Careful when you push a Gear

Q54: Is moving a GEAR out of the way considered controlling the GEAR? A GEAR is sitting in front of and blocking a peg on the LIFT, for example, and it prevents your ROBOT from accessing the peg. Is moving that GEAR out of the way for the sole purpose of accessing the peg considered controlling the GEAR as described in G27?

Yes, the definition of control does not take into account the intent. Your description of “intentionally moving a GEAR out of the way,” is herding. If a ROBOT possesses a GEAR while herding another, G27 would be violated.

Keep in mind as well that intentionally placing GEARS in front of an opponent’s LIFTS would violate G21.

So, if you need to push a gear away from the lift, make sure you are not carrying a gear when you do it.

If you can pick up gear from the floor, which we intend on doing, you drop your carried gear, pick up the blocking one. load it and then retrieve your dropped one and place that one on.

When it comes to picking up gears, you need to be careful. If a gear is dropped onto to ground of the launch pad of the opposing alliance, then it is considered “belonging to” the opposing alliance. I don’t believe we are allowed to pick it up at that point, I could be wrong.

There’s nothing in the rules (or Q&A) saying that about the launch pad. Gears on the field are fair game regardless of location (pending other rules violations, say if they’re still inside another robot).

Alliance Station != Loading Lane != Launchpad. The main concern about gears being dropped or changing spaces has been Loading Lane to Alliance Station.

Depending on your drive train you could probably drive right over the gear without having to move it or control it.

Doubtful. See also “5-inch-high Bumpers at <=7 inches from the floor”. Could possibly be done, but not as easy as you might think.

You only need 6" of bumpers on each side so depending on your drive train couldn’t you still have a big portion of the center open to drive right over?

Actually, for practical purposes, you need 9" on each side of your volume (remember that bumpers are included in volume this year adds about 3" onto each side). That being said, the tall-class robots are going to have some trouble (and need precision driving), even in the wide configuration. The short-class robots will be OK from a bumper point of view, most likely–but then you have to factor in frame/intake design, which may or may not be conducive to driving over gears. I’d be inclined to say that for most fuel-type robots, driving right over a gear is probably going to be an exercise in futility; robots designed specifically for gear handling will be more able to deal with inadvertent gears in their path.

All this leaves out the refs’ judgement calls, which are what really matter.

Yeah, you’re gonna have to be careful getting those things. That’s a pretty strict rule.

One thing though, if you accidentally bump/push a gear while you’re carrying one, would that penalize you or no?

I’m not the gdc but I’d say yes you would be penalized. Refs can’t pick and choose who to give fouls to regardless of whether it’s accidental. Many teams accidently had 2 boulders cross the defenses with them. It was a foul every time regardless.

That’s true, forgot about how frequent that bolder thing was… same thing this year but with gears I guess lol.

Very true, if you were to drive over you would have to be clear of the gear to avoid any close calls.

From the G27 blue box:

Examples of interaction with GEARS that are not “control” include, but are not limited to:
A. “bulldozing” (inadvertent contact with GEARS while in the path of the ROBOT moving about the FIELD)
B. “deflecting” (being hit by a GEAR that bounces into or off of a ROBOT).

Not every touch is a control.

Honestly, I’d assume if you just run into the gear on the way to the peg, you’re fine. The difference between bulldozing and control is very much intent and speed. If you take a special approach to move the gear on the floor then you’re controlling it. If you run into the gear while you’re placing the one you have, it should be fine.

I apologize, I misunderstood the rule. I understand now.

I’m pretty sure pushing a gear isnt considered controlling it it looks to the ref’s as if you have the intent of picking it up.

IMHO, if you purposely push a gear (out of the way), it is control, and subject to the 1 gear rule.

If you are driving and bump into it while you pass by, it is not control, and not a violation of the 1 gear rule.

If you are going for the peg and bump into a gear (bulldozing), that is ok. If you have to push the gear out of the way (control) to get to the peg, then that is not ok.


This is not true. There have been several FRC games where “controlling” was a judgement call by the ref based on whether it appeared to be incidental or intentional. Another example is FTC this year, where this was distinguished as “plowing” vs. “herding” of particles. The G27 blue box makes the same distinction this year with "“bull dozing” and “deflection” vs. “herding”. They might further clarify, but it seems the G27 blue box is consistent with similar past rules. If I clearly maneuver to push a gear sideways away from a peg so that I can then maneuver to the peg, or herd a gear across the field or away from an opponent, I would expect that to be called. If I plow or deflect a gear in the act of driving straight to the peg, I would not expect that to be called.