Flipping Bot

Our team is considering a robot that could drive on either side. The issue is that the bumpers would not be centered on the side. If our robot flipped, the bumpers would no longer be 10" off the ground. Would this be considered illegal?

If so could we build an additional set of bumpers down lower where the new bumper zone would be? We would need them to still weigh under 20lbs i know.

There’s three ways you could deal with this:

  1. Build a robot 26" tall. put your bumpers in the band from 10-16".

  2. Your dimensions INCLUDING bumpers would have to fit within the 28x38 box

  3. Ask Q&A if the inverted robot has to have bumpers from 10-16". My interpretation is that it does.

I do not have the rules in front of me but I believe you cannot touch a ball while flipped.

Note that all answers you get on CD are unofficial.

No. They are not in the BUMPER PERIMETER.

If so could we build an additional set of bumpers down lower where the new bumper zone would be? We would need them to still weigh under 20lbs i know.

No. Because at least one set of bumpers would not be in the BUMPER PERIMETER at any given time, and thus they would not be BUMPERS and thus have to fit in the size and weight restrictions of the robot.

Your robot must be exactly 26 inches tall to flip.

No can do: Definition in 8.2:

NORMAL CONFIGURATION – The physical configuration and orientation of the ROBOT when the MATCH is started. This is the state of the ROBOT immediately before being enabled by the Field Management System, before the ROBOT takes any actions, deploys any mechanisms, or moves away from the starting location. This configuration is static, and does not change during a single MATCH (although it may change from MATCH to MATCH).
(emphasis mine)

If you flip, you are no longer in the NORMAL CONFIGURATION that you were in at the beginning of the MATCH.

Then wouldn’t you also not be in the NORMAL CONFIGURATION if you’re going over a bump? What I’m asking is ‘does orientation really matter?’

Given the fact that the game animation and the video they showed at the beggining (yes, I know they are not official) both mentioned tipping, I would say that this would be legal. And, assuming your robot is for the rare case when the robot does tip, not trying to get tipped, I think that this is a great idea, and one that you should pursue. However, I would ask FIRST and make sure it is OK. I know of a team that just cleared a risky strategy with the event organizers, then FIRST found out and said their idea was illegal the day before the competition. So, make sure it is OK with FIRST!!!

Yeah, you have a point there. Your NORMAL CONFIGURATION is relative to your robot.

If anyone is seriously considering this, you’d better ask Q&A when it opens.

you wouldn’t perhaps be referring to 190’s ball swinging bot, or 1519’s Speed Racer/Fezzik incidents, both in 2008, for FIRST Overdrive, would you?

You could make the bumpers move up and down depending on your orientation. You have to check the legality of this though.

Pretty certain that that would be a violation of <R11>. Not totally sure though; I’d check Q&A.

<R11> The FRAME PERIMETER must be comprised of fixed, non-articulated structural elements of the ROBOT. The FRAME PERIMETER must remain a fixed, unchanging polygon throughout the MATCH.

(And before you say that’s not applicable, the bumpers are required to mount to the frame perimeter, as detailed in <R07>.)

Not sure I agree Eric, If say your bumpers were mounted to a 28x38 frame, and your wheels are whats doing the moving.

I’m envisioning some sort of collapsible robot that can decollapse in either direction

Let’s say that you do that. In starting orientation, your bumpers are fine. You flip over trying a bump, and your bumpers are now out of the zone. Your wheels land on the floor, and you promptly begin lowering them. What’s the crowd (and the ref, and the opposing drivers) going to see? They aren’t going to see wheels lowering, they’re going to see bumpers raising. Then they see you driving around like nothing happened. And it happens again…and again…and again.

What are you going to say, if you think this is intentional and a design feature?

<S04>, <R11>, <R07-A>…

I see where you’re coming from, but to an outside observer, this is vertical articulation of the frame perimeter, not vertical articulation of the wheels. It’s an idea, but I think you’d best Q&A it.

It could also be considered a self-righting mechanism, though that is a bit of a stretch.

I think the original plan of a 26" tall robot with wheels on both sides and the bumpers centered in the bumper zone at 13" is the most likely to be legal (With Q&A approval)

If, within 10 seconds of flipping, you can right yourself (perhaps by re-flipping over the bump) via <G30>c and <G32>. But if you drive around using your ‘alternate drive’ and contact opposing robots or any balls, a PENALTY will be assigned.

Good point. I knew there was a reason that it would be a stretch.

I’m not sure that this would outlaw playing on your top, so to speak. as long as your inverted position is a legal NORMAL CONFIGURATION, i think you’re ok.

I think your NORMAL CONFIGURATION is at least partly defined by the orientation of your team number on the bumpers. Either way, the bumpers would have to occupy the space 10" to 16" from the floor.

Where’s that? I see your opponent possibly getting a penalty if they contact you in <G32> (except you won’t be trying to right yourself so it probably wouldn’t apply), and if you’re in the FINALE CONFIGURATION trying to right yourself you’d get a penalty in <G30>b.