a game. But don't try to smash it on purpose. That's just mean.

Kevin Ray
03-27-2002, 09:53 PM
Thanks for the support, I was beginning to think that we were the only people who thought that way.

Matt Reiland
03-28-2002, 02:34 PM
Kevin and RebAI I appologize if I came off too harsh in my post, I don't know what either of your mouses look like, from your comments it seems like you have taken the time to think of the best ways to protect them from being entangled which is great and everyone should have done the same thing. (I saw 3 different teams add home depot tape measures at GLR) For anyone who doesn't know, my team doesn't have any sort of tether not only for the reason that we have only .3lbs left on the weight requirement but we gave up early on trying to figure out how strict the rules were going to be followed early on because around weeks 1-3 it seemed like there was very little that would NOT be an entanglement RISK. And Kevin noticed one of the things that has made me an angry engineer this year (I couldn't really care either way on mice, honest) its that FIRST has been more wishy washy on thier statements then Ex President Clinton. From telling people they could use 7 cylinders to then 5, telling people how strict the rules were about hurting the carpet then watching chunks taken out at GLR with no consequences, and this whole entanglement issue, the batteries and chargers you name it its frustrating to me. I joke about the tacks, and velcro because honestly I am willing to bet we could have almost anything under the shell of our bot and get away with it if we were not under the gracious professionalism mentality. (Seriously the materials were not questioned, the # of motors not questioned, check in was taking our word for everything)

The only reason I am angry in these send home threads is the fact that 2 times at GLR we were warned (told next time would be a DQ) about blocking send-home devices. Neither time did we destroy, or intend to destroy any one elses robots or tethers this is where I get the BB reference from. I think the send home device (whatever it may be) should be fair game to be blocked or moved out of scoring in the same manner a robot can be blocked or moved our of scoring. If we can all agree on that I am happy. I can not seem to get a read on what the refs are doing out there so we can stay on the up and up. If the refs say what you guys have is legal than, hey, what is said here doen't matter too much they are the only ones we have to convince.

EDIT: I just got a call from Deb at FIRST and it seems like they may release another update or email blast relating to this and some other problems that have arised from the different reigonals to put these threads finally to rest. She sayed that indeed the rules for send-home devices and what is considered an entanglement hazard were lightened including allowing of tape measures(since the ruling at Ohio allowed them), so I somehow missed a bunch of changes.

And for all of the FIRST volunteers out there I thank you for your time you are doing a great job.

03-28-2002, 05:15 PM
I basically wanted to summarize my stance on these tethers:

-- Entanglement should be ruled as originally stated in FRC -- if it can wrap around an axle with reasonable force, it can entangle. This would disallow tape measures and wires, but wires sheathed in pipe, telescoping booms, "scissor lift" devices, lexan tiles (such as ours and 302's), "tent pole" devices, etc. would be allowed. Especially, devices that FIRST specifically prohibited, such as the tape measures and wires listed above, shouldn't be allowed now at the regionals.

-- Tethers shouldn't get special treatment -- they should be built to withstand being run over or spun on. If robots themselves have to be built to withstand impact, so should these devices. Therefore, there should be no rules about blocking such devices -- except in cases of obvious intentional entanglement, and I think the judges should be very careful before DQing a team for damaging a tether.

P.S.: Amy, we have no hard feelings towards you. We understand that at the scrimmage, the judge's job is to prepare us for the worst case scenario at the regional.

Kevin Ray
03-28-2002, 10:12 PM
Matt Reiland --apology accepted!!!
I understand fully about the frustration regarding the interpretation of rules that teams are experiencing. I too, wondered about the spray of thread flying off the floor during some matches, and why there were no DQ's. In fact I think it was either the Philly, or the NYC regional that you could see that duct tape was used to repair the field after a particularly strong rototiller went at the carpet.

And YES!!! tethers are fair game, as are mice and all other send home devices. In fact, our mouse is designed to interact with OTHER send home devices which are limited in their ability to steer or back up. We know that others will/may go after the device and have taken measures to ensure its survival--and it is encumbant upon US to make sure that it withstands rough play.

I honestly feel bad that there were teams who were warned about interacting with send home devices. That gives a doube-unfair advantage to the teams who have them. Any robot on the field should be allowed to interact with another robot strategically as long as their is no malicious intent--I think that that is relatively easy to discern.

Again, Matt thanks for writing back. Look forward to meeting you and seeing your robot at the Nats.

R Bohannan
03-29-2002, 12:56 AM
One last comment for me too...
I am in total agreement with Matt's frustration - and my previous comments were coming from that frustration. However, I am afraid I gave the wrong impression in my last post. It is not, and never will be, our strategy to damage anyone's robot. And actually, I applaud all those teams who built the send home devices - because as has been stated, I wish we had too. But we didn't, end of story.

I am concerned (and frustrated) by the stories of DQ's due to "malicious intent" when teams have attempted to block the devices. It's nothing against the teams with the devices - they are just playing the game with the rules as they now stand. But if a robot can block another robot, why can't the take home devices be blocked, moved or whatever? I just don't think they should be given preferential treatment.

Sorry, more frustration.

Hey, Good luck to everyone and remember to just have fun!

Nate Smith
03-29-2002, 07:18 AM
One thing to keep in mind...a DQ can only be applied if "intentional" carpet damage occurred. As we've seen through various discussions here, intent is very hard to determine. So, by the rules, the only other ruling regarding carpet damage is that the team causing the damage may be disabled, as well as forced to take corrective action before being able to compete again. And this is only, of course, if a referee is able to see which robot is causing the damage, and if they determine that it would happen again in normal machine operation...

03-29-2002, 03:25 PM
What Kevin said about teams going waa waa about the tether angered me out of all of this, specifically because I stated earlier i was dissappointed about the rules issue.

To clear up my origional statement.
The statesments made on the FIRST tech board during the opening weeks were clear about the tethers. If it poses a risk, than it's illegal. Someone previously posted an example from the board. I have email digests from the board with many more.

I can't help the fact at this point, after our robot has been built and completed, that we chose not to build a mouse. I can and will still say I wish we had the time to explore some avenues in that area. As for our team going with a telescoping pole? We based our decision on the numerous posts regarding tethers and the negative responses from FIRST about them at the time. We spent the first week planning out or robot and then commenced to building it from the second week on. The posts on the board regarding tethers at the time was still discouraging. Besides, we needed all the time we had up until we shipped for our other main components. We never figured, lets allot time down the road to build a mouse because FIRST is going to lighten up on the tether issue. We went with a telescoping pole because we had done a number of expirements last year. Last year we had a two stage arm that was used to pick up the "big ball". It was something we already knew how to do and it was just all about adapting that knowledge from last years robot to this current years'.

Good for you (and that's not sarcastic either) if your team had the time, money, and willingness to try something that could have just aswell ended up being a futile endevour. That's great. Not every does those sort of things.

As for the mice?
Now it just adds a little to the complexity of the game. When we went up against teams with mice, we had to figure that into our game plan. How could we stop it? How can we still manage to be on top even if they deploy and score their send home device? SO now if it comes down to just whether you get entangled on the field, fine. I applaud the teams that came up with slick designs that you can't easily get entangled on.

Just to fully state my stance on this:
I feel that the whole Goal Grabber or Ball Grabber entanglement is a different issue. There's a difference to me when two robots within a couple inches get accidentaly hooked up on one another as opposed to a robot who gets stuck on a non structural piece of a robot 10 feet or so away from the actual main body of the other robot. Obviously they are both cases of entanglement. Don't get me wrong, there is no doubt about that. It's just that I feel they are two different scenarios that must be treated differently. There are ways to unhook one's robot from another should they become hooked. I know our robot has five wheels and four feet and a couple of arms. The feet actually manage to raise the entire a robot off the ground a couple inches and flapping goal grabbing arms can possibly free our robot. When a robot's mouse becomes entangled inside another robot, there isn't much one can do. You wrap what ever wires and cables around your axel and it will most likely stay there until the end of the match when you have to pry it's dead cold clutches from your drivetrain.

And of course, one last thing:
I recall when the tech board said you can have only 7 cylinders on your robot. Well, I believe it's a correct statement. The FRCTech didnot need to appologize or anything. People just misunderstood it.

Here's how i remember understanding it at the time:
2 cylindrical acumulators + 5 cylindrical pistons = 7 MAX cylinders
(Note the bold faced type)

So there, that's my rant and rave's worth of two cents on everything.

Now I know someone is bound to disagree with one part or another, but you know what? I say 'Whatever!' because there isn't anything any of us can really do about all this in the end. Let's just hope we have all learned from the expirience and will be more prepared for the next time around. As i stated in me previous post i am only disappointed that's all. I'm not saying ban all mice or blah blah blah FIRST should do this or do that. So things changed -- oh well. It's all in the game, and the game of course, isn't the point of FIRST anyways.

03-29-2002, 09:00 PM
R. Bohannon is spot on. The rules explicitly allow a red robot to grab a blue robot and drag it into the red home zone, and hold it there till the buzzer. There is no reason why a red robot can't block, capture, and carry a blue robot's mouse (or its other tethered send home device) and drag it to the red home zone and hold it there.

In either case, I assume red will try to grab or capture so as to minimize the probability of damage to blue or its mouse, but if blue's tether can't take being "redirected" by virtue of its end unit being hijacked, then it wasn't engineered to survive the game the rules allow. Whatever the zigs and zags in FRC's sorting out rule interpretations on tethers and entanglement, I believe the legality of robot kidnapping was made crystal clear at the beginning, and there is no reason why send home units should expect more favored treatment.

There's more to this game than just blocking the mouse. BTW, if red catches a blue robot AND blue's deployed mouse in the red home zone, is that worth 20 points?


Kevin Ray
03-30-2002, 12:12 AM
Dodd, BTW, if red catches a blue robot AND blue's deployed mouse in the red home zone, is that worth 20 points?

Sorry, but no. It's still one robot, hence, 10 points. However, if that blue team is in their home zone and the mouse is in the red home zone, BOTH teams get 10 points. We did that twice in the LI regionals (to boost the loser's score).

03-30-2002, 08:15 AM
Okay - FRC has posted a message regarding tethers and the "New" interpretation. I am glad to see that they did this - "better late than never".
This should end the debate over legally having one and what kind.
NOW, FIRST please re-issue a "New" interpretation regarding interaction with them. What will not get us disqualified? Both those using them and those defending against them. There have been many good and rational questions on this subject. The fact is as long as the entanglement issue was as "gray" as it was, it masked the need to deal with those issues.
I'll assume since the "send home" devices are part of the robot - they also should be constructed as robust as the rest of the machine. Expect full contact and collisions.
Many messages have attempted to tie "gracious professionalism" in with intent - Will the "intent to damage" be expanded to include "send home devices"? This also another rule that is written in the manual, I belive it's a judgement call the referees will be required to make - is that correct?
I just hope that a bigger can of worms hasn't been opened!
I'll assume that it will be okay to add - on a new send home device during the competitions that are left and at the nationals.

Matt Reiland
03-30-2002, 07:23 PM
While we don't have a send-home device, we did use our time after GLR to make a slight modification to our ball grabber boom/basket. It may be now more appropiately named the send-home/ball grabber. So far it looks like almost every send home device can be defeated fairly easily by driving a device at carpet level like a scoop (which is how our basket drives when down), scooping up wires/plastic pipe/mouse lift it a little and deposit it where you need to. We have to wait until Western MI to try it out and we need First to give more info on how they will be calling interaction with send-home devices.

03-30-2002, 08:29 PM
Sorry, but no. It's still one robot, hence, 10 points. However, if that blue team is in their home zone and the mouse is in the red home zone, BOTH teams get 10 points. We did that twice in the LI regionals (to boost the loser's score). [/B][/QUOTE]


Please help me understand the basis for your confidence in this interpretation. I know that Dean opened his mouth at kickoff in response to a question and said that if a robot could "touch down" in both home zones at the buzzer during qualifications that both teams would get 10 points. And what Dean says, goes. Based on that, we all agree that the blue robot and their deployed mouse are worth a total of 20 points (10 each alliance) when parked in opposite home zones at the buzzer.

Where has it been clarified though that a robot/mouse combination can count for 20 points under some circumstances and only 10 under others? Forgive my combative tone, please, but I'm trying to establish whether you are expressing your opinion, or whether you are privvy to some official information that has escaped me. Also, note that my question specified that the mouse was DEPLOYED from the bot.

I basically think that FIRST has let loose an entire aspect of rules and scoring questions that they had not thought out in advance, all because Dean tossed off a quick answer at kickoff.


Kevin Ray
03-30-2002, 08:57 PM
Forgive me if I sounded omniscient, but I thought that, by definition, all parts of a robot combine to make the whole. Therefore, any part of the robot which extends out is still part of that robot. The definitive proof of the scoring in question is that we deployed our mouse into our own zone while our robot was there and we were only given TEN points, which means that the refs made a command decision at that point to interpret the scoring rules to mean that any and all parts of the robot are still part of the ONE robot, hense, ONE TEN POINT SCORE.

The reason why they allowed the score to count in two zones (in my opinion) was specifically that, that there were two robots (actually the same one) in two separate zones and you had to score them both.

Now, mind you, all of this is mere speculation on my part, and I offer my apologies for anyone who suffers as a result of relying on it. I was only offering insight as a result of experience.

Kris Verdeyen
03-30-2002, 10:31 PM
Kevin's right.

A robot with a toe in the endzone is scored as a robot in the endzone.

A robot with two toes in the endzone is still scored as a robot in the endzone.

A robot with toes in two endzones is scored as a robot in each endzone.