Lifting Robots off of the Bar

Posted by P.J. Baker.

Engineer on team #177, Bobcat Robotics, from South Windsor High School and International Fuel Cells.

Posted on 3/28/2000 5:35 AM MST

I see two references to robots being lifted off of the center bar in Chicago. I had thought that one of the updates said this was not allowed, so I went back and checked:

The answer to Q78 in Update 3 says (in Part): You may not try to lift an opposing robot of the bar, per rule DQ12.

However, the answer to Q72, also in update 3 says: If a robot is pulling itself onto the bar, and another robot is in the way, it is okay to keep pulling yourself onto the bar.

I would guess that the way to interpret this is that anything goes, as long as you are trying to get your machine off of the ground. My question for everyone who has been to a regional is: Is that how the refs have been calling it, or have they also been allowing robots to be lifted off of the bar by robots that were not trying to lift themselves? Do tell.

Posted by Joe Johnson.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

Posted on 3/28/2000 7:26 AM MST

In Reply to: Lifting Robots off of the Bar posted by P.J. Baker on 3/28/2000 5:35 AM MST:

I don’t know about the legality of things, but I can tell you that in the last match of QF3 at the MWR in which Hammond (#71) & Visteon (#201) were up against 3-Dimensional Systems (#1) & Haworth (#74), Team #1 methodically lifted Team #201 off the bar.

They were not trying to get on the bar unless you say that they were ‘making room’ for themselves.

At the time I didn’t think about whether this was in the spirit of things or not. It was very exciting I can tell you that.

Bottom line, no call or warning by the refs.

Perhaps a clarification is in order.

Joe J.

Posted by Erin.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Student on team #1, The Juggernauts, from Oakland Technical Center-Northeast Campus and 3-Dimensional Services.

Posted on 3/28/2000 9:21 AM MST

In Reply to: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by Joe Johnson on 3/28/2000 7:26 AM MST:

I can’t say if we were being very nice or not, but we also did that to Delphi Knights. No call was made, so I am assuming, since we did it a second time, it is legal.

-erin, team 1

Posted by P.J. Baker.

Engineer on team #177, Bobcat Robotics, from South Windsor High School and International Fuel Cells.

Posted on 3/28/2000 9:32 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by Erin on 3/28/2000 9:21 AM MST:

You are correct, since the referees’ decisions are final and they did not call it either time, lifting another team off of the bar was ‘legal’. This does not mean that they properly enforced the rule as stated by FIRST.

I certainly do not want to imply that anyone did anything that they knew was not allowed just to see if they could get away with it. But I do think that the rules, as interpreted by FIRST in update #3, make it clear that lifting another machine off of the bar is not allowed unless the lifting machine is also trying to get on the bar.

‘Spirit of the Competition’ wise, I don’t have a problem with lifting another team off of the bar, but there are a couple of changes that I will try to have made to the Bobcat if lifting is allowed. I will see if I can get a clear ruling from FIRST and the refs at the NE Regional this week. I will post whatever I find out.

Posted by Mike McIntyre.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Coach on team #1, Juggernaut, from Oakland Technical Center Northeast and 3 Dimensional Services.

Posted on 4/2/2000 4:59 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by P.J. Baker on 3/28/2000 9:32 AM MST:

Let me clarify Erin’s comment: when she says we’ve gotten people off the bar before, she didn’t mean by lifting them straight into the air. What we try to do is push them off and, since we are an angular robot going up an angular plane, the pushing does have an upward component to the force. We push them low and try to swing them out and off of the bar; although we are unable to get most robots off this way, we do sometimes manage to clear a place for ourselves. Sometimes, the robot being pushed falls on top of us and hurts us pretty badly (as the Delphi Knights did in Michigan). The instance everybody’s been writing about was not a case of us trying something ‘just to see if (we) could get away with it.’ We had fallen on our face and were righting ourselves. The first thing I asked the drivers after the match was ‘Did you try to lift Rochester up?’ and they replied immediately that they were actually just trying to get themselves up but were happily surprised to see (them) lift right off the bar as we righted ourselves.

Personally, I would have a problem with widescale lifting of other teams off of the bar, (I think there will be too many destroyed robots out there) and, now that we know how to do it, everybody else with any kind of an elevator system can do it too. I am not sure where FIRST will be able to draw a clear line, though: whenever you push a robot that’s clamped onto a bar you naturally apply a torque and an upward rotation occurs. I’m glad I’m not a ref…

Posted by P.J. Baker.

Engineer on team #177, Bobcat Robotics, from South Windsor High School and International Fuel Cells.

Posted on 4/2/2000 5:29 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by P.J. Baker on 3/28/2000 9:32 AM MST:

I must admit that I did not get around to getting the ruling cleared up this weekend. I could only make it for lunch on Thursday and Friday (it’s very nice to work 15 minutes from the venue), and the team was too busy taking 4 POUNDS out of the Bobcat so that we could make weight. BTW - after working the bugs out the Bobcat ran great this weekend. We seeded 14, and would have been much higher if we had been on the winning side of that 33-31 round on Friday. But I digress. I am happy with Mike’s explanation and believe that the Refs made the right call. I will still try to get the ruling clarified by FIRST down at EPCOT, ironically though, it will be harder to tell you all what I find out.

Posted by Erin.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Student on team #1, The Juggernauts, from Oakland Technical Center-Northeast Campus and 3-Dimensional Services.

Posted on 3/28/2000 9:25 AM MST

In Reply to: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by Joe Johnson on 3/28/2000 7:26 AM MST:

Oh, Joe- you have to admit, when rochester RAMMED into comBBAT and threw them off, it was much more exciting, yet still- no call- and they even got the ‘best defense’ for that round. I will say, that was way much more exciting. And it was even better that they were our alliance in that round!

-erin

Posted by Scott Strickland.

Engineer on team #21, ComBBAT, from Astronaut & Titusville High School and Boeing/NASA.

Posted on 3/28/2000 6:41 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by Erin on 3/28/2000 9:25 AM MST:

Having been pushed off the bar twice at Chicago, we have made a minor mod that will prevent it from happening again. Yes, we feel we should have gotten a one of the ‘Best Play’ trophies, since it was our robot that did the flip.

Warning to all… simple hooks are not good enough. We raised 25 inches off the ramp and were pushed off. We stayed 1 inch off the ramp and were pushed off.

The refs allow it all. I thought it was like the puck last year, if you are on the ramp or on the bar anything goes. You are trying to lower your opponents score by pushing them off the ramp or bar, right?

We have humbly learned our lesson.

Scott

Posted by Brett R…

Student on team #201, Viste-Feds, from Rochester High School and Visteon Automotive Systems.

Posted on 3/29/2000 4:20 PM MST

In Reply to: FIRST will have to remove the bar to get us off it!!! posted by Scott Strickland on 3/28/2000 6:41 PM MST:

FIRST isn’t going to appreciate it much. :slight_smile:

Posted by Brett R…

Student on team #201, Viste-Feds, from Rochester High School and Visteon Automotive Systems.

Posted on 3/29/2000 4:13 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by Erin on 3/28/2000 9:25 AM MST:

We were going for the bar. You were lifting.

And if you look close, you could almost see their hooks weren’t really well on, way too angled. The slightest nudge would just roll them off.

Posted by Raul.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.

Posted on 3/28/2000 2:28 PM MST

In Reply to: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by Joe Johnson on 3/28/2000 7:26 AM MST:

#201 is one tough little robot.
There was another situation at the MWR where #201 was tipped over in the middle of the round, was set straight by their partner, got on the bar and won the match. This was one of those special moments that stuck in my mind because it seemed that they were tipped over illegally (but no call was made). They were in the middle of the field (not near the ramp), their lift was down and their opponent seemed to lift them (maybe accidentally)to tip them over.

Raul

Posted by Erin.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Student on team #1, The Juggernauts, from Oakland Technical Center-Northeast Campus and 3-Dimensional Services.

Posted on 3/29/2000 10:33 AM MST

In Reply to: #201 can sure take a fall and get it done posted by Raul on 3/28/2000 2:28 PM MST:

201 was lifted back up by Big Mo- 314. Big Mo did this intentionally- they put their basket in ‘limbo’ position and raised it up like they would to unload balls. this reacted against the top of 201’s basket and popped them back up. That happened to be my personal favorite move- one I would have ruled as the ‘Play of the Day’. I bet many other robots could do that as well. Improvise!

-erin

Posted by Michael Ciavaglia.

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Interior Systems.

Posted on 3/30/2000 6:44 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: #201 can sure take a fall and get it done posted by Erin on 3/29/2000 10:33 AM MST:

I stayed to watch that match. I don’t remember the time the tipping occured in the match, but I do remember walking out with about 1:00 minute (maybe more) left. I thought, ‘It’s over, there is no chance for #201 and #314.’

Wow, was I wrong.

Even though I didn’t see it. This was my PLAY-OF-THE-DAY!!

GREAT JOB!!

Mike C.

Posted by Brett R…

Student on team #201, Viste-Feds, from Rochester High School and Visteon Automotive Systems.

Posted on 3/29/2000 4:11 PM MST

In Reply to: #201 can sure take a fall and get it done posted by Raul on 3/28/2000 2:28 PM MST:

One of the team member’s parents filmed the whole thing, and you can see the bot that flipped us lower down, get under us, and raise back up. (Scissor like wheels) So I would say it was intentional.

(btw thanks for the compliments)

Posted by Brett R…

Student on team #201, Viste-Feds, from Rochester High School and Visteon Automotive Systems.

Posted on 3/29/2000 4:09 PM MST

In Reply to: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by Joe Johnson on 3/28/2000 7:26 AM MST:

I spent 4 hours reading team updates to clarify this after the fact and am very disgruntled to say it was completely illegal. (unless of course the refs will listen to ‘making room for themselves’ ha)

Would you say they lifted us off the ground that time when they were trying to grab the black ball out of our basket? We did get partway airborn, that’s a DQ, and they were really close to our electronics (another DQ).

Posted by Brett R…

Student on team #201, Viste-Feds, from Rochester High School and Visteon Automotive Systems.

Posted on 3/29/2000 4:19 PM MST

In Reply to: #1 lifted #201 – no call… posted by Joe Johnson on 3/28/2000 7:26 AM MST:

Are these people that go to all the regionals and ref?

or are they volunteers for that particular regional, and have they even read the rules? (or team updates)

I think they should have a ref near the alliance stations so teams can talk to the ref about rule infractions the team sees but refs miss (their decision isn’t final 'til the match is over).

Posted by Nate Smith.

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 3/30/2000 8:27 AM MST

In Reply to: You also have to wonder about the refs… posted by Brett R. on 3/29/2000 4:19 PM MST:

: Are these people that go to all the regionals and ref?

: or are they volunteers for that particular regional, and have they even read the rules? (or team updates)
From my experiences working on the crew at the Great Lakes Regional, I can defend FIRST and their referees a bit…the head referee is part of the travelling crew, and the other referees are specific to a given event(at least as far as I saw.) Before the event, the referees have meetings to discuss the rules, and are given a ‘referee’s book,’ which outlines the rules that they need to know. The FIRST crew is rather small, and for them to have a travelling set of referees for all events(especially with some weekends having 3 regionals this year,) they would be more spread out than they already are. Because of this, while the referees may not always be perfect(but truthfully, in what sport are they?), I believe that FIRST is doing the best that they can under the circumstances.

: I think they should have a ref near the alliance stations so teams can talk to the ref about rule infractions the team sees but refs miss (their decision isn’t final 'til the match is over).

Also, nowhere in the rules does it state that the decisions are not final until the end of the match. In fact, for some infractions(I don’t have my rule book right in front of me, so I can’t tell you which ones,) the rules specifically state that the call will be made at the time the action occurs. There are 4-6(don’t remember exactly how many) referees at various positions on the field during the match, and if none of them see a violation of the rules, which I believe they are well aware of by the time the competition starts, then we will just have to live with that call. As for the comment of having a referee near the alliance station, the view that the teams may have may not always be the whole picture, and having a ref that always has to be listening to whatever the teams feel is an infraction of the rules(whether it actually is or not) would just distract them from their real job of watching the events taking place on the field, therefore perhaps causing them to miss more important calls.

While the two teams that were part of the alleged infraction of the rules have been quite vocal since Chicago, the voice of FIRST, most likely due to their busy schedule with the last two regionals, as well as preparing for the national competition, has been quite silent on these discussion forums in the past few weeks. I am not going to say whether I believe there was an infraction or not(that’s not my call,) however, I just wanted to clear up some of the issues regarding how FIRST chooses and prepares their referees for the competitions.

Nate Smith

Posted by lucia Sevcik.

Other on team Leopards from Booker T. Washington sponsored by ExxonMobil.

Posted on 3/30/2000 7:16 PM MST

In Reply to: In defense of FIRST and their referees… posted by Nate Smith on 3/30/2000 8:27 AM MST:

: In reference to the referee debate. As Nate stated, the head referee is a staff person from FIRST. The remaining referees are volunteers that are recruited for each regional event. These volunteers who have take vacation time from a busy work schedule volunteer 3 days at the regional. Recruitment for volunteers to act as refs is done early. Each volunteer is given a rulebook and updates by FIRST. In addition to the 3 days these people give to this event they spend countless hours studying the rules and then meet with FIRST officials prior to the regional for additional training. The referees at the Lone Star Regional did a wonderful job and my hat is off to them since they had the courage to volunteer for this THANKLESS JOB!

Please take a moment of time before you make such HARSH judgements to reflect on the fact that these people take time away from their families and busy work schedules to volunteer. IF YOU DON’T HAVE REFEREES YOU CAN’T HAVE A COMPETITION! The next time you want to criticize the call of a referee…WHY DON’T YOU TAKE A MOMENT AND VOLUNTEER FOR THE POSITION AT THE NEXT REGIONAL. Lucia Sevcik, Regional Coordinator

Posted by Danielle deCaussin.

Other on team #201, Visteon FEDS, from Rochester High School and Visteon.

Posted on 4/3/2000 3:26 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: In defense of FIRST and their referees… posted by lucia Sevcik on 3/30/2000 7:16 PM MST:

In defense of the ref’s and on behalf of the former and current members of team #201:

I am a former member of the team and am appaulled that someone on our team would criticize the ref’s. Without the ref’s there would be no competition! They put in endless hours and long days to make it all happen. Obviously this team member doesn’t understand that in competition things happen!!! The excitement of the game comes with the ups and downs that happen during matches. The ref’s are well versed in the rules and should have never been questioned!

Posted by Erin.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Student on team #1, The Juggernauts, from Oakland Technical Center-Northeast Campus and 3-Dimensional Services.

Posted on 4/3/2000 7:37 PM MST

In Reply to: In defense of the Ref’s posted by Danielle deCaussin on 4/3/2000 3:26 PM MST:

Danielle,
I am sad to see that a former member has to apologize for a current member, however, I commend you for caring so much. Those comments need to be controlled, but please, I don’t think any of us want to make you feel like it is your obligation to apologize for them. We would rather hear your comments, I am sure you have great ones! I know personally my mouth runs away with me (I post these messages quite late) but I see no reason for some of these comments. Let the person learn on their own, don’t worry about it. Just have some fun! -erin