Crazy robot idea for this year 2

the first idea was not circulated much but it was a 3 ball shooter on segway like chassis that could fit on the bridge with any two other robots and would flop over once power is cut.

how ever the second idea is

if you made a flying ball that had about an 18" diameter with bumpers on it that could do to things; fly to opponents end and sit in oppomnents 3 point basket, fly to bridge and hover while touching an alliance robot for 30 seconds and then fall and roll to the ground at the end of the match.

would this be legal?
would this be a game changer?

I am looking at rules now. can’t find rule that says you aren’t allowed to be above the opponents fender or touching rims. they assumed this would not be possible with the 14" arm and 60" height limit.

Plus I haven’t seen anything about what is considered a balance if after game play your robot falls off bridge.

‎1 battery (or super capcitor if allowed to replace) 1 CIM, 3 small control motors froma quad copter rig, 1 victor, 1 quad copter control board (unless CRIO has to be used), 1 wirless controller, 1 circuit breaker, 1 light, 1 wireless adpter and walla you have a single rotor helicopter self contained that just has to fly for 1 minute with that weight

If CRIO has to be used does the crio have to be on the robot? can it be on the control board and connect to a secondary wireless RC like control system?

Specifically i would be looking for anyway to offload weight from the required “large FRC” components.

Just a thought. Good night

Fun ideas…however, they’re fraught with peril.

For the first one, if it falls over while on the bridge, doesn’t that risk unbalancing it due to the centre of gravity shifting? Check out the 5 second rule, [G37].

For the second, among many other potential issues, you will need to deal with having the battery, the cRIO and other heavy things onboard to be considered a robot. Also, how will you avoid unsafe operation?

Check out flying ball, no unsafe operation unless their is a control issue, in some ways no different than a ground based bot.

the 5 second rule. Doh… then it would nee to land. as long as partner has flat spot with whole in it to land on we are good.

In some ways no different, but different in one crucial respect: it’s a lot harder to protect the scorer’s table and the front row of spectators. A control issue on a regular robot rarely leads to a departure from the playing field; that’s hard to guarantee on a flying robot. And because it’s above the field barrier, disablement doesn’t mitigate the threat nearly as well. (Plus, as determined by the required parts, it would have to weigh a minimum of around 20 lb—that’s a lot of momentum to arrest.)

This has been discussed. Flying is illegal because it is impossible to keep your bumpers in the bumper zone. Bumpers must be in the zone during normal operation, and if flying is normal, you need them there while flying.

In addition, no part of your robot may extend more than 60" off the ground- wait. Only when in contact with the other alliance’s carpet. So you’re good on that front.

EDIT: I stand corrected. The bumpers need only be in the Bumpers Zone while the robot is standing on a flat floor. See post below.

That’s not what the rule says…


Bumpers must be located entirely within the Bumper Zone when the Robot is standing normally on a flat floor.

So it seems that a flying robot is completely legal, as long as it is deemed to be safe… good luck with that!

I stand corrected. The required battery + crio, combined with the limited set of motors, are more than enough to make this impossible in my view, but if you can do it, I think the “safety” rule is the only thing standing in your way. Which would also be near-impossible to satisfy, but you may try as you like.

Well, I think that the things that make this illegal to be:

The Frame Perimeter of a Robot is defined by the outer-most set of exterior vertices on the Robot that are within the Bumper Zone, which is between 2 and 10 in. from the floor.

^Even if you were able to get flying, you’re still restricted to an air ceiling ~10" above the ground.

Robot parts shall not be made from hazardous materials,** be unsafe, cause an unsafe condition,** or interfere with the operation of other Robots.

Read it as you will.

A giant Helium balloon would off set the weight. Is that legal?

No it wouldn’t. It would add both weight and buoyancy. The specification restricts robots on the basis of weight only.

The helium itself would be legal, unless in a hazardous state.

Can you fit it in the maximum size?

For something as heavy as a typical FRC robot, the required helium-carrying device will most likely have a hard time fitting in the field, if not the venue. Trust me on this. For something like a 18" sphere, with bumpers and battery, you could probably fit said helium-carrying device into the field if you didn’t max-weight the robot. However, maneuverability would be highly limited due to rules about leaving the field boundary.

Under normal atmospheric conditions, helium has a lifting ability of 1 gram per liter*. The maximum volume of your robot is 28x38x60. Let’s pretend you fill that entire volume with helium (impossible, since you would need to lose some volume for the electronics, battery, bumpers, etc.)

28" x 38" x 60" x 1 gram/liter = 2.3 pounds of lifting capability. Not even enough for the cRIO itself.

It gets better. You also have to have something to hold the helium. However, you could possibly get better lift by pressurizing the helium, allowing more liters to be added… which opens up its own set of problems, including the fact that helium escapes from containers very easily if there are any holes at all.

That’s where the bumper zone is located, but it only matters with regard to R29 (in fact, it’s only ever mentioned in these two rules).

[R29] Bumpers must be located entirely within the Bumper Zone when the Robot is standing normally on a flat floor.

Otherwise no one would be able to wheelie onto the bridge, lift themselves across the barrier, etc.

It seems the GDC also has chosen not to answer the question of whether a circular (or spherical) robot has no exterior vertices or infinite ones, so you might not need bumpers at all! ([R27]: “Robots are required to use Bumpers to protect all exterior vertices of the Frame Perimeter”.)

True, all robots are limited to 60" while in contact with the* “carpet and/or Key on their Alliance Station end of the Court” [G20]*.
…However, “Otherwise, Robots are limited to 84 in tall” [also G20].
However, “The vertical measurement is always in relation to the Robot.” [Q&A, G20]. Those tricky GDCers :wink:

So as long as your flying robot is not over 84" tall and not over 60" tall when placed on the Court before the match [G01]–with respect to itself–it should pass G20 and G01. (G01 is not clear about cases in which the robot is never actually placed on the Court, i.e. it floats.)

Now the safety thing, that’s an issue. Field personnel have enough problems without a flying ball of helium filled with a battery+cRio*+router+/-bumpers flying at their heads. Yikes!

*[R52] Robots must be controlled via one programmable National Instruments cRIO (part # cRIO-FRC or cRIO-FRCII), with image version FRC_2012_v43. Other controllers shall not be used.

The design also assumes that the life of the battery can handle the required current that it will take to lift ~25lbs off the ground. This includes the electronics, battery, motors, and “bumpers”.

There’s a reason Quadrotors became more popular among hobbyists after LiPo batteries became mainstream.

Each year I’ve tried to figure out how to incorporate a quadrotor into the game. Alas, it hasn’t been pragmatic enough for 4 years. Maybe next year :rolleyes:.

Helium balloons float because helium weighs less than air. Shoving more helium molecules into the same volume won’t increase lift, it’ll actually decrease it! Imagine you have two 1-liter bottles of soda. They each weigh a certain amount. Now I hand you a 1-litter bottle that’s been insanely pressurized and actually contains 2 liters of soda - which is heavier? The pressurized bottle weighs the same (discounting the container weight) as the two unpressurized bottles!

Of course, I didn’t specify how much extra you pressurize it. The kind of pressures I’m used to dealing with for air/helium, you can’t measure them in PSI unless you really like small decimals.

I’d also note that at least one maker of the size of helium balloons that can possibly lift an FRC robot does specify that they be pressurized, and goes to great lengths to have the balloons maintain that pressure. This is partially because said balloons need to maintain a given shape, granted–but you have to wonder if it doesn’t give a tad bit of extra lift.

(Then again, these helium balloons can weigh several hundred pounds empty.)

A perfect battery can support around 60A draw for the whole match, at around 11.5 volts. Lets be generous and say you only want a few moments of flying and the battery can support 150A at around 10.5V. This is 1575 Watts, which should be able to lift around 16-17lbs.

I do not believe that it is possible to lift all of the required hardware (battery (13lbs), cRIO (1.4-2lbs), cRIO modules, power board (1.6lbs), digital sidecar (0.25lbs), main breaker, bumpers, motors, radio (0.5lbs) etc) with the battery’s available power. This is even without accounting for losses such as resistance in wiring and motor inefficiencies. In fact, that 1575W of theoretically available electrical power is probably around 1200W if you use RS775-18s at peak efficiency (78%). Voltage at the motors will be lower than 10.5V, so ding some more power…

I think it’s safe to say that the battery cannot output enough power to lift the absolute minimum FRC legal robot.

I’d also note that at least one maker of the size of helium balloons that can possibly lift an FRC robot does specify that they be pressurized, and goes to great lengths to have the balloons maintain that pressure. This is partially because said balloons need to maintain a given shape, granted–but you have to wonder if it doesn’t give a tad bit of extra lift.

This is still not how buoyancy works. The idea is to get the least weight to take up the most volume. The volume determines how much lift is produced. The lifting element is there to maintain volume with as little weight as possible. Because pressure of a gas is not related to the molecular weight of that gas, elements with very low molecular weights are used to match the outside atmospheric pressure, so the volume of the balloon is maintained. Your manufacturers suggest inflating beyond that pressure to give additional rigidity and in case of leaks, but once the balloon volume is full, all you’re doing is putting more weight into the balloon.

A leaping robot that jumps forward over the fender and then clambers up the baskets – blocking all four of them with a shape change – is both technically feasible and within the rules.

We thought of it day one, then said, ‘naah.’