Pic: Flippable robot

BUMPERS – Bumper assemblies designed to attach to the exterior of the ROBOT within the BUMPER ZONE, and constructed as specified in Rule <R07>. BUMPERS are excluded from the weight and volume calculations specified in Rule <R10>.

BUMPER ZONE – the volume contained between two virtual horizontal planes, ten inches above the floor and sixteen inches above the floor.

NORMAL CONFIGURATION – The physical configuration and orientation of the ROBOT when the MATCH is started. This is the state of the ROBOT immediately before being enabled by the Field Management System, before the ROBOT takes any actions, deploys any mechanisms, or moves away from the starting location. This configuration is static, and does not change during a single MATCH (although it may change from MATCH to MATCH).

A - BUMPERS must provide complete protection of the entire FRAME PERIMETER of the ROBOT (i.e. BUMPERS must wrap entirely around the ROBOT). The BUMPERS must be located entirely within the BUMPER ZONE when the ROBOT is standing normally on a flat floor, and must remain there (i.e. the BUMPERS must not be articulated or designed to move outside of the BUMPER ZONE).

F - The only markings permitted on the BUMPER fabric cover are the team number (see Rule <R15>).

R15 - Teams shall display their team number on the BUMPERS in four
locations at approximately 90-degree intervals around the perimeter of the ROBOT. The numerals must be at least 4 inches high, at least in ¾-inch stroke width and in a contrasting color from its background. Team Numbers must be clearly visible from a distance of not less than 100 feet, so that judges, referees, and announcers can easily identify competing ROBOTS.

Now for the pic -

The only problem in the rules I see is R15, and we’ll have to make numbers both upside down and upside right, or use an ambigram of the team number (hah!)

I think it’s legal, what do you guys think?

I think it’ll spend all of it’s time on it’s side.

Not if it’s designed well :rolleyes:

I didnt’ spend enough time figuring out how to design it well. The main problem I see is that the CG will probably end up near the middle of the bumper zone, making it relatively tippable compared to a more conventional design.

We were talking about similar ideas on our team as well. I feel like that design might distribute the weight too evenly. But maybe that’s just because it’s a simple idea of your design and not the actual thing. I feel that a lot of people are going to be working with these ideas, which I’m really looking forward to seeing. I also think a configuration like this would make going through the tunnell faster. But again, I also feel like it would be more effective if one end had larger wheels than the other. Like this toy:


But again, I’m not 100% sure.

On another note, I think writing your number like an ambigram would be really cool to see!

Mostly I made this thread for the legality of the idea, not the practicality.

The only legal issue I can think of at teh moment is the fact that you can’t control balls with an active mecanism above the bumper zone. Our team interpreted that as it can be staic when it touches the ball, but can’t move. What if you have those upper wheels spinning and a ball lands on them and is moved? I’m not sure if they would count it, but it is something to watch out for.

If you can figure out a way for the bumpers to be level, and at the regulated height, at all times you’ll be good.

Certainly a cool idea. You won’t be able to go through the tunnel since you’ll be 26" tall (assuming bumpers centered on 13" in both orientations), and if you’re able to go over the bump, i’d be worried about balls getting caught.

you could have cool little counterweighted shields to cover the upper set of wheels.

I also agree you’ll have to end up with 8 numbers unless you can make the ambigram, which is alot harder.

Also important to note is that your power switch needs to be accessed and the diagnostic light needs to be visible. Both of those requirements are possible if they are well placed.

Another issue to consider is carrying the game balls. Any robot that is flippable will have the potential to carry balls inadvertantly unless you want to cover the top and bottom sides - that will really limit the chances of being compliant with other rules or to do anything other than push a ball.

Can you tell me where that rule is because I can’t find what you are referencing?

In reference to afowl’s question:

<G45> Active BALL control - ROBOTS may not control BALL direction with active MECHANISMS above the BUMPER ZONE. Violation: PENALTY.

My question here, is that obviously the INTENT of this rule is to not have a mechanism on the top of your robot, such as a conveyor belt, to push the ball toward your end. But the letter of the rule seems to make designing an invertable robot difficult.

also; here’s another interesting way to interpret it: looking at the definition of a MECHANISM:

My take on this is that the specific INTENDED functionality of those wheels was to DRIVE the robot, as opposed to them being there with the purpose of modifying the trajectory of a ball that happens to land there.

Interesting idea, I must say.

I would be very disappointed if the concept were disallowed just because there would be upside down team numbers. That seems rather strict, but it’s enough of an issue that I’d make a Q&A about it if I were you.

What if you write your number upside down and right side up on the same bumper? I think that meets the rule just fine.

As long as the mechinism that is facing the sky isn’t moving ur fine i think.

Yes, I agree, as long as the skyward mechanism isn’t moving, you’re definitely fine. However, I’m interested to see what Q&A has to say about it, because its much simpler to build an invertible drive system that has all wheels running all the time. That’s not to say you couldn’t do something to solve the issue of G45, because you can, it’s just complicated, and keeping it simple is almost always better.

An idea I have here is that, what if your design was similar to what you have here, with a couple differences. What if you planned to have a main drive side, so that if every match were to go your way, the same 6 wheels were on the ground. However, if you happened to get fllipped over you had a “reserve drive system” on the top. What if this drive system was shorter, so that in its driving orientation your bumpers were no longer in the 10"-16" zone? The goal of this system is simply to keep your robot mobile so you could still play defense, or possibly even hang. Interesting idea I must say…


The wheels above your robot are a mechanism because they provide specific functionality (drive power during inversion).

That said, the rules state that the mechanism must be active for it to be a penalty, so as long as the wheels are not active thats not an issue.

Also there is no rule that he numbers on your bumper need to be upright … just a minimum height, stroke, and readable :smiley: .

I think the definition of “Normal Configuration” disallows this. Copying from your first post “NORMAL CONFIGURATION – The physical configuration and orientation of the ROBOT when the MATCH is started” Since the orientation between top and bottom is one way at the beginning of the match, I don’t know that you can swap them through the match.

You might be wary of using this design. If your robot is upside down it may start the ten second grace period stated in rule <G32>. This will mostly be up to the ref. And that opens up a cornicopia of weird situations. Rules about touching balls, interacting with other robots, etc. Really, to cleare this up though, you have to go to Q&A. It opens at noon EST tomorrow.