Bumpers here to stay?

This was the first year FIRST recommended us to use bumpers. Majory of the teams had used them, so do you think that they will keep them next year?

I think so. I know they were a big hit with a lot of teams, and there’s no real reason NOT to do them again.

After seeing what happens without bumbers with our robot, its a big yes.

I think they seemed to be a hit and will definitely return…but then again we won’t need them if we’re underwater, now will we? :wink:

I hope not–having bumpers practically invited teams to ram the heck out of each other.

contact that would never have been allowed last year was practically encouraged this year. At every one of our events we ended up with robots driving on top of the insides of our robot, and ramming our subframe.

Obviously we chose to lose some protection by not using bumpers, and we fully expected for the outside of our robot to be brutalized. We never planned on part of that loss of protection to mean the inside of our robot could legally be torn up.

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I see the bumper as an excuse to ram really hard.
I think that they need to go.
They saved some robots from damage, but thats because robots were just battering rams.
Thats no what FIRST is about.
Maybe its just me, but I think they need to go.


(edit: ok so it isn’t only me haha)

I hope they do, but I’m not sure. It seems to me that a lot of the high speed high contact play that made this year’s game so exciting would have been impossible without the bumpers. (Or at least unrealistic, by the Champs, I think something like a third the robots would have been quite damaged) So, I would really like to see another fast, exciting game, and if bumpers would help that happen, then I hope they stay forever. Given the concerns menitoned above, the ramming rules would have to tighten though…

FIRST is not underwater…wrong organization mate… you are looking for MATE.


I certainly hope so as long as keep the bumpers teams can play some hard defense unlike last year. Last was a dark year for our team, due to that the game was more in favor of offense not defense. Plus the bumpers reduce the damage that a robot would usually receive over the season. So believe me there are so many positives keeping bumpers.

…o wait we were supposed to use FOAM bumpers…i thought they were happy with the 80-20 from the frame :stuck_out_tongue:

well i think alot of things from this year will be kept for next year, bumpers are probably one of them.

Some of the rules about bumpers were annoying to me. If they were to allow some angled cuts (no obvious wedges, though), and also authorize a one-noodle version of the bumper for those times when you want more clearance, I could stand to see them return. Perhaps there was some feeling of “oh, they’ve got bumpers, we can ram 'em” with some drivers, but I never really saw anything to that effect in person. Your mileage can and will vary.

As much as I hated the idea of bummpers in the begining, they where useful to the game, since there was so much defence that was needed. (Personally, I didn’t see a ton of ramming.) I think they will stay on for next year - regardless of the whole underwater thing.

I think they’re great. As a part of a team that played almost entirely defensively, we’re obviously great fans. At our first regional, the front bar on our robot was bent quite badly from all the pushing we did. We also had a few instances where we rode up or under other robots, which is obviously no good. Once we installed bumpers, I’m pretty sure we never ended up on top of or below another robot.

Here’s why I like bumpers
-Bumpers are not a slippery slope towards robot-fighting. They simply increase the degree of interaction between robots that already existed. Aggresive, robot-damaging strategies were still banned and penalized just like all the years in the past.
-Bumpers aren’t new. The only new thing is that FIRST finally released a standard for them so that they would actually bump into each other, and thus actually be effective bumpers.
-High-speed ramming still draws a penalty on the offending team. If you get high-speed rammed and there is no penalty, pester the field officials, because they really should be looking out for these things.
-You are given a weight and space allowance for building the standard bumpers.
-If both rammer and rammee have bumpers, the rammer faces approximately the exact risks as your robot.
-Incidental damage to all robots is reduced. There will always be times due to driver error where robots collide with each other or the wall at high speeds. Foam absorbs such impacts much better than steel, aluminum, or plastic. Teams should use their bumper allowance for this reason alone.

The main anti-bumper argument I see (and agree with) is that the anti-ramming rules are not enforced strongly enough to keep things from degrading. If they could maybe get a single specialized ref on the lookout for high-speed rams, that might solve that problem.

As soon as we realized our prime strategy was defense, our driver was given very specific orders to not ram. We have several instances on video where he would approach a robot at full throttle, then stop so hard the robot nearly tips over. Once stopped, he would approach the other robot slowly, then being pushing.

Because my team turned out to be one of those teams that could score 20 balls (inconsistantly bhut nevertheless we did) we seen alot more ramming then the teams that can only score 10 the whole match.
Teams like:
All smashed because they were good. They seen alot of high speed hits. I think that because of the bumpers teams rammed. thats fine, just if its too hard the refs need to call it. and thats one thing i did not see at all, a rammin flag. alot of teams broke that rule, no flags were thrown. Ithink that the refs need to call them.

Bumpers saved our robot from destruction; end of story. We suffered more damage to our conveyor belt in just 2 practice matches on Thursday (when we weren’t using bumpers) than we did the entire rest of competition combined (when we were using them). They gave a weight advantage this year (obviously that will disappear if all teams begin using them) but also kept I think a number of balls out from under our robot.

The only thing I ask for if they return is what has already been suggested; some more flexibility when it comes to bumper use. Allow them to be mounted a little higher or lower than they could be this year, and allow for half-height or partial bumpers.

I honestly think the increase of defense from last year was due to this year’s game, not due to bumpers. I remember just as much pushing when we competed in 2004.

Another con that nobody mentioned: corner intrusion. You have a perfectly legal robot, designed to flood the corner goal, and you have measures not to go in at all, but you have bumpers. You go to the corner and start flooding it, but then somebody shoves you in. You get DQ’d, just because the bumpers are 3.5" max and the rule is 3". Now, that was about the only game design issue, but it was serious. I’d like to see bumpers next year (again, nothing prohibiting teams from using ones other than the design, as long as those stay in the box), but with the field designed to allow for them.

The only disadvantage of bumpers is that the robot no longer will fit through most doors with them on.

They made this game playable. Without them, fast shooting teams would probably have been rammed just as much, and incurred much more damage. Besides, who wouldn’t want an extra 15 lbs of weight at the bottom of the robot? I agree that they should have more flexibility in position. I do not think that one noodle bumpers would work as well because it would be possible for teams to have bumpers at different heights, negating the reason for having them.

I think they saves A LOT of robots and that it was a great idea, i just done like the ramming rules…


Bumpers kept us from tipping… multiple times. I like the idea of bumpers.

I just don’t like the strict rules defining which noodles you MUST use and which material you MUST use and all that.

I definitely see the bumpers coming back next year. They really helped prevent frame damage for frames. It’s also nice to have the weight advantage. With them though, there aren’t as many head on metal to metal collisions as there used to be, and they may start giving reason to weaken the frame. Overall they are pretty good add on and provide for some interesting new strategy.