Lifting after power is cut

Is it possible (rules wise) to mechanically lift the robots after power is cut?

My team is talking about starting the action in the last couple seconds of the match and allow the robot to do its thing to lift an alliance’s robot 4" or even 12" into the air after the final buzzer.

I keep wanting to say it’s against the spirit of FIRST and as a veteran ref I wouldn’t allow it to consistantly happen, the only problem is that I can’t find a rule to back what my gut is telling me.

If there was under an inch to lift after power, that’s one thing, but the team is talking about lifting a significant distance after the match because things are normally scored when the field comes to rest (trying to work around the rules).

Easiest way to show this is a counterweight like in the FLL challenge this year (not feasable, but there’s other ways). Release the counterweight with 2seconds left in the game and in 4-5seconds AFTER the power is cut, the robot would end up at its final height of what ever the team wants.

Any thoughts would be appreciated so I can pass this on to the team.

If you have a spring system with a pneumatic dampening piston lifting a table, and release a latch to raise it in the last two seconds, It will continue to lift robots after the buzzer,.Since they wait for the field to “settle”, it should count as points for you.

I’ll agree with Cody. The score after things settle, so I don’t really see a problem. I think it would be a problem if the mechanism was rigged to release and start lifting as the robot loses power and the match ends, however. I think at tha point the match is over and you’re having your robot start things after the match. Obviously a Q&A question, though. Practically speaking, I don’t really see a feasible way to manage this without massive counterweights or some pretty big springs, so I’d be curious to see how you managed it.

It’s probably a little complicated on the construction side, but with respect to the rules, it would probably be OK. As previously stated, the scores are not calculated until the field comes to rest.

Turning this backwards, in previous years, we were required to remain hanging from a bar after the match was over. If the robot was slowly creeping down towards the ground, the ref’s would wait until it either stopped its decent or touched the ground. This is exactly the same idea, just in reverse.

Of course, to get the answer that really matters, you should submit the question to the Q/A forum.

Good luck.

I can tell you right now that we are planning on something like this. Pneumatics can be set to fire when the robot goes into disable mode. Alot of teams did things like this in 2005 to drop a tetra at the end of the mach. The way we look at it the match always ends when things come to rest. and a pneumatic shot only takes a couple seconds. In my mind this is the same as last year when balls were shot at the end of the round based on momentum of a wheel and counted or teams were climbing the ramp and their enegery carried them to the bonus.

Thanks for the quick replies!

I’ve been a ref for a few years and I remember the hanging bar. I was one of the refs in charge of deciding who was hanging after the end. I was looking at things in that respect but I was also looking at it in reverse. If they started to pull up and the buzzer went off, would it be counted if they were able to keep pulling themselves up after power was cut?

Once I get the ability to post on the Q&A I’ll put this there. Either that or I’ll see if I can get ahold of the team’s login info to post though their username.


The match is scored after the robots and elements come to a rest. Teams that hung on the bar only to have their mechanisms back drive and lower them down didn’t get counted. The opposite holds true here, if you start upwards and when you stop moving have lifted a team into bonus territory, then they count.


Obviously safety must be considered; you don’t want people entering the field believing that your machine has come to a resting position when it is about to lift or actuate any mechanism.

That being said, we have discussed options of using pneumatic valves that will switch when powered off to trigger any number of mechanical operations. Given that everything else should come to a static position with a second or two it is probably best if any continuing activity would be obvious in this time frame and not have any considerable delays.

OK… Let me see if I undersand. The game is not 2:15 but is infact 2:15 + “End of play”. Like the last play of a football game, if you have hiked the ball before time expires you can continue until the play is over.

At 2:15 power to the robots is cut. If your robot is at full tilt and can coast, the match is not scored until it comes to a rest. The same goes for any ringers in the air.


You just need a intricate Rube Goldberg machine on your robot that is set into motion as the power is cut that magically can score a couple ringers, lift a couple robots etc. No problem right? :slight_smile: