So we’re allowed to extend 16 inches beyond the frame perimeter during the game. How does inspection verify that the robot cannot be extended beyond this - especially since there are no restrictions during the end game?
Is there a rule in the manual pertaining to this issue that we are missing?
In the past, if your robot is capable of extending outside of the size limitations during the match, but has software in place to prevent this from happening, then it could still pass inspection. I believe that the inspectors add a note so the refs know that it is possible for the robot to exceed the size limits in this case, but this might vary from event to event.
That is a helpful video if you haven’t been to a competition yet to see how the inspection process works!
If your robot is capable of extending outside of the size limitations during the match, but does not have software in place to prevent this from happening, then you still pass inspection. All you have to do is follow the rules. Just expect extra scrutiny in your matches if it’s possible for you to break the rule.
With the rules this year specifically banning extensions more than 16" during most of the match, and then allowing them, I expect to be working closely with the head ref on that rule. Likely we’ll inventory each robot to figure out what can and cannot go outside of the 16", and under what conditions… And then give a nice long list to the head ref so they know what to expect. If you’re really good, you’ll make it obvious when you are more than 16" and when you aren’t. For example, you could put a piece of red tape on your mechanism that sits right on the frame perimeter when you hit 16". Or you could use two different mechanisms so we know one is always within 16" while the other can reach out but isn’t being used until the end game. Providing visual cues like that would make everyone’s job a lot easier. And if a ref is in doubt, we can always double check it for them pretty quickly.