Are you taller standing up or lying down?

Well I’m the one who asked the question that generated the Team Update today, so I asked a follow-up question (since after the change in their answer I still don’t have an answer).

Q. Follow up to Q273 - is “tall” in the definition of Transport Configuration in R3 in relation to a horizontal plane, or is it the longest allowable dimension of the robot? I am 6’2" tall, if I lay on my side I am still 6’2" tall (and no, I am thankfully not also 6’2" wide). Your answer says that the orientation of the Transport configuration cannot be changed; orientation in relation to what?

Opinions? Basically we need to take an L shaped robot and fold one leg to the other in order to get it to fit into the transport configuration. The horizontal leg is the chassis and the vertical leg is the tote lift, we had planned to rotate the chassis up and attach it to the lift which we can still do. But it would be much easier (and much less likely to fall on someone) if we were to just drop the lift onto the chassis. It will still fit into the same envelope, but the tall side would be lying down. The rule doesn’t define tall - in past years “height” was defined relative to the floor, but while on a cart or being carried it’s not on the floor. If it’s a horizontal plane and you happen to tilt it while carrying it, are you in violation?

Good question! For transport inside the venue, ours will be tall standing up. For transport in my vehicle, it will be tall lying down. Figuring out how to switch it when it’s in the bag is the fun challenge.

Ours will be tallest standing up, with some momentarily detachable parts of our lift to get in and out of Transport Configuration.

What I might propose, depending on the latching mechanism and precise geometry, would be to drop the lift, and rock the bot onto its frame after doing so to get it into Transport configuration. Some strategically-placed handles may be in order…

From what I remember at LRI training, tall is meant to be measured vertically perpendicular to the floor. The idea being 78" long objects on a cart could be a problem turning in the pit areas and in queuing lines/boxes.

As Allen said, this was discussed at LRI Training, and the 78" dimension is supposed to be perpendicular to the floor while transporting your robot. That’s why the rule specifies a “height”. The robot can be 78" long and 42" tall when on the playing field, but then when moving around the venue it need to be propped up. To use an analogy, we might say that a niornal automobile is 5’ or 6’ tall and 12’ long. Those descriptions of the car don’t change if we stand it up on its bumper, but the car will then fit inside an envelop that is 12’ tall and 6’ long.

This issue with the transport configuration is going to be an interesting one at some venues. At Lake Superior, for example, there are nice tall ceilings everywhere and it should be easy to roll around tall robots. 10,000 Lakes, in the other hand, requires robots to travel through hallways, doors, and even a locker room to go back and forth. We counted 7 openings of 82" or less that are likely to cause problems for teams that didn’t think ahead.

Any less than 78"? I would hope not, but that could cause an interesting dilemma in some venues.

random internet picture:

I guess we are going to redesign our robot cart, to make it slightly like this.


Question answered:

A. Sorry for the continued confusion. “Tall” means in relation to a horizontal plane. Think of the TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION as a featureless box with no obvious top or bottom. Imagine setting this box on the floor. The side touching the floor becomes the bottom, the opposite face becomes the top. The distance between the top and bottom is how “tall” the box is, and it can’t exceed 78 in.

Hmmmm. If you consider T6:

The intent of T6 and the TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION is to make sure that the absence of footprint size restrictions for a ROBOT in the 2015 season does not result in large, unwieldy ROBOTS being pushed through crowded pits. ROBOT parts occasionally transported outside of the TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION will be overlooked, e.g. a battery, cable ties, Ethernet cords, etc.

What about large, unwieldy carts? I couldn’t find a rule against having a 78 inch long (or longer) cart being pushed through crowded pits.

Anyway, I’m bummed by the answer but thrilled that the GDC is taking time to explain decisions in the Q&A instead of “because we said so” in previous years, so I’ll stop pleading my case. I did, however, ask a related question:

Follow up to Q69 regarding rule G9, R3 allows the use additional aids such as bungee cords in order to meet the Transport Configuration size constraints. Are we allowed to bring these aids onto the field? If our additional aid is a 28 x 42 inch rigid frame as opposed to something flexible such as bungee cords, can we bring it onto the field so that we can meet the requirements of G9 and G10 while configuring to meet rule R3?

I haven’t measured them myself (I wasn’t part of the walk-through last month), but they should all be standard door height, which is 82". However, two of the doors are at the end of ramps, so when rolling a robot onto the ramp you’re likely not going to have a full 82" to work with, and it could be several inches less.

In situations like those, teams will have to do what they need to in order to get their robot through the door. As T6 says, “ROBOT parts occasionally transported outside of the TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION will be overlooked”… Having to tilt a robot to get through a doorway (and then returning upright before continuing on your way) would, in my mind, be an occasional exception to the transportation requirement that we would have to allow for teams that built to the absolute limit and have no other way to get through a specific doorway.

So to follow up on Gary Dillard’s Q&A, if the floor is not horizontal, does the TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION stay orthogonal to the horizon, even if the floor is not horizontal? That could cause a problem, not only for height, but also length/width. Remember with the old sizing boxes teams sometimes had problems fitting it in, because the robot was slightly out of square?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t make accommodations for tilting the robot when paths go up and down ramps or through short doors. I’m saying that this new Q&A requires another update to make it strictly legal.

Gary, the transport configuration will be measured at the inspection station in the pits, which should be approximately level (as close as the builders and environmental conditions allow). The wording in the Q&A allows robots that are legal at that point to go up and down ramps or sit on uneven surfaces without anyone crying foul - the transport configuration box will tilt with the robot in those situations, due to the wording of putting the bottom of the box on the floor. I think everyone would agree that the box stays square… Can you explain the problem you see with this in more detail?

I remember the sizing box being out of square…and it was a problem.

Hopefully the invisible sizing boxes we plan on using this year will not have that problem.

The answer to the Q&A said that tall was in relation to a horizontal plane. It didn’t say in relation to whatever angle the floor was.

Nitpicky, but I used to get paid for nitpicking the EPA regulations, so I guess it carries over. As we say in soccer, referees have to know what the Laws of the Game say before you can know how far you can bend them. In my mind, I can bend this answer far enough to not worry about an uneven floor.