Bumpers Question


Is it possible to choose whether or not you use a section of your bumpers? My team currently has bumpers in a C shape. One piece covers all 4 sides with the front side open to allow our intake to go to the ground. We were discussing the possibility of having an optional bumper piece that would close the gap in the bumpers. This would be for playing defense because we noticed we can get beached on a cargo on the exposed section of our base. The reason we would switch between the C formation and closed bumpers depends on the match. If we were scoring, and wanted the option to use our ground intake for panels, we would want C bumpers. If we were defending, we would close our bumpers to eliminate the chance of us getting beached on a ball (It has happened one time so far while playing defense and I don’t want it to happen again especially at champs). I just don’t know the legality of having a bumpers segment that you use sometimes in a match and not in others. Any tips would be appreciated, however I think this might be a Q&A question, but I fear it is a little late for that.


good question!

but beware that you can beach on a ball with a full bumper, also…the robot will drive up onto the ball just fine. This is one of the firsts experiments we did after kickoff.

yes, our robot has full bumpers all the way around, and yes, our driver has to be really careful around cargo!


I don’t see any rule that disallows that sort of action. Just make sure you get inspected with both configurations (bumper weight, secure attachment, that sort of thing).

@Al_Skierkiewicz, am I missing anything?

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You can switch around your bumpers however you want but you MUST get inspected with each configuration before playing in a qualification or playoff match.



The way I read the rules, if you ADD a section of bumper to close the C to cover the ball intake area, you’ll probably need to have a bolt on section of chassis/frame to avoid R33 violations.

Ball intake areas are usually bigger than 8" wide and more than 1/4" deep.


The answer above regarding inspection each change is the most accurate. I believe the Q&A is closed now. Inspectors would just need to check that the bumper segment is attached and at right height once weight is established.


Our team had a G20 issue bc of our open frame. We just bolted on some 1x1 tube aluminum across the front gap (it wound up bending quite significantly bc of our defense and is one of my proud trophies at the moment).


The bumper must be backed by your robots frame perimeter if the gap is more than 8". You could have a piece that bolts on then put the segment on I would think. The worst that could happen is an inspector could tell you no then you just keep the robot the way it is and don’t use it.

Also I think if during you initial inspection you tell the inspector you have two configurations you can get both inspected and not need to be inspected again.

Section 11 inspection and eligibility rules
I3. Bring it all to Inspection. At the time of Inspection, the ROBOT must be presented with all
MECHANISMS (including all COMPONENTS of each MECHANISM), configurations, and
decorations that will be used on the ROBOT without re-inspection. It is acceptable, however, for a
ROBOT to play MATCHES with a subset of the MECHANISMS that were present during Inspection.
Only MECHANISMS that were present during the Inspection may be added, removed or
reconfigured between MATCHES. If MECHANISMS are changed between MATCHES, the
reconfigured ROBOT must still meet all Inspection criteria.