Distance from floor?

Other than the bumper rule – has anyone seen anything that says the robot has to have “x” amount of groung clearance. ie.-- bumper must be between 2.5 and 8.5 inches ( bottom and top )

Nothing says how much or little ground clearance is required; however, there are variations of 1/2" (+or- 1/4") around the base of the lane divider. You could have a robot whose frame drags on the ground or one that is a foot off the ground other than wheels. It’s your call. Just as long as the bumpers are where they need to be and you don’t violate any of the robot rules (Section 8), you’re fine.

Thanks Eric. That is all I could think of as well. As long as we don’t drag – we are “slamed” this year.

As Eric said, no limits as far as how low… but take a look at this picture from the official field from Kickoff in New Hampshire.

That is at the end of the Lane Divider wall and we see a separate piece of carpet on top of the metal plates that are stabilizing the Lane wall itself.

It is about 1/4" to 1/2" above the regular field carpet so keep that in mind especially if you plan on racing around & especially hugging the inside turns or inside wall as it may be.


Here’s another view of that from higher and off to the left. http://photos-c.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sctm/v171/8/100/507827109/n507827109_818490_9867.jpg

Thanks. Great pics. I think we are fine. The wheels would go over those.

One other thing to keep in mind…

<R19> "Wedge” ROBOTS are not be permitted. ROBOTS shall be designed so that interaction
with opposing ROBOTS results in pushing rather than tipping or lifting. Neither offensive nor
defensive wedges are allowed. All parts of a ROBOT between 0 and 8.5 inches from the
ground (the top of the BUMPER ZONE) that are used to push against or interact with an
opposing ROBOT must be within 10 degrees of vertical. Devices deployed outside the
ROBOT footprint should be designed to avoid wedging. If a mechanism or an appendage
(e.g. a harvester for retrieving GAME PIECES) becomes a wedge that interferes with other
ROBOTS, penalties, disabling, or disqualification can occur depending on the severity of the

Depending on how they interpret this rule, a robot that is less than 8.5 inches tall could be in violation (since you could have bumpers that only cover 3 sides)… it doesn’t effect ground clearance, but when you’re talking about lowering the chassis you might find you’re a little shorter than you originally thought.

Of course this rule negates the possibility of a short robot…

<G18> ROBOT Orientation - ROBOTS must start the MATCH with their long (maximum) dimension
in a vertical orientation. After the start of the MATCH, ROBOTS may change their orientation
such that the long dimension is either vertical or horizontal. Refer to Rule <R08> and Rule
<R17> to determine how this affects the use of STANDARD BUMPERS and FLAGS.

It really depends on how you read the rule, i think. the starting configuration for a robot must be within 28’‘x38’‘x60’’. The way i see it, FIRST isn’t saying your robot has to be at least 38’’ tall or start the game on it’s side. Rather, that your starting configuration has to have the 60’’ dimension as the vertical one (giving you a base maximum footprint of 28’‘x38’’ for your starting configuration. there’s also the rule:

<R11> Prior to the beginning of the MATCH, the ROBOT shall be placed in a STARTING
CONFIGURATION that fits within the dimensions listed below:
Maximum        Maximum        Maximum         Maximum
Width               Depth            Height            Weight
28 inches        38 inches         60 inches         120 pounds
(71.12cm)       (96.52cm)         (152.40cm)     (54.43Kg)

Any restraints (elastic bands, springs, etc.) that are used to restrain the ROBOT in its
STARTING CONFIGURATION must remain attached to the ROBOT for the duration of the

Which would seem to support this interpretation of the rules…

Basically, they don’t want people building robots that are 28’‘x38’‘x60’’ and having the 60’’ portion stretching out in front of their starting position.

If you ignore some of the words in G18, like “maximum” and “must” then yes, you can choose a looser interpretation. I read it to mean (when combined with the bumper rules and the flag rules) that your robot can have no horizontal dimension that exceeds the height at the start of the match. Also the flag rules require a flag holder with the top at 51 inches.

Sooo, I guess I respectfully disagree with your assessment :slight_smile:

It definitely needs some clarification if a team is planning on a short robot design (it doesn’t really affect my team), but my interpretation isn’t ignoring the “must” and “maximum” - rather, it’s a question of what measurements you use. If it’s the physical measurements of the robot then yeah, you’re right. But if it’s the measurements of the box your robot fits into (meaning in this case a box that is 60’’ tall, 28’’ wide, and 38’’ deep and mostly empty), then a short robot would be allowed, pursuant to the wedge robot rule.

One more thought which pretty much makes the discussion pointless: the flag holder. A robot might only be 12’’ tall, but they’ll have a flag holder sticking up increasing their height dramatically.

<R17> ROBOTS must use one of the two FLAGS provided at the event
queuing location to display their ALLIANCE color (red or blue). The
FLAG shall be held in a flag holder mounted on the ROBOT. The
only acceptable flag holder is a 12 inch long piece of 1/2” ID
Schedule 40 PVC tube. The tube must be a single, contiguous
piece, capped with a commercial PVC pipe cap cemented at the
bottom end. The tube must not have any “lightening holes” or other
modifications other than mounting holes, paint, or other decorative
surface finishes. The flag holder must be permanently mounted to
the ROBOT such that when the ROBOT is in any PLAYING
CONFIGURATION and the FLAG is in the flag holder, the FLAG is
approximately vertical and the top of the FLAG is 75 inches above
the floor. As the flag pole is approximately 36 inches long, that
means the top of the flag holder must be 51 inches above the floor.
The region above the flag holder must be kept open and clear of
obstructions so that the FLAG can be placed in the holder and
displayed during the MATCH and the LAP INDICATOR is visible to
the Lap Detectors (see Rule <R18>). The intent of this rule is to
insure that the FLAG is as high as possible so that it may be easily
seen from any side during the entire MATCH play, while fitting under
the OVERPASS as the ROBOT drives around the TRACK.

(From rule 13):
The FLAG is not considered part of the ROBOT (however, the flag holder specified in
Rule <R17> IS considered part of the ROBOT, and is included in the ROBOT weight
and volume),

So i guess that really answers the question of building a short robot :slight_smile: