Are your Bumpers Falling Off in a Match? Watch how to make the most of it! (G103) [FIN]

I was reviewing Indiana Championship playoff matches and caught something very cool (at least to me) that I had missed before. If a robot’s bumpers are unsecured or falling off, G103 will likely be invoked.

G103 *Keep your BUMPERS low. BUMPERS must be in the BUMPER ZONE (see R402) during the
Violation: FOUL. If REPEATED or greater than MOMENTARY, DISABLED.

What I haven’t realized before is that a DISABLED robot is not DISQUALIFIED and can still earn points. Watch the expert situational awareness (and a little luck) from 5010 Tiger Dynasty in Playoff Match 10.

At 45 seconds left, Tiger Dynasty clips the charge station and dislodges their BUMPERS, putting them out of the BUMPER ZONE. The announcer spots it first and calls it out while they score their game piece.

At 30 seconds left, this is recognized by the Head Ref and a FOUL is issued. The Head Ref then instructs 5010 to be disabled, perfectly in line with G103.

In this same moment, 5010 changes course and heads for the charge station. We can see in the top-right camera feed precisely at 25 seconds left their drivers station light changes to indicate orange DISABLED and their robot is still on the floor, but it’s not over yet!

There’s a documented latency [Edit: citation from @Lucs100 below] of up to 1-2 seconds between FMS instructing the Driver Station to change robot state and the robot state actually changing. 5010 uses this grace period to its fullest potential. They leap onto the station and X-lock their swerve, right as their RSLs go solid indicating DISABLED.

Now that 5010 is an expertly placed brick, their teammates can take their time and complete the triple balance. The match ends in a 161-to-161 tie. Precisely per the rules, the tie is correctly broken in favor of the RED alliance on, you guessed it, charge station points! 5010, 7617, 7657 would go on to win and punch their tickets to Houston.

You guys did awesome at state, go get 'em at the championship next week and make Indiana proud!


I want to know if they knew they were getting disabled or they thought endgame time to climb

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They knew and were watching the Head Ref, our driver made the split second decision to get situated for the balance. That was a great move!


Our driver 100% saw the jig was up and tried to make it on the charge station. When I asked after the match he said he didn’t have time to x-pose the wheels either, so it’s very possible some stroke of luck with the wheel orientation occurred to keep us on the charge station.

After this match we basically perma-mounted the bumpers, they aren’t popping off again unless we want them to. Here’s a great view of them popping on the Indiana Sports ISC Feed, those charge stations come out of nowhere I tell ya - LIVE FIRST Indiana Robotics State Championship (Day 2) on ISC! - YouTube

My other favorite moment was when we missed a mid cube in Playoff 13, which we don’t miss too often. Instead of panicking and running to get another cycle, our drive team figured it was better to try and fish it out of the floor goal. Somehow we managed to do that and score it on the mid while our partners came in to complete a link and add one more game piece, eventually giving us a 1 point victory and punching our ticket to the finals.

I think my blood pressure is still high from last weekend.


Look what 3357 did in qual 51 when their teammate gets disabled for the bumper cover coming off


Comets just different. Can’t wait to check out that robot at worlds!


Never heard of this before. I’d guess it’s the human delay of the scorekeeper having to understand the instruction from the head ref and find the button on the FMS to disable the right team.

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There was a delay last year at MSC when we had part of our frame holding the bumper on ripped off with the bumper still attached. I think that delay was more so we were turning when it happened so the side that was off was facing away from the ref, he could see the bumper but couldn’t tell what bot it went to

It has to be the scorekeeper delay. I’ve disabled dozens of robots for bumper violations and they stop immediately after I click the button on the FMS. Well, within a few milliseconds.

When the head ref turns around and shouts “Disable WXYZ!” it takes a moment to identify them on the screen, verify it’s not WXZY, and click the disable button.

If there are any head refs (or FTAs) reading, it’s actually quite helpful to have a heads up if you see the bumpers coming loose. “Be ready to disable WXYZ! But not yet!” was what the ref said in I think it was Minneapolis this year.

I’ve read it on CD before, but can’t place where or how long ago (hence needing citation :grin:) But I’m not convinced it was all scorekeeper delay (which would be totally fine IMO).

In the top-right video feed with 25 seconds left, you can see the Driver Station tower light change from the red stack to orange disabled, but the robot does continue driving for about another second before the RSLs change state from flashing enabled to solid disabled. 5010 also has these cool RGB lights that change pattern with their robot state, and they also change to idle after this delay.

Edit: Or, is the orange disabled light controlled separately by the scorekeeper from the robot state itself? I’ve volunteered as a CSA, but never worked the field before.

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definitely was not scorekeeper delay, the orange light is controlled by FMS telling the robot to e-stop.


That’s what I have always assumed (and would have been surprised to learn otherwise), but didn’t know for sure.

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I would have thought that the robot becomes disabled immediately, but do I understand correctly that the disable robot button is also what changes the driver station indicator light to solid orange through FMS?

How can the driver station light changing to disabled about a second before the robot itself be influenced by the scorekeeper?

I’ve just assumed that the FMS game state command packets must have a lower priority on the wireless network than the team control command packets (maybe something to do with the VLAN configuration?) So the robot doesn’t know it’s supposed to be disabled until it gets this delayed instruction from the FMS.

Not that it’s a big deal; it just means all the teams on the field can sometimes drive a little past the arena timer showing zero.

There’s been a bit of investigation into this - FMS consistently gives the drivers about 0.3 - 0.4 seconds of control after the timer hits 0 in any control phase before actually disabling robots.


The wheel positions for rotating in place are almost as good at locking the drivetrain as x-position. Maybe the driver made a small adjustment to the heading of the robot right before it was disabled and the wheels were in that position?

I’d say you’re right

Screenshot 2023-04-13 160844

Good thing that bumper was lifted out of the way so we could see :rofl:

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I just watched that about a dozen times at quarter speed, and the time between the estop light illuminating at the driver’s station and the robot’s RSL going solid and the arm starting to drop from being disabled is on the order of 200 milliseconds.

Yep - AKA we got real lucky lol.

Oooo, good idea. I didn’t think to watch it back at 0.25 speed. I agree with you on the video from Michigan that @Thor5090 posted, but I was referring to the video here from the original post. Sorry for the confusion.

The RSL flashes twice after the driver station shows disabled. I’m clocking about 5.25 seconds on my stopwatch when watching at 1/4 speed, which should be about 1.3 seconds. But, for the other 5 robots at the very end of the same match, I looks just like the Michigan one where its no more than a 1/4 second delay.

Maybe it’s because nobody’s moving at the end of the match, so there isn’t as much radio traffic as opposed to when 5010 gets disabled earlier?

Hey, I was the driver for team 5010 in this match. Here is my thinking of when I was driving that robot.
I hit the bumpers on the charge station, they came off a bit, but I looked at the refs and saw no one noticed, so I proceeded as normal with a bit more focus on the refs. Once we placed the piece, we proceeded to go for another piece. In the middle of the field I noticed the head ref look at our robot and foul us. After a small bit of panic, I remembered how we got disabled in a practice match for the same reason and decided that if we couldn’t play the rest of the match, then might as well still be as useful as possible, so I went on the charge station to balance right as we got disabled. Looking back on it, if the same situation didn’t happen in that practice match earlier, I probably would have not did what I did that match.