Metal can touch the playing field surface.


I know, I know. It’s shocking, but true.

Rule M17 is limited, exclusively, to ‘traction devices’.

Robot arms or walls or other mechanisms are not traction devices. As such, should they contact the carpet, it’s not in violation of rule M17. We should not and do not have to wrap out robots in protective plastic because of this rule.

So, with that said. . . why does it seem like everyone is misinterpreting this rule? Could it be they haven’t read it? Or, maybe there’s some other rule entirely that I’ve missed.

I’m sure that incidental/accidental contact with the field is okay. We were careful, however, to make sure our metal arm didn’t contact the field surface at all. I think that if any damage is done to the carpet by any metal device, this rule will come into play…because at that point the piece is a traction device :slight_smile:


Really if you think about it, it would be the same as a robot being tipped on its side. Assuming the side is metal (supports) then that team shouldn’t get dis qualified. Just my take on it.

Let’s not try and find loopholes… The rule is obviously there so as not to have damage to the playing field due to poor designing. If a bot gets knocked over and metal hits the carpet causing a tear, or a gouge in the HDPE, there won’t be a penelty. “Traumatic destruction due to colision” The rule is there so a team can’t stick their metal arm down on to the field for a mechanical purpose. Teams intending on flipping themselves with their arm may want to consider a minor wrapping.

Ok, I’m done ranting. Any item becomes a ‘traction device’ once touching the ground. Whether it’s intentionally one or not is what is in question.