G20 is clear: “ROBOTS must be in compliance with Section 4.6 BUMPER Rules throughout the MATCH. Violation: DISABLED”
Apparently the standard at Championships is that Dragging Bumpers are compliant.
I can appreciate that hanging fabric is still ok, but there were times when I saw a bumper with one end detached, and they still allowed the robot to play. I know for a fact that the Head Ref knew, and chose not to disable the robot. Apparently the only time they will disable is if the bumper becomes fully detached.
IMHO, I think G20 should be clarified that partially detached bumpers that touch the ground is disable. I also think it should include batteries. I saw dragging batteries. Those are hazards because the wire could get clipped and short the battery causing an explosion, or the case could get punchured and start leaking acid.
I feel like the bumper rules were strongly enforced through inspection this year but not so much on the field. I’ve seen matches where an entire bumper fell off the the bot continued to be enabled for the rest of the match.
At the North Star Regional we had a robot play an entire match in elimination rounds with a bumper slid halfway out the side of the robot (the bumper was literally shifted about a foot over laterally along their chassis).
I didn’t see too many occurrences of bumper failures because I didn’t watch many matches but in one of our matches a robot was disabled when one of its bumpers came loose and was hanging from its side.
last year in Dallas at elims, we rammed a robot so hard that all 4 of their bumpers fell off in one single impact (it wasn’t really that hard, full speed yes, but more due to poor mounting [ie zipties]). The then completely unprotected kitbot continued playing defense for the remainder of the match.
I fail to understand why we “have” to have bumpers on our robot, but apparently we actually don’t?
That’s exactly the problem. It varies a lot from event to event. I have to agree with David. I also saw plenty of robots drive without bumpers this season. I understand wanting to let a team play that is barely out of compliance, but as soon as they cause an on-field infraction like this, there is little room for judgement. If the bumper is laying on the floor, impeding traffic, or getting pulled up into another robot’s drive train, then it would be crazy not to disable them.
The issue is that it’s at the Referee’s discretion as to when to disable a robot, but apart from running over and smacking the E-Stop the ref cannot disable a robot by himself he has to have the scorekeeper disable it.
Not to mention, the head ref is watching the whole field and may be concentrating on other things leaving a robot to run without bumpers for a while.
I did disable a couple of robots for bumper violations this year at the direction of the head ref.
I do know that it’s been suggested that a disable button be added to the head ref panel so the ref can disable a robot directly.
In North Star, bumpers fell off very often during qualification matches. I never saw any robots being disabled but usually it never impeded traffic or affected a match. I would say as long as the bumper is still on (relatively) it should be swayed to let them play but if it happens more then once, disable the robot. This is one of the judgement calls I would be for.
I should also add that I feel very strongly about this because my team lost the finals at the Pine Tree District event while an opposing robot was driving without bumpers. I just feel that if inspection is going to be so strict as to hold up every team during alliance selections (such as they did in Hartford) because the bumper is 1/8 of an inch too low, the referees should also be compelled to call it when it occurs and disable the robot.
There’s a fine line between enforcing the rules and letting the games actually play out. It doesn’t do anyone any good if a team is constantly being disabled for an issue - it penalizes their alliance members and discourages the students.
Personally, I loved having more robots disabled for issues on the field than we’ve seen in the past - do that for a few years and I think we’ll see some drastic improvements in areas that typically get very little attention from teams (bumpers!).
That said, one of my biggest challenges as an LRI this year was in begging leniency from the head refs for a match or two while a team worked on a fix. Not everything can be fixed in the short period between matches, and from my perspective so long as safety isn’t impacted I want to see the team’s play while they get a fix in place, not sit there disabled match after match because they haven’t had enough time to fix it yet.
The rule is in place to encourage teams to take care of their bumpers, and alliance members should be willing to help fix them if there is anything wrong.
I personally didn’t see many disabled, which upset me.
Also a good point. In my team’s first event our winch bent and we needed a minimum 30 to 45 minute period for the repair, which we didn’t get until the end of the day. I also spent about 20 minutes behind inspection at the Hartford event trying to raise the bumpers 1/8 of an inch to pass.
There’s a lot that went wrong and right this year, hopefully next year will be greatly improved.
I think field disables should be limited to safety issues, such as bumpers and battery. Other than that, the foul points can adjust, and let the game play out.
That said, one of my biggest challenges as an LRI this year was in begging leniency from the head refs for a match or two while a team worked on a fix.
That is why I believe in 2 levels of passing inspection. If you pass a Safety inspection, then you can compete only in the Qualifying Matches. If you pass Safety and Compliance, that would be equivalent to the current Pass, and you can que in the filler line, and participate in Alliance Selection and Elimination Matches.
I don’t see the harm in allowing a safe robot to compete. The kids worked their hardest to build the robot. Let them see how it performs.
What about a team that passes safety inspection, does great on the field during qualifications, gets picked by another team, then finds out they have to change something that’s illegal, causing their performance on the field to tank? Is it fair to their alliance members, who would have picked someone else if they had known? Is it fair to the team themselves to ruin their eliminations by not getting the full inspection through at the start of the event?