Are these bumpers legal?

Would this bumper layout be legal? We were pretty sure they were compliant with the rules, but we got in trouble for a similar design a few years ago, and the rules were pretty vague on the topic.

yes it should be as long as it goes out 6 inches from each corner

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They are legal as long as they have 6" of backing and cover 6" on every corner.

I would warn against corner only bumpers if you can help it. I’ve seen teams have so many more problems with these than continuous bumpers that have cutouts for the intake.

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We used that exact set up twice as defined above. We never had a problem with that style, that being said lately we have done full bumpers.

Yes you can have an opening in the frame. Just be sure you’re reading R17 carefully; pay attention to the blue box, and Fig. 9-2. The inside edge of your bumper will need to be >6". That means the outside edge will be longer.



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What’s the difference between corner bumpers and continuous bumpers with a cutout for the intake?

Continuous would be the red line.

Corner bumpers can make it very easy for opponents to body you around the field.

What do you mean when you say “cutout for the intake”. I assumed you meant a gap in the bumpers for the intake. How is that different from “corner bumpers”.

filling in the gaps on the top, left and bottom of your drawing with a gap on the right for your intake

Corner bumpers as shown above would leave you with unnecessary space in between the bumpers.
A full continuous would cover up those unnecessary spacing and leave space for an intake. Which also means more protection.

The risk with this style is you can get hung up on another ROBOT, especially if they have similar style BUMPERS, as the effectively interlock. Plus you have less protection for your ROBOT. We also are a big fan of full wrap around BUMPERS and mostly over the BUMPER mechanisms.

If there’s no reason for a gap (for an intake or other mechanism), it’s best not to have one, for two big reasons.

  1. Gaps leave a perimeter feature (the concave corner formed by the bumper and the frame) that defenders can use to push you around.
  2. Bumpers provide some significant strength, impact resistance, and protection to your robot. Impacts within a gap have a greater potential to bend your frame and interfere with your drive trains.