Inflatable bumpers

hello i was just wondering if it is possible to use inflatable bumpers on a robot? i went to target to buy pool noodles but could not find any normal ones, so i bought inflatable ones. is this allowed? people use inflatable wheels so i do not see why inflatable bumpers would be an issue. something similar to the ones i purchased are pictured below


I’m going to assume this isn’t a meme.

They’re gonna pop. Buy some nice 2.5" noodles on Amazon. You, your team, and your RI will be far happier with the result.


So, this looks like it might be legal, per R24C (material is not called out specifically).

C. use a stacked pair of approximately 2½ in. (nominal, ~63mm) round, petal, or hex “pool noodles” (solid or hollow) as the BUMPER cushion material (see Figure 9-6). All pool noodles used in a BUMPER set (e.g. Red set of BUMPERS) may not be modified (with the exception of cutting to length or beveling ends) or deformed and must be the same diameter, cross-section, and density (e.g. all round hollow or all hex solid). Cushion material may extend up to 2½ in. (~63 mm) beyond the end of the plywood (see Figure 9-7). To assist in applying the fabric covering, soft fasteners may be used to attach the pool noodles to the wood backing, so long as the cross section in Figure 9-6 is not significantly altered (e.g. tape compressing the pool noodles).

HOWEVER, there are a large number of other ways to rule this illegal, starting with R24C’s Blue Box:

All pool noodles used on a ROBOT must be the same in order to maintain the desired interaction between ROBOTS in the cases of BUMPER-to-BUMPER contact. BUMPERS containing pool noodles of vastly different construction may cause a “ramp” effect when interacting with other BUMPERS.

I guarantee that after a couple of matches, they won’t be the same any more.

I haven’t even gotten to the pneumatics rules yet–as they’re holding compressed air, they are going to be considered pneumatics. That leaves me three different rules to call them illegal: They’re outside the Starting Configuration, they aren’t rated for the proper pressure, AND you can’t drain them from the main relief valve.

Pneumatic tires are specifically excluded from pneumatics–and it’s specific to pneumatic wheels.


The rules do allow for hollow pool noodles

^^ So much this. Even if by some miracle an RI passes you, your bumpers (beyond the wood) will not survive the first match you get into vigorous defense.


Yup. Then, next summer, hit the local dollar store and stock up for build season.


I do kinda want to run a test and see how long they last though…


I shall go in the opposite direction


so we should try it?


They do.

However, specific material (usually assumed to be FOAM) is not, this time. At one time it was.

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Careful, you’re scoring in the yellow of “is this a troll”-o-meter.

No. Buy regular gosh darn pool noodles. Inflatable noodles will not work. At all.


You’d think FIRST’s GDC would have figured out not to use “sold as” rules by now, but two of the three main bumper constituents prove otherwise.

You know, that’s the ONE thing that made would have made this drivetrain even better.


You knew which link I was putting in before you clicked it.


are you sure this drivetrain would work? i do not see how the wheel layout would allow the robot to drive


You have to read the linked thread a little bit. And follow a few of the other times it’s been linked.

@EricH I think the whoosh is over your head right now. Pretty sure this guy is trolling


Probably. I never said he wasn’t.

It is actually, per the bumper rules, not specified what material the pool noodles need to be made of. That is, in fact, a fact. Therefore, per the bumper rules, it’s legal.

But legal != smart.


Smart would be me not engaging in this one, yet here I am


Yes. It’s completely legal. Do it.


Yes, lol I did know exactly what it was before clicking on it. Best CD troll post ever.


So obviously inflatable pool noodles are a bad idea… And they WILL pop immediately upon contact with another robot… But I kinda want to see someone do it anyways just to “stick it to 'em” and illustrate the point why the GDC should stop writing vague rules.