View Full Version : Legal way to remove bottles? and other questions

10-09-2001, 09:19 PM
Here are a few questions we came up with today.

Q1: Can a robot contact the BOTTLES in its OWN scoring zone in order to make them NOT COUNT? For example, there is a bottle on one of the GREEN lower scoring zones. If one of the GREEN robots is contacting the bottle at the end of the match, does that bottle count? Is the same true for the movable goal?

Q2: Does the robot have to lift a bottle into or over the "Safety Zone" before the human player can attempt to grab the bottle?

Q3: Can the human player reach INTO the playing field to place a bottle into a robot, or receive a bottle from a robot? This would mean the human player does not contact the "Safety Zone" but can reach past the tube barrier.

Q4: Is there a limit to the number of bottles that may be stored in a Human Player Station?

Q5: Can a movable goal be lifted up on one side so long as the bottles inside do not fall out, and the goal does not fall on its side? The intent would be to lift the goal from beneath the plywood base while towing, for added traction.

Q6: Can a robot have multiple configurations similar to what was allowed for the 2001 FIRST competition? The best example I can think of is Wildstang with their hook/wings/arms.

Q7: The game bottles are allowable projectiles. Does that mean the robot can throw the bottles as well?

Q8: Can one human player throw a bottle to another human player either next to them or across the field?

Thanks for the clarification,


Joe Johnson
10-09-2001, 10:05 PM
#1 The rules as written do not distinguish between robot colors -- if a robot is touching a bottle it does not count for scoring purposes.

#2 & 3 Human Players cannot reach into the playing field -- imagine that there is a vertical plane at the field's edge, humans are not allowed to break this plane. Robots can reach over the barrier into the safety zone. Humans can remove or place bottles onto the robot in this zone. Note that Humans cannot touch the robot directly but can touch it with bottles -- for example a human player can flip a latch on the robot using a bottle. Also note that the humans may not reach into the playing field but bottles in their hands can.

#4 There is not limit to the number of bottles allowed in the Human Player Station.

#5 Movable goals are not allowed to be intentionally tipped -- this includes partial tippings. Teams are allowed to put a limited amount of lifting force to the goal in order to improve traction but don't lift so much that any of the wheels leave the ground. A tricky problem to judge. Basically -- keep all wheels of the goal in contact with the carpet and noboby will squawk.

#6 Please read a question & answer from last year's Q/A -- this is how we will address the issue this year.

Is it OK to modify the robot after the competition has started? I.e.: having two separate chassis and moving the motors and controls over during lunch. Of course all variations would be within the rules.

Our initial inclination was to say yes on this one, but we thought it over and kicked it around a bit and decided against it.

Teams may make design changes during the competition. They are also allowed to make their robot re-configurable. But to have wholesale mechanism and/or chassis changes midstream makes us nervous.

Basically, saying "Yes" to this proposal would allow teams to have 2 entirely different robots and to pick and choose what robot to run based on the situation. Rather than face this situation, we are implementing the "Dance with the gal that brung ya" rule.


1. Modifications of things like gear ratios between matches (e.g. by changing pulley diameters, sprockets, etc.) are allowed.

2. Teams are allowed to have mechanisms that they leave off or move to another position or orientation, BUT they must be able to weigh in with all intended mechanisms included on the scale. Also they must pass inspection in every intended configuration.

3. This rule is not intended to prevent a team from improving their robot during the competition. BUT it is not in the spirit of the competition to have these improvement be a work around of item 2 above ("Oh, we just decided that Arm#1 wasn't working as well as we intended, perhaps this here Arm#2 we happen to have brought with us from California"). Similarly, teams that tend to "improve" their robot when playing against teams of type A only to decide to "un-improve" their robots whenever playing teams of type B will get a lot of scrutiny, as they may be looking to avoid having to weigh in with all the various modules they want use.

Major re-designs will, of course, require re-inspection. We don't expect these rules to stop determined cheaters, but we will at least make such folks go through the discomfort of looking us in the eye and lying to us.

Again, a little Gracious Professionalism here goes a long way.

#7 Robots can throw bottles.

#8 Sure, why not. Humans can toss bottles TO other human players. They cannot toss bottles AT other human players.

10-10-2001, 08:27 AM
Thanks for the clear responses to our questions.

BTW, nice reuse of a "year-old" post.


10-15-2001, 09:11 PM
Thought I'd keep the questions in one thread.

Q9: Can the HP throw bottles on the field near the Safety Zone with the intent that the robot will pick them up from the ground?

Q10: Can we use a 1/4-20 bolt to FASTEN an idler pulley to the chassis? The bolt will FASTEN the pulley to the chassis, but the pulley will also SPIN around the bolt. Sorry for the fastener question, I should know better by now.

Q11: Home Depot sells pre-fab'd plywood wheels. Are these legal since they are plywood and within the 3/4" limit?


10-15-2001, 09:35 PM
Q9 - Yes. the human player can toss the bottles on the playing field near the robot just as long as it doesn't accidentally or on purpose land on the shelf scoring area.