Are Both Starting Footprint Orientations Legal?

I have a question about this year’s robot dimentions.
The rules indicate that the robot should be 96.52x71.12cm. So, can I build a robot that’s 96.52cm on the front and 71.12cm on the side? Or does it have to be 71.12 on the front and 96.52 on the side?

Either way, as long as you are talking about the Length and Width dimension which I am sure you are.

Some prefer to make a long narrow bot, while others prefer to make a wide short robot.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each. (Turning radii, Chain length to power wheels, etc. etc.)

Good luck!

The only thing to take into consideration is that your robot must start the match with its long direction pointing towards the center of the field. So if you did make a wide short bot, then it would be facing the side of the field at the start of the match.


Nvm, <G29> deals with Flop down robots… My bad

Can you provide the rule number and its text, please? It’s helpful to everyone to back up your statements with information directly from FIRST. Thanks.

I don’t remember reading that.

<G29> ROBOT orientation - ROBOTS must start the match with their long (maximum) dimension in a vertical orientation. After the start of the match, ROBOTS may change their orientation such that the long dimension is either vertical or horizontal. Refer to Rule <R37> in Section 8 to determine how this affects the use of bumpers.

There you go.


nvm, im reading rules wrong again, this means flop down >.<

My only caution to people considering a wide robot is to keep in mind that a wide robot may make it much more difficult to climb up onto a ramp robot for 30 points at the end of the match.

Matt B.

A great example which used to be legal, and now is not as you have stated was Team 19 in 2003.

They started standing up and to gain full width advantage, fell over and made their (starting) height (60") their width when driving.

It was a great strategy for a couple reasons, but there was always a safety hazard involved, and also a field damage issue.

This was outlawed in 2004/2005 I forget which.


The way I read it, the rules this year allow for robots that fall over at the start of the match.

It was outlawed last year due to (what I belive) nuemerous safety issues with shooters. But it has been reintroduced and G29 covers that.

I looked quickly through the handbook, and I thought I saw that rule but I wasn’t sure. So I’ve been looking through the Robot rules to find it. And now I know! It’s under the game rules!

Okay, so flop-bots are legal? I bet HOT is happy :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, what are we supposed to do about bumpers and flags should we decide to use a flop-bot? Does the flag start horizontal? And are flop-bots allowed to have bumpers?

Part of rule <R37>

STANDARD BUMPERS must remain within the BUMPER ZONE when the ROBOT is resting on the floor in PLAYING CONFIGURATION. They can not be articulated or moved outside of the BUMPER ZONE. The one exception to this is STANDARD BUMPERS may be within or below the BUMPER ZONE during the END GAME if the ROBOT is in its HOME ZONE (see Figure 8-3).

So the bumpers are now regulated in your playing configuration, not your starting configuration.

Why didn’t you read the rest of the rule while you were right there? It refers you to the bumper rule for how flop-bots can have bumpers. (Although there is very little specifically said.)

Can you provide a specific reference or document that shows that flop-down robots were “outlawed last year due to nuemerous safety issues with shooters”? I do not recall that that, or any other, specific reason was ever published. Do you know this for sure?

Making up information and hoping that others will accept it as fact helps neither you nor the person seeking knowledge. If you don’t KNOW the answer to a question, it is usually better to remain silent than to provide a made-up, incorrect answer. No information is better than bad information.



Yes I will say that the “due to numerous safety issues” was an addition on my part. But this is what I believe to be as the reason this happened. Also, I would provide an exact rule stating that flop downs were illegal last year if I could find a copy of last years manual.

Sorry for any confusion.

I found where in the rules last year where it stated no flop downs

<G17> ROBOT Orientation - ROBOTs must maintain their vertical orientation with respect to their starting position throughout the match. ROBOTs may not intentionally tip over onto one of their initially vertical sides and operate with this side parallel to the ground. “Flop-Down” robots will be disqualified.

found here:

Remeber this rule is from last year!!!