It is explicitly stated in <G38> that a PILOT cannot interact with the robot or the field during the auton peroid. However, it does not say that the PAYLOAD SPECIALIST cannot be active. It only states that they must remain within their designated area. So does this imply that a PAYLOAD SPECIALIST may pass robots MOON ROCKS or EMPTY CELLS during auton?

Second question, mildy off topic…
Is the name “PAYLOAD SPECIALIST” the name given to the player in the OUTPOST or all human players, other than the PILOT?


MOON ROCK Starting Positions – Each TEAM is provided with twenty (20) MOON ROCKS prior to the MATCH. The TEAM may place up to seven (7) of the MOON ROCKS in or on the TEAM ROBOT prior to the MATCH. These MOON ROCKS must be completely supported by the ROBOT – they can not be placed on the CRATER floor. The remaining MOON ROCKS are retained by the PAYLOAD SPECIALIST for that TEAM, to be used during the MATCH (containers will be provided at each PAYLOAD SPECIALIST location to temporarily store GAME PIECES).
If “MATCH” refers to the teleoperated period, then those 7 you start with are all you get for autonomous. Otherwise, I see no explicit restriction on human player activity during autonomous, considering there is no pilot interaction, just payload specialist interaction.

Definitions say that the non-pilot, non-commander crew member is termed the “payload specialist.” So, that is the player at all three outposts, and the fueling stations.

so based off those two things, I’d have to say “Yes, the PAYLOAD SPECIALIST is allowed to distribute GAME PIECES into the CRATER or onto the ROBOT during the AUTONOMOUS PERIOD as it is part of the MATCH.”

your PAYLOAD SPECIALIST is your human player. you then have 2 PILOTS (drivers) and one COMMANDER (coach).

For what it’s worth, the game animation shows active PAYLOAD SPECIALISTS throwing balls into trailors during the autonomous period.


Given rule G40 part A it only states that the PAYLOAD SPECIALIST may not be touching any scoring objects prior to the MATCH.
Part B states that at ANY point during the MATCH the rocks/cells may be put into play.

So yes, it appears that the PAYLOAD SPECIALIST may enter scoring objects into play at any time after auton starts

Thanks so much. :]

At the very least, that means that your robot needs to dance around a bit during the autonomous period. If it just sits there, it’s gonna get loaded with moon rocks!


You’re right about <G40>, but in past years (I know, I know they don’t apply), that’s been illegal.

Then again, the veterans have to unlearn everything they know this year. I’m going to bet that somebody asks Q&A and the GDC confirms that it’s legal.

Speaking of M.S.'s at the outposts, how far are we allowed to extend our hand through the port? Not at all? I remember in '07 how there were penalties if your hand extended over the wall, but when the MS is sitting alongside the field and putting balls through the port, I would expect that hands will break the plane of the barrier. I didn’t see anything specifically about it in the rules… any ideas?

So you want to make sure everyone on your alliance has at least something for auto or they’ll be a siting duck. Should help promote auto modes.