Hello Chief Delphi,
I’m sorry if this has been addressed already, but from what I have found there are multiple answers that conflict regarding this question. The rule I’m interested in is R24.
My team has been investigating ways to achieve a double climb for a while, and this rule has created some conflict. R24 says that “BUMPERS must be located entirely within the BUMPER ZONE, which is the volume contained
between the floor and a virtual horizontal plane 7½ in. (~19 cm) above the floor”.
When looking at some of the current methods to climb, they extend to the floor from the platform, without reorienting their bumpers. If the robot was virtually transposed upon a single floor in that state, it seems as if their bumpers would no longer be in accordance with R24. I’m certainly missing something in my reading of the rules, as quite a few teams have this design. Can anyone clarify how these designs are able to comply with the rules? Perhaps they are reorienting their bumpers, and I just can’t see it in the webcasts.
I can’t remember where this was qualified in Q and A but I believe that the key condition is that whatever extends out must be able to pivot and not be rigid.
If the robot were placed on a flat surface, this extension would pivot or hinge upward and bumpers would be still within the correct position.
If the extension were rigid with respect to the robot and extended “down” into the platform zone and off the platform, it would not flex or hinge when placed on a flat surface and therefore not be legal.
These assisted climbing devices must meet the bumper rules if placed on a flat surface. One can imagine it as a virtual surface or actually demonstrate it.
I hope this is a slightly better description of why they are legal.
Think of it this way. If a team has cylinders pushing down against a floor and lifting their robot then that is illegal because on a regular floor they are still out their bumper zone due to the cylinders. If a robot with forks deploying is on a regular floor deploys on that floor it is in the bumper zone because everything is floor level. If the forks were to deploy with strong cylinders and the floor stopped the forks from going past floor level and lifted the robot in turn, then it is illegal.