Hands off my bot

Yes, we all know how tempting it is to touch expensive things. And a robot is definitely no exception. I don’t mind if they touch it. You just don’t use my bot as a footrest(been done and ran off for it). Also, things tend to happen when too many people that don’t know what they are doing keep touching it.

Now, before I ask my question…I want to post that there are upsides to people touching the bot too. It can be a good way of recruiting members and such.

The question: What do you do about all the random hands touching your bot?

Smite them with my iron fist.

Seriously, I don’t mind so much, I just notify them not to get their fingers stuck in chain or gears, or pull on the wires.


If it’s powered, you better be at least 500 feet away.

Otherwise, just don’t pull on wires or do anything obviously destructive. If the robot can’t take a few hands checking out shooter wheels or belts then it was about to break anyway. It should be everyone’s goal to put guards in proper places so that a powered off robot does not pose a safety hazard to anyone touching it in any reasonable manner (i.e. not shoving a fist into an electronics board and ripping out wires). One can’t expect guards to protect everyone when the robot is on, so no one touches it then.

Then again, it’s not my robot, it’s the team’s robot, and I didn’t assemble most of it. For all I know my team hates me for pulling on polycord to check if it’s tight enough.

I usually say, “I wouldn’t touch that, it might not like you” or something to that effect. It works for the younger kids, generally “just watch your fingers there” is good for most everyone else.

However, if it’s turned on, you’ll get yelled at a little. Sorry but you don’t have mandatory bumpers.

If the robot is on, no one should be touching it, period. This is just common sense. If the robot is off, then it depends. Sticking your fingers into pinch points, pulling on wires or other fragile parts, or using the robot as a foot rest are all pretty bad ideas, for your sake and for the robot’s sake. If you’re a little kid, you might not have the discretion to know what parts you shouldn’t stick your fingers in, so it’s probably not too good for you to touch the robot either. Maybe under very close supervision if there is protection over the pinch points and fragile spots it could be a good learning experience for older kids. Usually adults realize what is appropriate touching, and what is not.

If its little kids, very young, I tell them not to wake up the angry robot. :stuck_out_tongue:

But no I don’t mind, just the no pulling wires policy. Everything else is usually pretty robust and stands up to random people touching it.

Robot on: don’t even think about it.

Robot off: generally OK, but that’s after the pneumatics are drained. Don’t pull wires or do something stupid, though.

I definitely agree with everything said here. when the robot is off anyone can look at it and play with it as long as they don’t do something stupid. but when the robot is on you better stay away… during overdrive our robot hit a member of team 1747 in the head and left a bruise - complete accident, the robot “wings” that held the ball opened when it was turned on… and then later i accidentally drove over one of my mentors foot because she was standing too close to it… safety FIRST!

If you go to a car show, you don’t touch any thing. The robots should be the same way. Teams spend many hours and dollars building them and do not want every ones hands all over them. Is it really that hard to ask a member of the team if you can touch it? If it is your own teams, then touch it all you want, but when it comes to other teams robots, a little respect should be given.

If the robot is designed well enough, nothing should break if people touch it when it’s off. When it’s on, they need to stay back, but that’s only because we don’t want to deal with the paperwork of letting Darwin work his magic.

This whole point of this program is about getting students involved and inspired, not as a look-don’t-touch, “get off my lawn you meddling kids!” show of engineering prowess.

I’m sorry, but the prevelance of this idea is absurd to me. I see absolutely no reason as to why a person cannot be near a robot that is on. A healthy respect for injuries that a robot can cause DOES NOT require one to treat it like its a bomb about to go off. Honestly a robot that turned on is only as dangerous as the person controlling it. As is, everyone on the team should have a sense of trust in their driver, otherwise that person should not be controlling a robot.

As for touching, it’s a… dare I say… touchy situation (har har har). If a person is attempting to do anything near any sort of moving chain or motorized rollers ect, the bot is immediatly disabled. However, lets say all of the power for our rollers has been removed, the bot can’t do anything but roll around. A person touching the robot would have to be hard pressed to be injured by that action. Why they would want to touch the robot is beyond me, but they would not be injured unless they literally decided to lay down right infront of the robot before I had time to react and move/stop the bot. Something rather hard to do.

I’m going to have to respectfully disagree there. A robot is only as safe as it’s programmers, and I wouldn’t trust a program with my body. What if the robot suddenly started autonomous mode, and someone had their hand in a gearbox, or was right in front of it as an 135 pound machine tackled them? There are very, very many bad things that can happen (and have) to people by powered robots.

How about this. Precautions are easier than lawsuits and cheaper than hospital bills.

The person near the bot often has a good chance of not knowing what tit is capable of. The driver may not know every nuance of the programming and mechanisms, and may bump the joysticks (maybe from being bumped by someone else).

I know as a driver at competitions and demos, I want a few feet around the robot unless I know the controls won’t get bumped, then people can touch the robot *when its on!:yikes: *

Frankly it comes down to if your team wants a Barret-Jackson don’t-you-dare-touch-that-bolt robot, that’s fine. If your team wants a petting zoo bot, be careful.

For me it is as much about respect as it is about breaking it. If I put 6 weeks into it, it is not a footrest. I don’t care if you had as much to do with it as me. Just respect my portion enough to not use it that way. I suppose that was my intention of this thread. I don’t mean to start a debate. Just want to see if I’m alone in this sentiment.

Most times (at least on our older bots) we not only encourage touching (when off and no potential energy available) but usually allow other people to drive it, even young kids. We have a kill switch on the controller and someone with real fast reaction hovering over it. It has made a lot of kids’ day to drive it for a few minutes. Usually, we have 3 or 4 people on the “field” when a kid is driving, fully aware that we may need to move fast, but able to redirect the robot or disable it quickly from the field. Yes, I got a few bruises on my shins, but it was worth it to see the smile on the kid’s faces. :slight_smile:

Totally agree. Once Atlanta is over, anybody is welcome to drive it, in my opinion. Obviously we won’t let them take it off a cliff or do something stupid with it, but it’s like a car or a boat to me, it was built to be driven, whether that be by students who didn’t get to drive it during the season, parents who supported their kids during the six weeks where they never saw them, spouces (spices?) who let their significant others hang out with 30 high school kids instead of them for four months, sponsors, kids at a demo, grandparents, whoever. If letting them drive gets one kid to join a lego league team because “That robot was cool! That’s what I want to do in HS.” then it’s served it’s purpose. The robot is a vehicle.

Indeed. A couple of years ago, we set up a booth at the University of Missouri, Kansas City for their Sally Ride (astronaut) Festival. It was designed to allow young girls to get an idea of what was available to them in college, leaning toward the sciences.The first kid to drive our bot was a girl about six or seven years old and when she finished, she was not interested in any of the other booths. She just wanted to watch the robot (even though she couldn’t drive it any more because of a terribly long line and it became a little to crowded for the really young kids) and play with our rings. That, I think, was a recruit! and one happy kid. Most of the kids that get to drive it are hooked. (Even the grown up kids.)

We don’t mind people touching our robot along as its not destructive (its almost a benefit with the floors in the school with the lunacy wheels cause it causes a static build up)

We aren’t exactly talking about team members here. Note the “random hands” in the first post.

You’re doing a demo. How close do you want Joe-off-the-street to be to your robot while it is running? Especially given the limited barriers usually found at demos? The best driver in the world can’t dodge a pedestrian who jumps out from between parked cars 1 car ahead of him. Similar conditions apply with a robot, except that it’s going slower and is lighter than said car (and it’s easier to slam into reverse).

I can understand a team member in close proximity, especially if you’re running on tether. But if it’s someone from the general public, use caution, and have a safety area to stay outside of while the robot is on. Whenever the robot is off and has the stored energy released, as close as you the team want is the limit until it’s ready to power on again.

Touching the robot imparts good luck. More touching, please! Robot must be off/de-energized.