Blocking your own trailer

I know there was a previous thread on it, but no consensus seemed to be reached and that topic was getting way… off topic.

It seems to be this is a hugely viable strategy, and I don’t want to end up wasting a week designing for it, for it to then become illegal.

Is the general consensus if you find a way to stay within the size limitations, you can cover up your own trailer?

=/

I’d be shocked if the game designers don’t eventually say that physically covering your goal is illegal. Even if there were a hole in the rules that may allow it, I think they would call you for a violation of the spirit of the rules.

Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if some rule to that effect is introduced today or tomorrow, but what in the rules as they stand now makes you think that the “spirit of the rules” bars you from covering your goal?

Although the rules might allow it…would we really want games with all the trailers covered and robots just driving around without being able to score anything?

I’m guessing they’ll clarify in the near future though.

Rules state you cannot go out of the dimensions of your robot, therefore not allowing you to cover up your robot.

Yes, that is true but some teams are thinking about retracting the trailer inside their robot and then covering the top or covering it somehow or just retracting it in so it is harder to see

Actually,

<R16>
Once the MATCH has started, the ROBOT may assume a PLAYING CONFIGURATION that is different from the STARTING CONFIGURATION. The ROBOT must be designed such that the PLAYING CONFIGURATION of the ROBOT shall not exceed the dimensions specified in Rule <R11>.

This would imply that if your total robot stayed within the maximum size, then you could have some extension (that might be a cover).

(note - not saying it is legal or in the spirit, just listing what the rule says)

These are questions that should not be lumped together. I’ll start a list of questions that might be asked in the Q&A. Feel free to modify them and add new ones to the list.

  1. If a robot is built with, say, a 24x24 footprint, is it allowed to expand beyond that to the max 28x38 footprint dimensions?

  2. If #1 is permissible, can the 28x38 max footprint of the robot overlap with that of a trailer, self-towed or otherwise?

  3. If #2 is permissible, are teams allowed to erect a cover/diverter above the portion of a self-towed trailer which overlaps the 28x38 max footprint?

  4. If #2 is permissible, are teams allowed to employ descoring mechanisms to extract game pieces from trailers? [My “gut feeling” says this will not be allowed.]

  5. If #2 is permissible, excluding the obvious exception of the trailer hitch point, may a robot contact any part of a trailer other than its bumpers?

  6. Can the 38" dimension be the “wide” dimension of the robot? *

Until the opening of the Q&A on Wednesday or the release of a Team Update, further speculation is pointless, and a consensus opinion is meaningless.*

hmm … retract the trailer?

Can you think of a way to do that without violating <R18>D. and R<18>E. ? Look carefully at Fig. 8-6 and consider the restrictions that <R18> places on how the robot is permitted to constrain the trailer’s motion.

[edit]see also: Nate’s analysis of the fixed trailer hitch location requirement <R18>B.[/edit]

If you do think of a way, it would be smart to post a question for the GDC using the official Q&A on the FIRST forum, to make sure your idea doesn’t violate a rule. It would be a shame to base your team’s robot design on an assumption that turns out to be incorrect.

[quote=“Travis Hoffman,post:8,topic:92597”]
These are questions that should not be lumped together. I’ll start a list of questions that might be asked in the Q&A. Feel free to modify them and add new ones to the list.

  1. If a robot is built with, say, a 24x24 footprint, is it allowed to expand beyond that to the max 28x38 footprint dimensions?

  2. If #1 is permissible, can the 28x38 max footprint of the robot overlap with that of a trailer, self-towed or otherwise?

  3. If #2 is permissible, are teams allowed to erect a cover/diverter above the portion of a self-towed trailer which overlaps the 28x38 max footprint?

  4. If #2 is permissible, are teams allowed to employ descoring mechanisms to extract game pieces from trailers? [My “gut feeling” says this will not be allowed.]

  5. If #2 is permissible, excluding the obvious exception of the trailer hitch point, may a robot contact any part of a trailer other than its bumpers?

  6. Can the 38" dimension be the “wide” dimension of the robot? *

Until the opening of the Q&A on Wednesday or the release of a Team Update, further speculation is pointless, and a consensus opinion is meaningless.*
#1=Yes.

Nos. 2-4 are, in my opinion, currently legal. I would not be surprised if some of them are not by tomorrow, though.

#5=Yes.

#6 has always been legal, and there is nothing in the rules that leads me to believe anything has changed this year.[/quote]

I agree with Richard. R18E will seriously restrict any trailer enclosure strategy.

If you guys think that the GDC didn’t think of the idea of covering the trailer prevent scoring then you don’t know them very well. I think they wrote the rules to make it almost impossible to do so they will not issue any new rule preventing it. If a team comes up with a viable way of doing it within the rules I think the whole GDC will congratulate them.

in response to the robot width being the 38" direction - I believe this is totally legal but it does state in the rules that the trailer will be attached to the SHORT side of the robot. so, if the robot design had the wide sides in the front and back, then the trailer would be sliding along beside it on the left or right.

I don’t think there’s anything that says that in rule <R18>, the rule regarding the trailer hitch. It just has to be somewhere on the outside of the robot. Is there somewhere else I’m not looking?

I did not see that in the manual… see below

<R18>

D. The Trailer Hitch must be located on an outer edge of the ROBOT structure such that it may easily connect with the tongue of the TRAILER (attached to the TRAILER).

please quote this rule?

I didnt see this in the rules. You may have made a mistake while reading
<R18>BThe Trailer Hitch must be rigidly attached to a fixed location on the ROBOT, with the long dimension of the Trailer Hitch horizontal and the opening of the C-channel facing away from the ROBOT. The horizontal center line of the Trailer Hitch must be 2-13/16 inches above the floor.

My team while brainstorming thought of a blower such as a low amp leaf blower that could b angled to blow moon rocks away from the trailer. we decided against one because it would use like all of our battery second because its prolly gunna b outlawed

Could you quote this rule? Thanks.

I don’t think it will be outlawed, but it probably would consume a lot of battery power.

(Originally Posted by JHSmentor) in response to the robot width being the 38" direction - I believe this is totally legal but it does state in the rules that the trailer will be attached to the SHORT side of the robot. so, if the robot design had the wide sides in the front and back, then the trailer would be sliding along beside it on the left or right.

I don’t think this is a rule at all. If it is i know i missed it.

Okay - I am trying to find the actual location where we (both my wife and I) read this - but I cannot find it!!!

I am so sorry if this is not the case. I was not intentionally trying to mess everyone up. We actually were thinking of rotating our robot so the front was wide but after reading this “rule” decided that was not an option.

we have a printed version of the rules that we printed out on the first day - could this have changed on the web site since? I would think that any change would have to be sent out as a notification to all teams.