Bumper Rules

Sorry bEdhEd for running another bumper thread but from my interpretation of the rules, isn’t it completely legal to deploy a harder mechanism outside of your bumpers as long as they are clear. Which is to say literally that you could have a riot shield inside your robot and have it extend outside to cover your bumpers. I might just be paranoid and I know riot shields aren’t like the most dangerous thing, but if the purpose of bumpers is to make things as safe as possible shouldn’t this not be a thing? This essentially provides the ability to nullify whatever you have for bumpers and use any other materials in exchange.
Sorry if I am wording this horribly, and if you need clarification please ask.

AFAIK, this is nothing new and teams have always been able to do it to one extent or the other. It’s not useful enough that it’s been a problem.

The utility isn’t what I’m worried about the fact is I’m cool with a robot with pool noodles shinning me but if it provides no utility and it is just dangerous why is it legal?

Yes, part of the rules does allow you to stick stuff In front of your bumpers… That’s really not anything new. In my experience, though, it’s more likely that your mechanism will get broken off in a collision than damage the other robot. Sticking a “riot shield” outside your bumpers with the intention of negating the benefits of the bumpers and damaging other robots would earn you a G24, though!

G24 Strategies aimed at the destruction or inhibition of ROBOTS via attachment, damage, tipping, or entanglements are not allowed.
Violation: FOUL and YELLOW CARD. If harm or incapacitation occurs as a result of the strategy, RED CARD

Blue Box:
Initiating deliberate or damaging contact with an opponent ROBOT on or inside the vertical extension of its FRAME PERIMETER is not allowed.

The shield part was used because you are putting something on your robot defensively. My point here is that there are rules, this could be used as a work around, should it be patched out?
I’m not looking at this for a strategic advantage, I’m looking at it for safety. If it consistently isn’t used and the overall consensus is that it would just be damaging why not just patch the rules and say yeah don’t do the thing?

One reason might be that the rules are already clear enough on the legitimacy of the strategy, as discussed above with G24, and that adding a redundant rule or subpoint would cause more clutter/confusion than necessary. Imo, keeping the rules as concise as possible is a good exercise in both clarity and making sure teams read the rules with a mindset that gears towards fully understanding them.

No need for an apology. The issue I was addressing was mainly threads asking the same question. You bring up a different one, and it is a question that is rather nuanced. Also, you put it in Rules/Strategy instead of General Forum, so that’s a plus.

I had a thought earlier in the season with putting a wedge perimeter around the robot that retracted inside the frame perimeter at all times except when deployed when shooting to negate opponent pushing. (much like 111 in 2003) We don’t have the room or weight on our bot to do this anyway. The only problem I know of with the rules this has is with regard to tipping and frame perimeter plane breaking, but considering how our robot would have been stationary, any tipping would have been the fault of the opponent, and and any frame perimeter issue would be incurred by the opposing alliance as well. The robot would have never driven with wedges down. If a team were to run around with a wedge or shield and tip or damage a robot, then that would be a problem.

We do happen to have a wedge shape on our robot, but that’s the intake, which is shaped to help us go under the portcullis. It would be our responsibility to raise it up when not in use as to minimize damage to ourselves and others.

One issue with a wedge is if your opposing robot tips over because of the wedge, it will be the referees judgement call on who, if anyone gets penalized. If it happens regularly regardless of who initializes contact, expect at the vary least a conversation.

While there is no rule specifically about blocking your team number, there is an expectation that your robot is easily identifiable by the referees

While I’m not a ref, I would call a defensive deployment of a wedge designed to tip opponents who hit me as a strategy designed to tip opponents. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving or not, such a wedge would specifically be designed to cause a tipping scenario during normal match gameplay. The big question is if the red would see that as an attempt by the opposing robot to force you into a foul. I think I’m going to bring this scenario up to the head ref I work with, see what he thinks.

As a ref…

I’d agree, at least provisionally. And as a strategy aimed at disabling opponents, I would see the cards stacking up quickly (it’s a foul+yellow for the strategy, and a red if you actually knock somebody out). I wouldn’t see it as an attempt to force into a foul, because that person is just trying to play defense (and, on a semi-related note, because you just rebuilt your robot to NOT cause a tip, on strong suggestion from the head ref that doing so lessens your card risk ;)).

I am concerned about our bumper plan… what do you guys think? Will this pass muster?

Let’s see if I understand what you’re thinking:

Round the corners, and follow the rounding with the bumper, leaving 8" on either side of a large-radius turn.

If that’s what you’re thinking about doing, I can’t say I can find anything wrong with it (other than the “fun” of bending plywood).

If I’m reading the drawing correctly, and it’s entirely possible that I’m not, I see three problems:

  1. The right-most portion appears to be below 4"
  2. The part that’s 5" high isn’t close to 8" wide
  3. The part that’s 8" wide isn’t close to 5" high

The bumper has to be in the bumper zone, 5" high, and 8" long, all at the same time; not satisfying each criteria all in separate places.

But I’m not an LRI, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

How are you going to fill in the corner joint per R24? See the “NOT OK” vs. “OK” in Figure 4-8.

I may be misunderstanding the picture. If you’re planning to have no bumper along the part of the frame above the red triangle labeled “remove”, then you’re not legal. The bumpers need to cover 8 inches from each corner.

OK. Here’s one version that may be more clear. We mocked up cardboard as the actual bumpers. Our mentors are reading the rules like R24 and Figure 4-8 as being top views specifically and that leaves wiggle room for what you see from the sides. Example, the top area that is decidedly less that 8" is ok, because from the top view the bumper does extend 8". This is an area that we are arguing about. We also have a mockup version where that area is filled in, but our bumpers will be frickin’ enormous! LOL. The red outlined bit of aluminum plate will be removed, and the metal edge will be behind the wheels from the front view, behind bumpers from the side.

While that piece of cardboard with the red tape may be 8" long, it certainly doesn’t look like an 8 x 5 inch piece of plywood. I don’t think it’s going to fly unless you can explain how it meets R21.

There’s a plan for a piece of aluminum framing that will back the 8"x5" (currently flappy) bumper piece. It’s not installed yet as there are problems with the lift that will attach to it. So there will be a piece of metal frame, then a 5x8" plywood backing with that portion, so I don’t see how that part is not compliant with R21. It’s entirely possible I’m missing something, though.

a) The blue section, on front of robot, seems very standard – 8 inches long, normal bumper construction, within bumper zone. I’m assuming there’s a matching section (not shown) on the other half of the front.

b) Green section: If the cardboard piece is meant to represent the shape of the bumper, then it doesn’t meet the cross-section requirements shown in Figure 4-7 in the rules.

Bumpers are 5 inches high. The 8 inch rule has no requirement of one continuous piece. So one high piece, and a second low piece, that are abutted and total at least 8 inches, may work.