<R17> In order to help reduce the impact forces that the robot will experience during collisions with other robots,
teams may add external “bumpers” to the robot. If used, bumpers must satisfy the following constraints:
• Bumpers may extend outside the normal robot starting dimensions (in the horizontal plane) up to 4.”
• Bumpers must be located in a region from 2” to 8” above the playing field surface.
• Bumpers must not cause the weight of the robot to exceed the weight limit.
• Bumpers must be removable in order to allow the robot starting size to be easily measured during robot inspection.
• Bumpers must remain attached to the robot for the duration of the match.
• Bumpers and any bumper mounts that extend beyond the robot starting size may not contain “hard” materials such as metal, wood, or hard plastics. The definition of “hard” is one of common sense, i.e., if you can punch it and not hurt your bare hand, it is ok.
• Adhesive-backed tape may not be used to fasten bumpers.
Two questions on this one:
- They say you need to have bumpers from 2" to 8". Can you have them to be more, say, from 1" to 10"?
- Would a 1/16 polycarbonate panel be allowed as a bumper? It flexes, so it isn’t exacly a “hard plastic”.
I would say no. It has to be from 2" to 8" for sure and using my teams bumper test from last year (If you hit it as hard a you could, would your hand hurt?) I would think polycarbonate would be to rigid.
Since bumpers are going to be included in the weight, and its only 1/16", I dont see why you’d even call it a bumper. Also, to consider something a bumper, I think they want it to be soft, even if it gives a little. Im pretty sure you could punch Polycarb and it would leave your hand not feeling too great
What if the bumpers are a “hard” material but is covered with a soft material?
On the bumper rules:
2. A protective device for absorbing shocks or impeding contact.
Rule: Bumpers must be located in a region from 2” to 8” above the playing field surface.
Question: What about 1" to 10"?
Answer: No, you become outside of the 2"-8" boundry intended by the rule.
Rule: … The definition of “hard” is one of common sense, i.e., if you can punch it and not hurt your bare hand, it is ok.
Question: Would a 1/16 polycarbonate panel be allowed as a bumper?
Answer: When properly mounted, punching a 1/16" poly carb piece will hurt your hand when punching it.
This rule is INTENDED to allow people to have a soft foam-like material for TAKING a hit without a high impact load on both robots.
Bumpers and any bumper mounts that extend beyond the robot starting size may not contain “hard” materials such as metal, wood, or hard plastics.
That should answer your question. if it doesn’t, the answer is no.
It sounds like you are trying to make additions to your robot using the space intended for bumpers. Let’s just remember to look at “the spirit of the rule.” More often than not, you can answer your own question by following “the spirit of the rule.”
Bumpers should be a foam material, like a bike seat or something along those lines, that should be easily romoveable. You could velcroe them to avoid hard materials and have it easily removable.
Team 384 (Tucker Tigers with Sparky) tried this a year or two ago (making bumpers out of curved 1/16" lexan), and I believe the final official ruling from a FIRST referee was that it was not legal.
Just keep in mind, the bumpers- ie: everything outside the competition size restrictions must be:
- “punchable” ie: punch it as hard as you can anywhere, and not feel pain.
- removable ie: easily removable, because you will have to remove them duing inspection for the inspectors to check the bot’s actual size.
- serve no function other than absorbing shocks abd bumps
my suggestion: pool noodles with velcro
A lot of team use the pool noodle design - it works well, and it’s easily replaceable and cheap (so you can go through a lot of them without selling a kidney)