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Unread 11-05-2018, 10:41 AM
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The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

A few days after Power Up's Kickoff, I found a loophole that would have helped win almost every match. At least until other teams saw you play and the referees changed the rules. My mentor said we could reconstruct our robot if we qualified for Worlds, but I decided we were better off as we were, and so I've decided now to reveal the monstrosity I call 27 foot bot.

The name says it all. This robot would quickly drive over till it was inline with the opponents platform zone, against one of the side walls, knock itself over, and extend 27 feet across the field, to the opposite wall. This would trap the opposing alliance, either starving them for cubes, or locking them into an area with just their own switch, allowing your own alliance to receive double the ownership points and a massive advantage.

This is possible due to a few oversights in the rules. Robots were not limited on height extensions this year. Their height dimension is based off their starting configuration. G12 was written in regards to the original way the null zones were defined, and stated that you couldn't collude with alliance partners to shut off major parts of play, as in place one robot in each null zone. Luckily, with 27 foot bot, you would only need one robot. Even if another robot wanted to push you, they'd be encroaching on the vertical extension of your frame perimeter, and receive a yellow card according to G11.

Unfortunately, this idea never saw fruition, and was just a dream to be shut down by rule changes after its first couple matches.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 10:50 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

Your problem would have been S01, I would call a robot that has both the ability to extend 27 feet upward, and the ability to tip itself over, a dangerous robot
Really cool idea though! I always love to see brilliant strategies.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 10:53 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

I'll let others figure out if this does break any rules, but it would be a completely ineffective robot. The positioning would have to be fairly precise for the robot to interface with the opponent's switch without risking pushing down on a cube on top of the switch. At least two of your opponents would be at center field after auton, and seeing your 27 foot robot coming, they could choose to leave only one robot in the home zone for switch and exchange with the other two doing portal runs. Meanwhile, your alliance is down an entire robot with no access to your own portal. It just doesn't give an advantage fast enough to prevent the opponent's from responding and addressing it.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 10:53 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

G10. Don’t tear others down to lift yourself up. Strategies aimed at the destruction or inhibition of ROBOTS via attachment, damage, tipping, or entanglements are not allowed.

This could probably be called. Doesn't say you have to be tipping the other robot.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 10:58 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

Once you've had your ten second grace period, there's nothing stopping the other alliance from using any means necessary to get you out of their way.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 10:59 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

Quote:
C01. Egregious or exceptional violations. In addition to rule violations explicitly listed in this manual and witnessed by a REFEREE, the Head REFEREE may assign a YELLOW or RED CARD for egregious ROBOT actions or Team member behavior at the event. This includes violations of the event rules found on the FIRST® Robotics Competition Event Experience web page. Please see Section 10.7 YELLOW and RED CARDS for additional detail.
You might get away with it for the first match. But seeing it was an intentional strategy, I would bet the Head Ref would get on the phone to HQ and give you a red card pretty quickly after that. Furthermore, I would make the argument that a robot designed with that strategy in mind would be violating a number of other rules. The key here is that it's part of your team's strategy and game play, not a robot accidentally tipping over. G07, as your bumpers would no longer be in compliance when in that configuration. G05 as you would be in an illegal playing configuration (For a historical note, look up flop-bots from ~15 years ago - robots designed to start the match in one orientation, then fall down to play in a different orientation).

Such a strategy would not help you win an event.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 11:01 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
Once you've had your ten second grace period, there's nothing stopping the other alliance from using any means necessary to get you out of their way.
This 10 second grace period is also only available for robots that are trying to right themselves.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 11:02 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
Once you've had your ten second grace period, there's nothing stopping the other alliance from using any means necessary to get you out of their way.
I thought about this, but G13 is really a special protection for tipped robots. Not even bumper-to-bumper contact with a tipped robot (<10 seconds) is allowed, so I think that's the only protection that goes away after 10 seconds.


Instead, I think the core rules problem is with R24 (bumper zone). If tipped-over is an intended configuration of your robot, then your bumpers need to be within the bumper zone when your robot is in that configuration.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 11:06 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basel A View Post
Instead, I think the core rules problem is with R24 (bumper zone). If tipped-over is an intended configuration of your robot, then your bumpers need to be within the bumper zone when your robot is in that configuration.
To elaborate, I believe a combination of R24 and G05 make this strategy illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R24
BUMPERS must be located entirely within the BUMPER ZONE, which is the volume contained
between the floor and a virtual horizontal plane 7½ in. (~19 cm) above the floor in reference to
the ROBOT standing normally on a flat floor. BUMPERS do not have to be parallel to the floor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by G05
Don’t overextend yourself. ROBOTS may not extend more than 16 in (41 cm). beyond their
FRAME PERIMETER (see Figure 8-1). This rule doesn’t apply to a ROBOT fully within its
PLATFORM ZONE during the ENDGAME.
Violation: FOUL. If strategic, (e.g. expansion results in scoring a POWER CUBE), RED CARD.
Edit: Maybe R01 too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by R01
The ROBOT (excluding BUMPERS) must have a FRAME PERIMETER, contained within the
BUMPER ZONE, that is comprised of fixed, non-articulated structural elements of the ROBOT.
Minor protrusions no greater than ¼ in. (~6.3 mm) such as bolt heads, fastener ends, weld
beads, and rivets are not considered part of the FRAME PERIMETER.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 11:14 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

Unambiguously illegal.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 11:20 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

I can't tell if you are trolling or not. Nice try.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 11:25 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

Quote:
Originally Posted by notmattlythgoe View Post
G10. Don’t tear others down to lift yourself up. Strategies aimed at the destruction or inhibition of ROBOTS via attachment, damage, tipping, or entanglements are not allowed.

This could probably be called. Doesn't say you have to be tipping the other robot.
Hmm...? A loophole within the loophole? FIRST likely intended this as tipping other robots. However it, combined with C07 is probably what holds this robot back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
Once you've had your ten second grace period, there's nothing stopping the other alliance from using any means necessary to get you out of their way.
Except that they would be encroaching on the vertical extension of your frame perimeter according to G11. This would probably go to a decision at the referee's discretion on C07.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Stratis View Post
You might get away with it for the first match. But seeing it was an intentional strategy, I would bet the Head Ref would get on the phone to HQ and give you a red card pretty quickly after that. Furthermore, I would make the argument that a robot designed with that strategy in mind would be violating a number of other rules. The key here is that it's part of your team's strategy and game play, not a robot accidentally tipping over. G07, as your bumpers would no longer be in compliance when in that configuration. G05 as you would be in an illegal playing configuration (For a historical note, look up flop-bots from ~15 years ago - robots designed to start the match in one orientation, then fall down to play in a different orientation).

Such a strategy would not help you win an event.
I agree. The downfall of this bot would be a quick rule change. However you do get one match of glory for $15,000. I don't see anything in G05 about playing configurations. It's possible the rules have been rewritten over 15 years. Extensions are based on your robots starting configuration. I also don't see how this would violate G07.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene Fang View Post
To elaborate, I believe a combination of R24 and G05 make this strategy illegal.





Edit: Maybe R01 too.
R24 states that the bumper zone is defined based on a virtual plane parallel to the robots frame perimeter. If the robot tips over, accidentally or intentionally, its bumper zone tips with it. G05 doesn't apply to height extensions as the frame perimeter exists only on the x-y plane.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 11:59 AM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

You need to look at this situation from what certainly would be FIRST's point of view. We have one robot that is *preventing* other teams from playing the game.

Even if they had to rules-lawyer something afterwards, your bot would be deemed illegal after one match. Perhaps even during inspection if you shared your intent. They would not let a strategy like this ruin the game play for numerous other teams. It's risk management. Prevent one team from playing, or prevent dozens. Easy choice.

Always remember that when looking at something like this. FIRST reserves the right to basically do whatever they want. It's not fair, but there it is. They might couch it in rules speak to appear to be following the spirit of the game, but either way you'd get thrown out.
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Unread 11-05-2018, 12:07 PM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

If ONLY someone had been crazy enough to try something like this in the past...
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Unread 11-05-2018, 12:08 PM
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Re: The Robot That Could Have Broken FIRST

If you really have to build a 27 foot tall illegal game-breaking robot, can you make this one instead please: https://xkcd.com/689/
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