Posted by Raul at 12/26/2000 8:39 AM EST
Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.
What does everyone think about us starting to ask for rules clarifications before the kickoff? My idea is that there are some rules that apply in general regardless of the game. For example, the rule about how long we get to keep the robot after a regional - that one has been answered. How about other ones?
Here’s one that has been nagging me since the national competition, so I just wanted to throw it out here for discussion:
When a rule requires a robot to be off the field surface to score extra points, it is unclear what is considered ‘the robot’. For example, to get 10 extra points last year, your robot had to be off the field either by hanging or being lifted by your partner robot. But what if a piece of your robot was on the ground? At nationals, one of our opponents had a piece of PVC laying on the ground at the end of the match. So even though they were hanging it did not count. Ouch - that was 30 points less for us.
The rulings on this varied too much last year. I would like to see a definitive clarification before any competitions start if this applies again this year. I know this is a tough one because the judges have a hard time deciding where to draw the line. Does any piece broken off of a robot laying on the ground count as not being off the field surface? How about if it is a nut or bolt - last year they let this slide because it was hard to tell which robot the part fell off of. How about if the piece is a sliver that was scrapped off by your opponent? How big does the part have to be to count against you? We need a clear ruling on this.
Here is another one: What is meant by non-custom made gears? The rule says you can use any gear that can be bought off the shelf and is not custom made for you. But you are allowed to make your own. But are we not also allowed to outsource some fabrication of parts? So where do you draw the line on what is custom made for you? This same question is floating around about the drill shafts that Dr. Joe is thinking of sourcing for any team that wants them.
So how about if you can buy a mechanism off the shelf that has gears in it and you just use one of the gears?
I’m sure some of you have some leftover questions from last year that we could ask and get a ruling on, if not now, then immediately after the kickoff. At the very least we should all gather up a bunch of questions now and have them ready to go after kickoff.