FRC 2012: Update #3

The third team update is now available online. Team Update #3

each end of the Bumper must be rigidly attached to the Frame Perimeter” (emphasis mine)

What’s that supposed to mean?

Does that mean bumpers like this are illegal?


And that these are legal?


That seems to be true according to the rules.

This would seem to make pulling off a WCD bumper mount much more of a pain. Why the GDC cwon’t leave designing structurally sound bumpers up to the teams is such a great question.

It seems they are trying to avoid allowing bumpers that attached only at the corner and/or leaving unsupported ends, although specific requirements need to be set out to leave out any ambiguity.

Also of note is an update to the administrative section of the manual:

Sections 6.6.3 and 6.6.4 have been updated to include content (formerly “To be announced”).

Section 6.11, “FIRST Future Innovator Award presented by the Abbott Fund,” has been added.
FIRST Safety
Robot Carts
To protect team members from muscle strains and other injuries as they transport the robot between the pits and the competition area, we strongly recommend that team members use a cart. Please keep the following in mind:

Carts must be safe for cart operators, bystanders, and field personnel. A cart may be declared unsafe by the Field Supervisor, FTA, or Lead Robot Inspector. Carts declared unsafe must remain in the team pit area.
Carts must remain in the team pit area when not in use for robot transportation;
All carts should fit through a standard 30-inch door;
Wheels on the cart must not damage site flooring; and
Do not add music or other sound devices to the cart.
Put your team number on your cart so it can be identified by field personnel

Refer to the “FIRST Safety Manual” for robot lifting techniques. By practicing these safety techniques, your team members will also develop a quick, fluid routine.

The bolded part is what’s highlighted in the update, AKA the added part.

Also, this makes the double C-shaped style of bumpers illegal too, no?

For those unfamiliar, they look like this: ] (Top view of robot) and usually the short lengths of the C are only attached to the frame at one point. The other side is supported by the edge of the long bumper.

This is very disappointing.

I was a little confused as well.
Isnt the end of one side of a bumper unsupported when extended out to the depth of the other adjacent side?
I guess I know what they mean, …its just the wording.

Perhaps ambiguity should be able to be left. If the rule says, don’t let your bumpers fall off, it’s kinda common sense to build bumpers that won’t fall off. Right? We inspire and recognize science and technology, but sometimes, common sense seems to be forgotten…

While what you are saying is absolutely true, I’ve been in enough regionals (20+), where not following the letter of the law, can prevent you from passing inspection.
Without diagram 4-3, it would have been quite ambiguious.

Remember, it is the wood backing that must be supported and attached as specified. This update doesn’t affect the unsupported extensions of pool noodle/fabric that you are referring to.

The question then becomes: how close to the end of the bumper is the end of the bumper?

This is slightly annoying… :ahh:


It seems to me that they mean simply that the ends of the bumper must be supported by the frame (an exception to the general rule of 8" unsupported sections). How can anyone determine whether or not a fastener holding a bumper on is “at the end” or not? Where is the line drawn? 1 inch, 2 inches? And, structurally, why would it matter, assuming the end of the bumper is supported? However they do not say supported, they say attached, so we’ll have to wait for clarification.

Perhaps they mean if you do have an unsupported 8" segment, the last supported segment on each end must be attached somewhere (and there must be no unsupported segment beyond it).

That would be better than it is now. Ambiguity isn’t bad as long as it doesn’t mean a set of bumpers could fail inspection based upon nothing more than semantics (is the end of the bumper the terminal edge? is it the last 3in of bumper? etc.) or that a superior set of bumpers (vs. a set that passes) fails just because its supports are a 1/2in from the end.

That would be the most logical requirement to me, I hope, although somewhat doubt, that’s what they mean.

I regret asking for a simple game manual when it causes this much confusion.

The fact that the GDC didn’t include how long the “end of the bumper” is means they probably didn’t think about everyone requesting a specific measurable distance. Your robot bumpers need two attachment methods on the left and right side of the wood surface. One single attachment is not going to cut it and you need to spread them out as to get the most support possible.


This rule about fastening the bumpers was the result of the LRI training. It was noticed that a bumper and backing could extend 7 " into open air and still be legal. The rule as stated means that both sides of the gap must be fastened and no bumper backing can hang free over the gap. I hope that this clears things up.

I’m still a bit confused on this. Does this mean that the bumpers need the 2 connecting brackets to be on the very farthest ends of it, or will it be ok as long as the bumper connectors are near the ends of the base, but not exactly at them?


There could not be a vaguer update. Looks like we have to put off the fabrication of our chassis until an update defining what the “end” of the bumpers are.