What do you guys think of the bumpers? I think it really limits the options that your robot has. Such as: no fork lift, no ramp, no wheels outside the chasy, and it is really hard to make a good shape for herding the ball a.k.a. a V shape. Bumpers are the curse that will break me in a puddle of brain goo. I have trouble making good combos with bumpers.

You can have bumpers and wheels outside the chassis, and a forklift.

For starters, bumpers don’t have to be on all sides of the bot–just 2/3 of it. That means you could leave the front open.

We cantilever our wheels every year, and we still plan on doing the same this year–it just means your bumpers need to be kept from being pushed into your wheels.

there just a certain way you have to do it…they almost messed up my design though…

Shouldn’t be a problem. We’ve been able to use them for two years now, and if you did use them both years you know how to make them around your robot design.

Remember that only 2/3eds of your robot needs to have bumpers.

• STANDARD BUMPERS must protect a minimum of 2/3 of the perimeter of the ROBOT within the BUMPER ZONE. Teams are encouraged to maximize the area of their ROBOT protected by bumpers. But up to 1/3 of the perimeter may be unprotected to provide flexibility in design options.[/quote]

Personally, I like the idea of bumpers. Last year, our robot had bumpers protecting 3 of the sides and the 4th was left open for our ramp. The bumpers seemed to work out very well for us, and in my opinion seem almost necessary so this year’s game doesn’t turn to carnage.

The bumpers are only required to go around 2/3 of your robot. If your robot is designed to the max footprint of 28" X 38" then 44" of your robots footprint could be unprotected. That’s quite a bit of room to work with IMO.

I think that bumpers will definitely be needed a lot during the game. Unless everybody is going to design their chassis based on stress management then, robot chassis will be very beat up by the end of a just a few rounds. With robots trying to race around a track as fast as possible, people are very very likely to bump. I also hope that people have more than one speed because trying to “lightly bump” to move ahead will turn into collisions if everybody is going at top speed.

Does anyone know if any teams have ever used bumpers on a flat plate drive system? If so how are the bumpers attached.

how do we know what bumpers are FIRST certified?

How to build the bumpers are in the rules somewhere they are really easy to make.

The guidlines for making bumpers are in the Manual under **The Robot **section.

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Rule <R08> in The Robot, Section 8 of the 2008 Game Manual has all the proper dimensions for the only legal robot bumpers.

<R08> Teams are required to use STANDARD BUMPERS on their ROBOTS. Bumpers can
reduce damage to ROBOTS when they contact another ROBOT or field elements.
STANDARD BUMPERS have several advantages, such as being excluded from the
calculation of the ROBOT weight and volume limitations specified in Rule <R11>.
STANDARD BUMPERS must be constructed as described below.

[photo diagrams; read the entire rule for full explanation]

The rules show a 3/4" plywood backer on the bumper. My question is can we lighten the bumpers by removing material or drilling holes in the plywood backer as long as it remains 3/4" thick (mostly)?

I have never seen anything in the rules that says you can’t but why would you want to?

The weight is not counted in the 120lbs and you want as much weight as possible down low.

But you only have 15lbs for the bumpers and the less weight on your robot the faster it will be.

With the rules requiring standard bumpers covering 2/3rds of the robot, if someone wanted a playing configuration of say 38x60x unlimited (think flop bot) you may have to find ways to lighten the bumpers. We have never had weight problems using standard bumpers, however, by adding 42 inches per side and if you want bumpers all the way around, bumper weight weight could cause a probelm. I did not see anything this year regarding “custom” bumpers being allowed, only that “standard” bumpers must cover 2/3rds of your robot.

No one says you have to use the full 120lbs of robot weight either.

Do yourself a favor and take advantage of the 15lbs of bumpers, and spare weight with your actual robot construction if you really want to go for speed this year.

You will be happier in the long run… (or final lap so to speak).

I thought you weren’t allowed to modify the design, but that may have been when the bumpers were first introduced. I know I saw teams last year at Pittsburgh who had done that very thing. They had used Forrester bits and drilled lightening holes in the back of the plywood. I don’t recall if they had to rebiuld them or if they were ok to use.

If this game is anything like NASCAR [rubbins racing], there is going to be bumper material all over the field.

Is Shop Vac our new sponsor?

I personally think bumpers should be optional. I don’t care to spend all that time fixing bumpers, removing them to work on the robot and getting inspected multiple times. This is an engineering problem and we should be able to design robots that don’t need bumpers. If you can’t hang with the big boys then put on some bumpers. Prior years I think teams used them for the weight advantage they gave, I don’t think this year the weight will help, but will hinder you.

Just say no - to bumpers - and drugs. :slight_smile:

More precisely, it’ll help with acceleration immediately. With a little re-gearing (or, for many teams, re-sprocketing), you can certainly get more top speed at the expense of that newfound acceleration.

The way I see it, pesky added-on requirements tacked on by people or organizations that you’re in no position to argue against are a part of life. (There’s probably some crack I’m supposed to make as a Mac user about Vista in there, but I’m missing it this morning.) You play the cards you’re dealt, keep your bumpers light, and focus on getting around the track as fast as you can.