Bumper Rule

Do the bumpers have to surround the frame/base of the robot completly, or can there be a gap? My team has looked at the rules, and everyone interprets it slightly differently. Anyone know??

It has to cover 2/3, so you can have one side un-bumpered.

this is a good question as we were wondering the same thing.
perhaps others can provide more insight.
Where is the 2/3 rule?


There was another thread on it that actually called out the exact rule, I’m going to bed pretty soon here so I won’t look it up but I do remember reading it earlier today.

<R08>STANDARD BUMPERS must protect a minimum of 2/3 of the perimeter of the ROBOT withing the BUMPER ZONE… to provide flexibility in design options…

there u go!

why so early? its only 9:15pm…

Hawaii time.:smiley: :smiley:

Because I’m in California. =p

So basically, to be safe, 3 sides of your robot… assuming its a rectangular robot. :rolleyes:

Another question and answer on bumpers just for clarification.

Rules say that bumpers need to 2 1/2 inches from floor and 5" tall. What if I do not want a chassis that is 7 1/2" tall from the chassis? I’m assuming that I can have the bumpers above the chassis walls/sides if I want. Is this correct?

I may have to go to Q&A on FIRST.

That would be correct. As long as the bumpers are in the bumper-zone space, you can put your chassis and effectors wherever you please.
I think the reasoning behind the super-defined bumper zone is to keep all contact at the same level and create a “safe zone” for the more fragile components such as manipulators.

This was the general rule last year. As long as you have 3 sides covered, you wont have any issues with the judges.

There was no rule in place last year requiring teams to have bumpers.

To answer your original question - yes, there can be gaps as long as you cover 2/3 of the perimeter, and no bumper segment can be less than 6" long.

With a give maximum sized robot of 38" x 28" giving us:
((382) + (282)) = 132" perimeter

2/3 of 132" = 88"

Technically I guess you can only cover 88" worth of sides if you wanted to.

Some people tend to cover just 3 sides of their robots so using the 2 most basic configurations of robot design…

  1. 38+38+28 = 104" of Bumper (38" Sides & 28" Rear)


  1. 28+28+38 = 94" of Bumper (28" Sides & 38" Rear)

In configuration 1, you are good.

In configuration 2, you are good as well.

Specifically, the rule states that a STANDARD bumper as defined in Fig. 8-1 must be no shorter than 6 inches. Since they also do not want “hard” bumpers in the corners, you must place a vertical pool noodle to soften the corners of the side or front bumpers such that it covers the corner.

The extra vertical pool noodle that isn’t part of the STANDARD bumper cannot count toward the minimum 6 inches. Though it is unfortunate, this is the only interpretation of this rule I can come up with.

Hey Elgin, try doing that math again on #2.

Oops… bad typo! LOL Thanks, I’ll go back and edit that.

Can you quote the rule stating that you “must” use a vertical pool noodle on the corners? I’ve looked and can’t seem to find it anywhere…

There is nothing requiring that a vertical pool noodle be used in the corner, but because the only thing that can be used in the corner is a pool noodle or cloth piece of bumper (and not wood, or other “hard” materials), most teams cut a pool noodle the height of a bumper and stand it up in the corner.

Figure 8-2 on page 10 of THE ROBOT shows exactly the scenario I am describing in the top left corner of the view of the robot on the left.

“If needed, a pool noodle corner can be wrapped into bumpers - but only pool noodles & cloth may penetrate corner space”

And lower left on the image…

“hard” bumper parts do not extend into the corners."

Basically what this is saying is that you can not “miter joint” the wood going around your robot behind your bumpers.

I’ll try and get a good picture of what we have done and has been accepted in the past with these rules (which have not changed much, if any over the years of bumpers - other than the REQUIREMENT to have them this year as opposed to previous years.

Fixed your post.

The note in Figure 8.2 says, “if needed, a pool noodle corner can be wrapped into bumpers - bou only pool noodle and cloth may penetrate the corner space”