G28, Q&A 83, and Noodling a Can Without Touching it

There was a RI3D video that talked about holding the can up a bit, or at an angle to allow humans to noodle a can easily. The recent Q&A posting below suggests to me that your robot can’t be touching a can at all as a noodle is introduced through the litter chute. This makes making noodled stacks much harder. Thoughts?


Edit - the rule in question is G27

I saw the same thing. Gimme a minute or five and a followup question addressing this will be up.

EDIT: FRC3373 thought the same thing. I also have another question, though.

As long as the robot is not controlling the noodle as it comes out the chute it should be okay. Ask on Q&A though just in case.
That answer means you can’t grab the tote from the chute midway.

But the text of G27 is “ROBOTS and anything they control, e.g. a TOTE, may not contact anything outside the FIELD.”

So if you control (touch?) a can, and you feed a noodle into it, if the noodle touches the lid at all, you violate G27 (in my reading).

Game - The Game » Game Rules » Human Actions

Q54 Q. Can a human player hold on to litter while it is simultaneously touching the recycle bin ?

A. Yes, there are no rules prohibiting that.

I guess the robot will have to let go of the container first, then have the noodle loaded, and then the robot can re-grab the tote/recycle bin.
Will need to re-ask the GDC about this and be more specfic.

Somebody already asked. Given the speed of response this year, I suspect we’ll see something by the end of the day.


Using a human player to feed litter into the container is legal per Q&A 34.

But the question is that might change depending on if a robot is controlling said container, according to G27.

This is a later Q&A, which may or may not supersede Q&A 34.

The rules state that a a robot control anything coming out of the chute. If it’s just holding a can, I fail to see how that’s illegal.

What does it mean for a robot to control something? Does this prohibit totes from the human player chute from sliding onto a waiting robot? :confused:

Wow holy contradictions batman! Lets see how this turns out.

G27 seems very specific on this point:

G27 ROBOTS and anything they control, e.g. a TOTE, may not contact anything outside the FIELD.

This game had some of the most straightforward and easy to understand (and therefore enforce) rules of any FRC game in recent times. This ruling undoes all of that…

  1. “Control” is not given a definition in the glossary, so who knows how this will be called in practice…

  2. I hope you are planning on floor loading totes, because this effectively outlaws most HP-to-robot transfers that don’t involve the tote touching the floor (depending on the definition of “control”).

  3. If your human player (or partner) accidentally gets a noodle lodged in your robot while poking it through the litter chute, you are disabled. Additionally, if a noodle is “controlled” by a can that is “controlled” by the robot, am I violating G27?

  4. The design of the litter chute and tote chute, along with the human player rules (ex. G6 and G6-1) already provide TWO layers of defense against robot-to-human contact. Do we really need a third?

Regardless of how the GDC feels about this issue, further clarification (at the very least, a definition for “controlling” a game piece) is necessary. I hope they will revisit this ruling and provide an exception to controlling objects in the chutes as long as the robot itself does not enter them. This would totally remove subjectivity from the equation and is clearly preferable to having to come up with an arbitrary ontology of allowed interactions with totes and noodles (ex. active rollers vs. passive rollers vs. clamping game objects vs. a sloped piece of lexan…)

This seems like overkill as far as safety is concerned, given that pool noodles are basically harmless, and the existence of the tote chute door and associated rule make this redundant.

I predict that there will be almost no litter scored by robots as a result, as this task becomes much harder if a robot must pick up litter off the floor and reorient it rather than grabbing it as it dangles vertically out of the chute.

How is this enforceable? It seems difficult to prove that the tote never touches the chute and the robot at the same time.

It depends on where your robot is positioned in regards to the chute…

some teams might want to be very close as to were they basically take the tote from the chute before it hits the floor.

I also agree these contradictory rulings and overkill safety measures are ridiculous. The tote barely fits in the chute as is, plus the door that you can’t touch while touching a tote… Who is going to be able to reach in and touch a robot???

This ruling makes the game infinitely harder. Imagine 2013 with a rule like this - every chapionship winning robot’s main method of taking frisbees would have been illegal.

I hope this rule is updated/clarified/changed.

That’s the problem…it will be completely unenforceable in a consistent manner. As Jared noted, as long as a robot doesn’t protrude through the chute there is no reason for this interpretation of the rule to exist.

Now it will be a judgement call that will be different for every ref when it could easily just be determined by “was the robot inside the chute or not?”. That would have required no judgment and there would be no issue.

This is going to create a huge problem for the average team that was planning on human loading their robot…it’s not clear that a robot can human load, period, without letting the tote fall completely to the floor without touching the robot at all in the process. Plus as written, a noodle cannot be transferred directly to a robot or put into a can that a robot is holding. Surely this is not what the GDC intended?

This opened a huge can of worms that I hope the GDC prematurely responded to without considering all the implications of their response.

Emphasis mine.

I wonder if that was the intention? By the end of 2013, some human players could load a full set of frisbees in a few seconds. By adding all the barriers that slow down human loading, the GDC is adding another tradeoff between picking up from the floor and human loading. If human loading didn’t have the gate or the “control” requirement it would clearly be the quicker, easier, more consistent way to load totes. All of the limitations make the choice much less obvious, especially considering how good some of the Ri3D intakes were and how much time teams have to further develop those designs, come up with their own, and train drivers.

Those 2 different questions & answers and G27 surely “seem” to conflict a little bit. (But I’m not the expert!) We’ll take it as answered in Q&A 34. And of course in relation to TOTES, as answered in the other Q&A question 83 also.

I’m just glad others will test this in week 1, and we won’t be. A litter “soft pool noodle” isn’t a real safety risk though touching an RC, that is touching or held by a robot, a Tote surely would be with precious hands on the Tote Chute Door Handle. DISABLED ROBOTS are ABSOLUTELY not any fun! (Neither are ripped off Tote Chutes and Chute doors. EG: Robot grabs onto Tote half way out of the chute, robot lifts tote w/ elevator, Tote Chute is in trouble. As is Human player holding that tote chute door handle methinks!)

G27 ROBOTS and anything they control, e.g. a TOTE, may not contact anything outside the FIELD.


Blue Box: Please be conscious of REFEREES and FIELD staff working around the ARENA who may be in close proximity to your ROBOT.

“Isn’t it always the way in our world that “LITTER causes all the problems?”…Simple wipe out LITTER…Just CHOOSE TO RECYCLE,…and RUSH IT PLEASE!”