Bag & Tag: What were the best practices?

Just wondering what the best practices & pitfalls were for Bag & Tag. What worked & what was problematic last year? If there is already a thread on this, please direct me to it.

Remove the bumpers from the robot prior to bagging and bag them separately. If the bumpers are still on it becomes difficult to navigate doorways and such. Bagging the bumpers detached, but with the robot, just adds complexity as they shift around.

For the 2009, there were unlimited times you could open the bag, but the bag could only be open for 8 hrs during the week of a district event. For 2010, it was minimized to 6 hours with a minimum of a 2 hour block. planning an prioritizing “un-bag” time became a very important aspect to the bag and tag process (if you need to make repairs or improvements). This was a very interesting learning opportunity. Have a planned schedule, and have a timer of some sort set to intervals.

Many teams forget/lose track of their paperwork. There just is not enough emphasis put on the log for bag and tag. However, it becomes more complicated for the teams that don’t expect to go on to Champs, have gone through a difficult weekend at a district event and the bag and tag becomes a last minute item for the team and event LRI.

We bagged the bot and put it on a small hand cart.

It can be tricky to maneuver the bot by hand when it’s in the bag…tough to get a hand hold sometimes.

the bag is very slick and if you robot is to maximum dimensions it is even harder to grab on to. Take the off any side plates that might be on I would the robot so you can get a better grip if you can’t reach under your robot in the bag. cover any “sharp” edges (points or other small ended structure) that may cut into the bag. Pool noodles work great for that. Keep the bumpers off. It is really bad when you are on your way to competition but can’t get your robot out of the build room because the bumpers are on and you are too big for the door. When putting the robot in the bag open it all the way and fold/roll down the sides. then pick up the robot and set it on top of the bag and roll the sides up. It makes it much easier when your robot is really tall and need to use the whole bag. Take all your tools and batteries off the robot so you can put them away and charge them. this also allows you to weigh the robot while it is the bag so you can see what you have to do in you un-bagging time. I like the bag and tag system. The only big problem is what to transport it in. I transported it last year in the back of my Ford Explorer but if no one has a big car to put it in there might be a small problem.

Please note: Unbagging only applied to Friday-Saturday Michigan District events. If your bag-n-tag event includes a Thursday practice day you do not get the 8 hour un-bag allowance.

As a Michigan team, we’ve been dealing with bagging for 2 years, and the truth is, it’s easier to bag it than to put it in the crate. Just remember:
A) place bag on floor, robot on top of bag. Have at least 2 people lift the bag walls.
B) remove bumpers. These make bagging more difficult. If your robot has an enclosed inner space, such as many Lunacy robots, the bumpers may fit inside.
C) Try to avoid cuts and snags on the bag as it is lifted.
D) When transporting, lift by the robot, not by the bag.

Don’t forget to remove the battery from the robot prior to bagging. It makes the robot lighter and you charge the battery a lot easier.

If I remember correctly, a certain Canadian team learned to not stuff too much into their bag. They had a lot of trouble getting through the door way at one of the competitions.

And… If I also remember correctly, they owe me a t-shirt for helping.

We actually put our robot on a board that had two 2x4s on the bottom, which kept the board off the ground. The board had four holes cut in it to act as handles, this made it easier to lift the bagged robot. The only down side was that we had to be careful not to rip the bag on the board.

That’s what we did as well for transporting it, but when the robot didn’t need to be anywhere, it remained off the cart and on one of our shelves (we didn’t have the space, and needed the cart for our “dummy bot”)
. It makes getting the robot between the trailer and the pit a lot easier.

Team 525 built a pallet that fit to the bottom of the robot with four 1/4" screws. We placed the pallet on the floor with the 4 screws sticking up, set the bag in place, poked the 4 screws through the bottom of the bag, rolled down the bag, placed and bolted the robot onto the pallet, rolled up the bag and sealed it.

This leaves the pallet outside the bag for easy handling and securing the robot inside the shipping crate when we needed to ship it to the second regional which was a non-bag event.

Just launched in the NEMO resources.

**Bag and Tag Tips. **
Thanks to all who contributed!