Major Changes in FRC game year to year

I am in the second year of my FIRST experience and i was wondering what rules can i count on being there year after year that apply to the overall design of a robot. Such as weight, size, bumpers, lights, controls, floor surface (cough cough), wheels (cough again), etc…

I understand the switch to the new controls and we won’t have another soon but I just want to know how often those types of rules change.

also is there a pattern in game type?

Don’t count on anything ever. I mean, the robot weight will probably be the same, but I mean you couldn’t even count on a carpeted field or using whatever wheels you want anymore. Expect nothing.

I can only talk about since 2006. But from my experience.

The game probably will have carpet(2009 didn’t). The standard dimensions will probably be AROUND(2007 didn’t) 28"X38"X60". There will probably be a human player(2008 didn’t). There seems to be a 50/50 shot of you being able to expand out. Ability to go up ramps is always good(2006 and 2007). There are tons of rules that will probably always be there(such as no external alignment devices) though most of the important ones have exceptions as seen above.

As for a pattern, people have rumored that the symbol of FIRST(triangle circle square) might be a pattern. However, it has been inconclusive.

See this thread:

Disclaimer: I am not on the GDC nor do I know anyone on the GDC. Anything I say is merely my best guesses

Rules regarding safe operation are pretty much the only for sure rules. Safety glasses in the pits on the field etc. Rules forbidding intentional destruction of an opponent. The rules that say we can’t build anything that intentionally destroys the field.

Aside from the obvious ones, dont assume ANYTHING. FIRST could throw us a curve ball and change everything. Or we COULD replay an old game even. FIRST is kind of evil like that but I think we all love them anyway.

Volume and weight are normally close. They can (and have!) change without any warning whatsoever. Safety rules don’t change much, if at all. (<S04> this year was the main change there. Not a big one either…)

Team numbering rules, 99% chance of not changing. Alliance ID rules will probably change. The control system probably won’t change much; however, you never know what tweaks will come in.

There are also a couple of “standard” rules; No intentional detaching, No metal on carpet, No intentional tipping (the contact rules stay pretty constant, other than pinning).

Bumpers, lights, floor surface, wheels, etc. are subject to change without warning, like this year with the wheels and floor.

As for pattern in game type, that sound you just heard was me falling off my seat laughing my head off. You can try to find one, but the most obvious one was disrupted this year.

How often do these types of rules change? How often does the GDC decide to change them?

Expect to see the GDC experimenting with different textured surfaces. They might start a trend due to this years change of surface.

Imagine a surface similar to the FTC game this year…only bigger…

Part of the reason I made my post was because I’ve heard rumors that the GDC is looking to throw more annoying curveballs that neutralize veteran advantages. This years was the field and drivetrain, which screwed up a lot of drive systems from year to year. Who knows what it could be next year? If a trend makes too much sense, I’d be willing to bet it’s not being used by the GDC.

One thing you can (maybe) count on: You will manipulate a game piece, and drive on a solid surface or surfaces. That’s really about it.

Where has it been said or written officially that the FRC Game Design Committee is looking to neutralize veteran advantages?

It has been and continues to be my experience that rumors of any kind cause problems and distortions. They are a waste of what could be valuable time.

I thought that was how we were supposed to interpret “levelling the playing field”. Neutralize is toos trong of a word, perhaps… making veterans think twice? I dunno. I thought they were trying that this year, and the speculation and rumors were to expect more.

There is only one major change that you could ever figure out on your own: Next year will be a different game.

Bring on the ultimate curveball: next year we are re-doing an old game.

I’d love to do 2004 or 1999 part two.
I’d love it even more if old teams were allowed to re-submit old robots.

The teams that made 1999 robots don’t even exist today. I mean sure, several teams were around at that time. And sure, the numbers still exist at the same school. But the students aren’t the same. And the students are what makes the team.

I’m not shooting down the idea of replaying a game.(I would bet against it, but I’m not saying it won’t happen) However, I just wanted to point out the fallacies of old teams using old robots.

You can say the same thing about 2004. And that’s exactly why I feel it would be cool to re-use those old robots. Because the students who worked on them AREN’T there anymore. It’s not just breaking out an old toy again, it’s learning and understand what someone else engineered and why they did things they way they did.

In racing they have vintage races where historic racecars run around the track in what is really a glorified High Speed parade. This could be neat to see some of the old CD47 machines brought down off the wall to face off with or against the “vintage” 33 machines hanging out in the basement. Do you get 6 weeks to fire up those old beasts? I know team 33’s rule tune with bungee means that many of our machines more than 2 years old would require some major rework.

It also probably won’t be a water game :slight_smile:

The only constant is change.

I also figure that we will not go over the 120 lb max limit. I have heard from several sources; over that amount additional OSHA rules kick in for the operation of the machine.

Seven months until kick off

But in many cases the mentors are the same. In 2000 and 2004 we had hanging bots; if we have another one next year, I bet a lot of older teams (yes, mine would be one of them) will go back to the old designs and evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Which wouldn’t necessarily give them an advantage!

I would presume this to be the case for most teams. However, the mentors don’t really make the team. The students do. (arguable I know…so just consider that an opinion.) I don’t consider it to be a major advantage to be able to look at old robots. However, to take a part off of an old robot and put it on a new robot…this is a big advantage. One that the rule books now prohibit. The idea suggested by Lil’ Lavery would be doing this with the entire robot.