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Rule M14

Posted by Joe Johnson.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

Posted on 1/9/2000 7:20 PM MST



General Question For the Peanut Gallery:

What do you make of rule M14 (page 16 The Robot Appendix)?

Taken literally, this rule implies that at some point in time (perhaps at check in perhaps at inspection at you first competion, perhaps at the time you put your robot in the box), your robot is FROZEN -- no improvements at all can be made.

I know that some folks out there are saying, yes that is exactly what FIRST was ment to be, but I urge you all to read on.

Consider this. Suppose I have an aluminum part that I discover breaks every third match, but sadly, I discover this fact after the magic moment discussed above.

According to rule M14:

'...FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL replacement parts are allowed. FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL implies a part that is of THE SAME GEOMETRY, MATERIALS, ETC. AND NOT AN IMPROVED DESIGN.'

This rule seems to forbid doing anything to that part except replace it when it breaks! It seems to forbid something so easy as re-making the part out of steel for example.

Am I missing something?

Let's talk this one out a bit.

Joe J


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I'm with you.

Posted by Daniel.

Coach on team #483, BORG, from Berkeley High School and NASA Ames & UC Berkeley.

Posted on 1/9/2000 7:58 PM MST


In Reply to: Rule M14 posted by Joe Johnson on 1/9/2000 7:20 PM MST:



I am.

However, I don't know that it will be much of an issue. I've been very happy with how graciously proffessional the people in FIRST are. They understand that people need to make changes to help their robot WORK in the heat of competition. I've never once seen a person order another team to be reinspected (though that's not to say it hasn't happened). I have a fealing this rule is a safety to prevent the dramatic. I think this rule is aimed mostly at teams who last year completely changed a part of their robot (while preserving the function), causing a dramatic improvement in performance between the regional and nationals.

Nobody here is mean enough to bust you for keeping your robot from breaking. You know us better than that. =)

-DL


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Re: Rule M14

Posted by Nate Smith.

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Ypsilanti HS/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 1/9/2000 8:12 PM MST


In Reply to: Rule M14 posted by Joe Johnson on 1/9/2000 7:20 PM MST:



I don't have my 1999 manual around to double-check this, but it seems like there was a rule similar to this last year, but it only applied to DURING the competition...even though it's out of team hands immediately after the event, I can't see where they'd have a problem with creating a part out of different materials between events in a situation such as the one you described...might be something to send in for a team update though...


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Re: Rule M14

Posted by Jerry Eckert.

Engineer from Looking for a team in Raleigh, NC sponsored by .

Posted on 1/10/2000 12:25 AM MST


In Reply to: Rule M14 posted by Joe Johnson on 1/9/2000 7:20 PM MST:



: General Question For the Peanut Gallery:

: What do you make of rule M14 (page 16 The Robot Appendix)?

: Taken literally, this rule implies that at some point in time (perhaps at check in perhaps at inspection at you first competion, perhaps at the time you put your robot in the box), your robot is FROZEN -- no improvements at all can be made.

My guess is that it means once it is put in the box. Freezing the design at any later
point would potentially give certain teams an advantage over others. For example, if
the freeze were at inspection at your first competition at team competing only at the
nationals would have longer to work on the parts than teams competing in the regionals.


: I know that some folks out there are saying, yes that is exactly what FIRST was ment to be, but I urge you all to read on.

This is the way I thought it was SUPPOSED to be all along.

: Consider this. Suppose I have an aluminum part that I discover breaks every third match, but sadly, I discover this fact after the magic moment discussed above.

: According to rule M14:

: '...FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL replacement parts are allowed. FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL implies a part that is of THE SAME GEOMETRY, MATERIALS, ETC. AND NOT AN IMPROVED DESIGN.'

: This rule seems to forbid doing anything to that part except replace it when it breaks! It seems to forbid something so easy as re-making the part out of steel for example.

: Am I missing something?

I agree with your interpretation of the rule.

I don't really see any difference between completely redesigning a part and making it
out of a different material. In either case the team is taking advantage of extra time
beyone the initial build period to alter their robot. IMHO, if completely redesigning
parts is prohibited then changing the composition of parts should also be prohibited.

That being said, I'm not so sure I agree with the rule prohibiting redesigns after a
competition. I realize there are concerns about teams gaining an 'unfair' advantage
based on the number of competitions they participate in.

One possible way to address this concern is by adjusting the first ship date
based on the number of competitons the team is registered for (i.e, for each
competition weekend a team does NOT compete they get to keep the robot
an extra 'n' days past the baseline ship date). Unfortunately, this becomes
more unwieldy as the number of teams and number of competition weekends
increases. It would probably be unowrkable even this year unless teams are
limited as to the number of regionals they participate in.

Another approach is to openly recognize that as long as teams are allowed to
compete in different numbers of contests some temas will always have an
advantage over others. Additional (re)design time can then just be considered
another aspect of that advantage.

Jerry


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Significant changes...

Posted by Joe Johnson.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

Posted on 1/10/2000 3:40 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Rule M14 posted by Jerry Eckert on 1/10/2000 12:25 AM MST:



I don't know about others and how they interpreted the rules, but it was always my understanding that changes made in the pits and after the competition up until the ship date were allowed.

Based on my conversations with Eric and others at FIRST, I am confident that my interpretation was not wholly mistaken.

As concerning prior years, I know that there are some wildly varying views on this subject and there is room for debate about the gray areas, BUT this year's rules are pretty black and white (once the time of this freeze is clarified).

I can live with the rules as they are I guess, but strictly applied, a LOT of robots are never going to be able to run effectively.

Is this what we/FIRST want and intend?

Joe J.


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Re: Significant changes...

Posted by Jerry Eckert.

Engineer from Looking for a team in Raleigh, NC sponsored by .

Posted on 1/11/2000 10:20 PM MST


In Reply to: Significant changes... posted by Joe Johnson on 1/10/2000 3:40 AM MST:



: I don't know about others and how they interpreted the rules, but it was always my understanding that changes made in the pits and after the competition up until the ship date were allowed.

: Based on my conversations with Eric and others at FIRST, I am confident that my interpretation was not wholly mistaken.

: As concerning prior years, I know that there are some wildly varying views on this subject and there is room for debate about the gray areas, BUT this year's rules are pretty black and white (once the time of this freeze is clarified).

: I can live with the rules as they are I guess, but strictly applied, a LOT of robots are never going to be able to run effectively.

: Is this what we/FIRST want and intend?



Per Team Update #1:

All fabrication must cease once the robot is shipped to the first event. You may bring raw material to the event and resume fabrication after check-in.


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Re: Significant changes... And clarification?

Posted by Raul.

Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.

Posted on 1/12/2000 6:53 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Significant changes... posted by Jerry Eckert on 1/11/2000 10:20 PM MST:




: Per Team Update #1:

: All fabrication must cease once the robot is shipped to the first event. You may bring raw material to the event and resume fabrication after check-in.

1) You can also bring replacement parts that were fabricated before you shipped.

2) As written, I would interpret it that you can also have fabrication start back at home for improved parts. These could either be brought/shipped to the competition in progress or installed at the next competition since they were fabricated before you shipped once again. Does this sound correct?

Raul


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Re: Significant changes... And clarification?

Posted by Jerry Eckert.

Engineer from Looking for a team in Raleigh, NC sponsored by .

Posted on 1/12/2000 8:02 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Significant changes... And clarification? posted by Raul on 1/12/2000 6:53 AM MST:



:
: : Per Team Update #1:

: : All fabrication must cease once the robot is shipped to the first event. You may bring raw material to the event and resume fabrication after check-in.

: 1) You can also bring replacement parts that were fabricated before you shipped.

: 2) As written, I would interpret it that you can also have fabrication start back at home for improved parts. These could either be brought/shipped to the competition in progress

So far I believe you are in compliance with the new rules.

: or installed at the next competition since they were fabricated before you shipped once again. Does this sound correct?

I interpret your question as asking if the parts can be fabricated somewhere other than the competition site during the course of the competition.

The way I read rule M20, it requires any fabrication after the first robot ship to occur on-site at a competition:

'Off-the-shelf materials may be purchased **and brought to the event site.**
Fabrication may resume once you have checked in at an event site on Thursday.'

However, it may just be that FIRST never considered the situation you are asking about.


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Re: Rule M14

Posted by Jerry Eckert.

Engineer from Looking for a team in Raleigh, NC sponsored by .

Posted on 1/10/2000 3:08 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Rule M14 posted by Jerry Eckert on 1/10/2000 12:25 AM MST:



: : General Question For the Peanut Gallery:

: : What do you make of rule M14 (page 16 The Robot Appendix)?

: : Taken literally, this rule implies that at some point in time (perhaps at check in perhaps at inspection at you first competion, perhaps at the time you put your robot in the box), your robot is FROZEN -- no improvements at all can be made.

: My guess is that it means once it is put in the box. Freezing the design at any later
: point would potentially give certain teams an advantage over others. For example, if
: the freeze were at inspection at your first competition at team competing only at the
: nationals would have longer to work on the parts than teams competing in the regionals.


I asked Eric for an interpretation of rule M14. He said it is being rewritten with 'a different intent'. The revised rule should be in Update #1.

Jerry



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Re: Rule M14

Posted by Allen Smith.

Engineer on team #7, Knights, from Parkville High School and Black & Decker/AAI/Raytheon.

Posted on 1/10/2000 1:52 AM MST


In Reply to: Rule M14 posted by Joe Johnson on 1/9/2000 7:20 PM MST:



The way I interpret the the rule, if improvements are made then the robot will have to be re-inspaected. Rule M4 anticipates this, 'If a team wishes to have their robot re-inspected to insure rule compliance, they may ask FIRST officials to do so.' If you changed a part from aluminum to steel, of course you would still need to meet the 130lb. weight limit.
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Rule M14 - What if..

Posted by Raul.

Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.

Posted on 1/10/2000 6:18 AM MST


In Reply to: Rule M14 posted by Joe Johnson on 1/9/2000 7:20 PM MST:




: According to rule M14:

: '...FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL replacement parts are allowed. FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL implies a part that is of THE SAME GEOMETRY, MATERIALS, ETC. AND NOT AN IMPROVED DESIGN.'

: This rule seems to forbid doing anything to that part except replace it when it breaks! It seems to forbid something so easy as re-making the part out of steel for example.

OK, so this interpretation cannot be correct! If so, then if you are overweight, you cannot change your design to meet the weight limit. If you have illegal wheels that damage the carpet, you cannot change them to make them legal. If you used an illegal part or used a part in an illeagal way you cannot change it.

If that is true then many teams will go home without competing!

So, how about if they change it to allow changes only if you don't meet your weight or some other criteria of the rules? Then those who are illegal have an advantage - they can change their design and others cannot.
One would be compelled to be over-weight so they can modify their robot to 'make it legal'.

The only interpretation that makes sense is to allow any changes at the competition before passing inspection only and/or before seeding matches begin (changes during practice rounds should be allowed - you may need to be re-inspected).

I like the old interpretation (I also spoke to Eric to get clarification in the past), you can make changes while the robot was in your hands. You could not make changes after you were inspected until you were done competing. This is the only way it makes sense. And because of the new shipping rules, that time is limit.

One more thing - what is engineering and science all about? It is about learning about technology and using that knowledge to improve things. It is no fun to compete in a regional and lose badly and have no hope of doing better in the nationals!

I've said enough for now.

Raul


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