My question is fairly simple (I hope); if building a robot with trimmed corners, does the requirement of having at least 8" of bumper at each exterior corner require each side of the robot to be at least 16" (or 8" if the corners can overlap), or is it acceptable for sides to be less if the bumper covers the entire surface.
From a logical standpoint, 100% bumper coverage on a surface achieves the spirit of the R22; however from a legalistic standpoint, I could see an argument being made that this rule also sets a minimum length for each side of the bot.
If there is one bumper on each side, then each side needs to be a minimum of 8". If you want to have a gap between bumpers on a single side, that is, have two bumpers on that side, then that side would need to be more than 16" to fit the two bumpers, plus the gap (I assume the only reason you want two bumpers with a gap between them, is so you can have some mechanism poke out of it)
This question seems a little related to this thread:
In particular, look at Al’s post:
Personally, I can see this going either way. As you and Al said, having bumpers completely surrounding the robot really does meet the intent of the rules. However, it all comes down to how a bumper segment is defined - does a segment end at a corner, meaning for 8" of protection you need an 8" straight piece of wood with pool noodles and fabric? Or can a segment wrap around a convex protrusion of the frame perimeter, continuing on past it?
I would recommend asking your question on the Q&A when it opens today, assuming this is a design direction you’re aiming for.
A related question: How is the corner of the robot defined, for these purposes? For example, a lot of teams assemble the KitBot chassis with a 1"x1" gap in the corners - the C-channel doesn’t completely fill the corner from either side. Does this mean you technically have an octagonal robot, or does the intent of the design, being a 4-sided robot, allow you to have 4 straight bumpers with those small holes in the corners between the bumper backing material and the frame?
I do suggest that you ask this in the Q&A that opens today. The rules that I would point you to in the manual would be R22, which states:
ROBOTS are required to use BUMPERS to protect all outside corners of the FRAME PERIMETER. For adequate protection, at least 8 in. of BUMPERS must be placed on each side of the outside corner (see Figure 4-2).
Specifically, Figure 4.2 has a hexagonal robot shown in the top right and it specifically points to a BUMPER Assembly stating that the bumper has to be greater than 8 inches of coverage. Based off of this rule, I would say that the smallest size a robot can be this year would be an 8x8x8 equilateral triangle.