pic: Bumper slices

Goal: decrease TO ZERO the incidence of inspection failures due to bumper construction in the states of Virginia and North Carolina.

These “single-serving bumpers” were built to the 2013 FRC rules. I should have enough to give them away, as I see fit, for several years. I intend to give one to each rookie team that I can reach. Hopefully there won’t be any rule changes!

Great Idea. !!! Pink?

I love this idea, simple and easy. Now if only my team could make a decent bumper…

Of course, one problem this doesn’t solve is how to attach to the robot.

The metal pieces looks like a nice idea. Our team just folds the fabric over and uses a staple gun thing to upholster the edge which works fantastically.

This also gave me the idea to make a cut out of bumpers with our team number on it to give to sponsors

Bad lighting and color balance :slight_smile:

Ah, the pink is red and the red is blue. :yikes:

Great idea! I think I wish the rookies in my state this year weren’t all so far away.

You mean “complementary lighting and appearance-correcting color balance” I love the Hotbotz-Pink!

That is a noble goal, but remember that it is not only cross-section that defines a bumper. Make sure they cover the corners, and fasten them to their frame rigidly.

Speaking of “making sure your bumpers are securely fastened”

at the Dallas Regional this year, in Elims we slammed a robot so hard all of their bumpers fell off (unintentionally).

Each trip to the feeder station included bumpy section as we navigated (drove over) the pile of bumpers in the way

I love it. I’m gonna mention this to our team.

I also love the idea of showing rookies how to build bumpers.
Good stuff.

I considered sinking a T-nut into the plywood per the manual’s recommendation. I dropped this idea because (1) I haven’t actually seen anybody use this attachment method effectively and (2) what am I, made of money?

On a per-slice basis:
Angle $0.58
Fabric $0.16
Wood screws $0.14
Medium-quality birch ply $0.12
Noodle $0.07
T-nut $0.27
HHCS $0.25

Could always print a giant poster with Figure 4-4 on it to keep in the pits.

Good goal. However, if you want to go further, prepare a bunch or backer boards, pool noodles, fabric, and fabric paint pens (white) already pre-cut to width (5" boards, 11-1/2" or so for the fabric) so that some bumpers could be rapidly assembled at events if they were needed. There are always one or two teams that miss something in the rules for the bumpers that probably cannot fix them at the event.

Has anyone found a fast dry, easy and cheap to apply numbering method? I bought a bunch of fabric paint pens, but frankly, they do not work very well. While they do meet the “legal” interpretation of white outlined numbers, they are usually quite faint and barely legible.

Does anyone else have an inexpensive and fast method for bumper numbers?

Also, I usually only get 1 robot each year with a “cross section” issue. Usually it is using a 0.5" board or plywood instead of the 3/4".

Numbers, bumper height, and perimeter compliances (8" inimum or angle of wrap or…) tend to be the bigger issues I have seen.

We used the iron-on numbers from the sample in the KOP last year. They were quick, easy, and looked really good. After 2 District Events, 1 District Championship, and 2 off-season events, none of the numbers have failed fully … although a few edges have pulled up.

Graphics staying on dry method:
This is not quite as fast, BUT they stay on and look great
Utilize or draft a NEMO that has sewing experience, a mentor’s spouse or a student with sewing experience. It is even better if they understand basic upholstery construction such as used on furniture. If they are not comfortable sewing the first time on the actual bumper material initally, have them use a piece of inexpensive cotton blend for a mock up to use the cotton as the pattern for the “good stuff.”

The iron on’s are great, but if they can do a simple zig-zag stitch around the outside of the iron on they never come off. We typically sew ours on - sometimes the day of bagging - but they always turn out.
We have done this since bumpers were instituted and have had no issues with the graphics or the material.

The attachment to the frame is a different story. Due to the configuration of the 'bot changing from year to year it is difficult to have a consistent method for application. The best way I have seen in my six years with the team is we had bolts through the frame, head down and the bolt length sticking up. We then used a drilled bracket attached to the bumper plywood side. The bumper dropped down over the frame mounted bolts and wing nuts were used secure the bumpers. I will see if I can find a photo or a sketch and post it later. It was by far the best we have had so far.

We have! For year’s we’ve been sinking T-nuts into the plywood in order to attach some C-channel that fits around the KoP chassis. Yeah, the attachment part is mostly the C-channel, but the T-nuts are pretty integral in the process.