# Kinda stupid question...

A while back, someone suggested filling the inside of the robot with helium to save weight. Is this legal?

This is one for the GDC

. You should ask it in the Q&A.

Tell my teammates that HELIUM IS NOT FLAMMABLE!!! (long story)

Even if it was legal, getting it inside might be tough…

Michael,
I can’t help but notice that you are the ‘rules expert’ - so … well, you know…

Now I’m having visions of thousands of balloons and a grumpy old man. Oh, and a talking dog. No talking dogs on the field. Grumpy old men are ok - sometimes.

Well, I think it would only be a last ditch move to get under 120 lbs, if necessary. I don’t think it will actually happen.

Maybe the first thing to do is to calculate how much weight you’ll save per volume of He. If one cubic foot of air is displaced by one cubit foot of He, how much savings would you get?

Let’s see here… density of air is 1.204 kg/m^3, which converts to 0.0789 lb/ft^3; and density of helium is 0.1786 kg/m^3, which converts to 0.0117 lb/ft^3. So we are saving 0.0672 lb/ft^3 by replacing air with helium. I.e., not a big difference.

That is about 1/16th of a pound, or an ounce. Five US quarters weigh an ounce. Not much savings, especially once you factor in the weight of the balloon or whatever will hold in the He.

Participating on a robotics team provides amazing opportunities to think through problems and possible solutions. That is not a bad thing but a good thing.

One Saturday not long ago, I was watching a student use the whiteboard for working through some ideas that he had regarding the kicker. I don’t know if he was in the problem part, the possible solution part, or the testing part. What mattered was that he was using trigonometry and calculus and that he “was very happy”. He spent 45 minutes going between the kicking mechanism and the whiteboard.

To observe a student using all the tools available to him/her, including ‘doing the math’, can provide moments of deep inspiration to the mentors. That is no small thing.

As long as the pressure stays with in recs (sorry if some one else poasted this i just skimmed it.

If you need to lose weight, soak your robot in a solution of Slim-Fast. I’ve seen it said that if you follow their guidelines you can lose up to 2 pounds a week.

When we are overweight, we take lines of code out to reduce the weight.

I’m surprised nobody has brought up that Hydrogen is half the weight of Helium, and would be a much more efficient weight-loser.
I also noticed somebody brought up the weight of the balloons that would hold the He/H. If you cover them in tape first, they won’t tear when you swiss-cheesify them.

Might I suggest some intelligently placed 3/4" lightening holes? The best ways of losing weight involve removing matter from your robot, either via lightening or more efficient design.

Helium is not a very practical solution, hate to burst your bubble… or blimp.

So I kinda heard about bloated code, but you mean I could save postage by mailing CDs with efficient code? That makes me a happy pup!

Hydrogen is only half the weight of Helium, but since buoyancy is proportional to the difference in density, the gain in buoyancy is only ~9%. Not to mention if you plan on filling your robot with hydrogen, you better be darn sure your robot won’t short anywhere – that would be quite the show.

we change all of our colons in our codes to semicolons and use size 8 font to conserve weight… we lost a good 20 lbs with the font change alone

Well, that works when I use floppies!

helium is inert, not only is it not flammable, it isn’t at all reactive (with a few possible exceptions, of course). If its in the last row of the periodic table, it won’t burn.

das hindenberg!