Bumper In-play Rules

I haven’t been able to find in the rules if teams are allowed to have parts of their robots in front of (i.e. directly blocking) the bumpers once the game has started.

Our concept involves a collapsible forklift rising and rotating into place in front of the robot once the game has started. Before the game starts nothing will be in front of the bumpers.

Is this completely disallowed, completely allowed, or allowed for a given amount of time?

The sections that your are interested in are those that define and outline the PLAYING CONFIGURATION as opposed to the STARTING CONFIGURATION. Also read several times the section 4-Robot, R07.

Would such a lift as I described be only limited to the 60" diameter constraint for playing configuration despite blocking the bumper?

It seems that this technically adheres to the rules, but I’m not sure because it would be directly negating the protection of my robot’s front bumper.

To clear things up, consider an “F” to be the robot frame, “B” to be the bumper, and “L” to be the lift. Below are side views:

Before play:

During play:

Yes, it would be limited to that diameter. Blocking the bumper would have nothing to do with it.

It is my understanding that your configuration would be legal. Team Update #1 has been issued and the dimension has been clarified as ”84” (213.4cm) diameter vertical right cylindrical volume.
The bumpers are part of the robot so as to minimize damage from robot to robot physical contact.
From R07…
BUMPERS have several advantages, such as reducing damage to ROBOTS when they contact other ROBOTS or ARENA elements, and being excluded from the calculation of ROBOT weight and volume constraints specified in Rule <R11>. The BUMPER location and design have been specified so that ROBOTS will make BUMPER-to-BUMPER contact during most collisions.
Please remember that all other sections of the rules apply to your design as well. when in doubt, please form your question on the Q&A when it opens.

I also think your idea would be legal.

As for losing the protection of your front bumper - no whining if your forklift gets mangled in every round! - perhaps driving with the “fork” a foot or more off the ground would allow bumper-to-bumper collisions? Just high enough so it doesn’t impale other robots.

Ummm… maybe forks IN the bumper zone would be better, 1 foot off the ground sounds like it will be right around all of the crucial components on some 'bots. At least if it hits the bumpers the plywood would probably stop it if the fabric& noodles don’t. I would say ~4 inches above the ground sounds better.

Consider refining your design so that during most of the game play your bumper will be the first thing to contact other robots. This will spare them, you, and the refs some grief.

It’s not that hard to come up with a design that gets around the problem of having to pick things up from over a bumper.