Bumper rules questions

Is the attachment mechanism allowed?

I don’t see anything in this picture that would indicate an issue with your connection system. Biggest concern would be how easy the latches could come undone under normal match conditions, but nothing appears to be illegal from a rules standpoint.

Please note: I have only been inspecting for one year and would happily be corrected if there is something I’m missing.

Hmmm. I’ll give that a solid “maybe okay”. It doesn’t seem to violate anything in R408 b, as long as it doesn’t extend 1 in beyond the backing surface. Also assuming the bumper part of the clamp is within the 7.5 in max height bumpers zone.

I agree that the disconnect risk might be a little high if the plywood is not hard against the frame perimeter.

The mechanism itself is OK, I think. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen that type of latch.

However, let me ask you this question: Have you thought about how the latch strike plate will interact with the fabric you’ll be wrapping the bumper with? I can see several possible issues with that. Take a good look at Figure 9-7 in the Manual, and think about how the latch will interact with the fabric if it’s wrapped properly. Also consider what happens if the fabric gets into a pulling match and slides against the latch. These are things that can be worked out, but if you miss that they can cause you issues.


You’ll need to be careful about how you attach the fabric around the part of the latch attached to the bumper. The wood needs to be completely covered by fabric at that point, but you might have a problem with inspection if you just screw through it on the front side of the bumper. So I’d attach it like it is now but be very careful to cut the fabric around it and secure it well.

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We used these types of latches last year, and will again this year. We mounted the “hook” on the inner face of the wood, so it wouldn’t interfere with the fabric.


The two little screws that attach the hook to the bumpers are very close to the edge of the plywood. Are you concerned about the plywood splitting a little and the screws getting loose after some abuse?

The arrangement that @Zook shows above would not have that problem.

Hi, can our bumper’s frame height can be 5.4 inchs ?

That’s answered in the robot rules section of the game manual and it’s also on the inspection checklist in the bumper section:

Just cause I heard a rumor and wasn’t sure, are round bumpers allowed this year? Someone on my team was saying that was only banned last year and personally I think although impractical a round robot would definitely be cool.

I hate to say it, but this is a read the manual sort of question.

Round bumpers have been illegal for years .

I have to ask, in what way are round bumpers illegal? Sure last year you couldn’t have an extension over a round segment, but round bumpers would cover the whole frame and can be backed with hardwood cut into a circle.


What do you mean by round bumpers? If you’re talking about bumpers along a rounded part of your frame perimeter I believe those can be round.

Infinite corners cannot support the minimum bumper support without bumper breaks distance from a corner.

Or in other words if I have infinite corners I cannot satisfy R410

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If a round bumper segment has frame support behind it for the entire length, then exactly which rule is that violating?


That’s what I thought, but for some reason there was belief it was legal now.

Not like rounded edges, but like a circular robot or robot with one side being an arc. I don’t know if there’s any images of this but basically I was being told a circular chassis and subsequent bumpers were legal now

Upon looking more closely I may need to eat my words a bit here.

The update to “bumpers all around” this year has replaced the previous 6" of bumper rules to which I was referring (I should read the manual apparently) but introduced the 1/2" of contact. I am not sure how 1/2" arc length works within this rule…

I’ll add for the purposes of discussion, that round bumpers (either a curved frame edge or entirely circular robot) were explicitly legal last year per R401:

With the change to R401 this year requiring full bumper coverage regardless, that particular callout is no longer necessary, but just because it’s not there doesn’t mean round bumpers are illegal.

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One side being an arc definitely happened in 2020 courtesy of 4907

I don’t know of any rule change since then which would make it illegal.