I had an interesting thought about attaching helium balloons to our robot, and then detaching them in the middle of a match. The only rule I could find regarding the issue is G19:

G19 ROBOTS may not intentionally detach or leave parts on the FIELD.
Violation: RED CARD

However, the field is defined as:

a 26 ft. 7 in. by 54 ft. 1 in. carpeted area, bound by and including the inward-facing
surfaces of the GUARDRAILS and two (2) CASTLES

Which means that leaving things ABOVE the field doesn’t really count?

Could somebody please clarify?

Honestly, what people on here say probably won’t matter as much as to what your head ref says at the next event. even if everyone here says it is ok to do (I’m not because I don’t know), ask your head ref before you do it.

Even if it would be legal, would you take the risk of that part leaving the field, or touching the carpet and get a red card?

“Area” does not have a height limit.

What possible reason could you have for doing this?

Yeah but it does say

bound by and including the inward-facing
surfaces of the GUARDRAILS

And they’re only so tall.

Thanks to everyone who commented. It was just a thought I wanted to put out there.

Your robot weight goes up after you release the balloons. Re-inspection!

Just a thought–the refs might not have a problem, but I rather suspect that the inspectors would give you a tough time about the pressurized helium in the balloons. Now you’ve got a pneumatic system not filled by the compressor…

Not that teams haven’t joked about filling frames with helium before, you understand, but it’s a joke.

Every team using pneumatic wheels also has a pneumatic system not filled by the compressor.

Not necessarily. We can connect the compressor to the pneumatic wheels, with a regulator in the middle, and fill this “pneumatic system” with the compressor. This would save labor and be a bit more consistent than the bicycle pump we’ve been using.

Besides, looking through the rules, it seems that a helium balloon would have a hard time meeting the requirements of R75: “All pneumatic items must be COTS pneumatic devices rated by their manufacturers for working pressure of at least 120psi”
So this helium balloon would need to have a working pressure of 120psi.:rolleyes:

However those are specifically excluded from the pneumatic rules.

I don’t see any issue with the pneumatics rules, as the air pressure is not doing any works - it’s very much like the items under R77 blue box - more similar to an air filled wheel than a pneumatic storage tank. (My opinion; your inspector may rule otherwise.)

If you intentionally detach the balloon, even though it may not be “on the field”, it is still a part of your robot. Once it pokes more than 15 inches outside your frame perimeter, you could draw a foul or disablement under G18.

Is there any point to this? If so, you have to decide whether to put it to Q&A so you have a better idea what to expect, or keep the secret and take the risks of foul and disablement at the first event you try it.

Edit: Further on the non-pneumatic argument - many helium balloons these days do not actually have compressed air - the foil mylar type typically have MUCH lower pressure than you could push with your lungs, just a hair over ambient.

I am also curious about the purpose of the balloons. Celebration mid-match? Just for fun? :confused:

Screw these 10ft driver station poles, we’ve found the elusive “full field” webcam, suspended by balloons.

Hmm, a hanging mechanism possibly? Or maybe a strange way to score in the high goal!

Haha. Couldn’t one argue that it would be classified as a drone? That would then violate the admin manual. haha

why? just why?

If your aiming for lower weight, you could fill balloons with helium and pop them, so then just the gas leaves and not the balloon itself.

Maybe a variation on this strategy?

Keep G17 in mind as well (emphasis mine).

G17 ROBOT height, as measured when it’s resting normally on a flat floor, may not exceed 4 ft. 6 in.
during the MATCH, except during the final twenty (20) seconds of TELEOP where there is no height
limit when a ROBOT is fully contained by the opponent’s COURTYARD.
Violation: FOUL. If strategic, offending ROBOT will be DISABLED.