Q254 - Hand Drills for Robot Removal


#1

Q254 Technician use of battery powered Drill/Driver

Q: Can the Drive team technician use a battery powered drill/driver with hex nut to retract a mechanism on the robot at end of match once they are cleared to enter the field (Note: Robot will not be enabled).

A: As stated in the Blue Box of !G2, “The safety of teams and volunteers in close proximity to ROBOTS and ARENA elements on the FIELD is of the utmost importance, therefore ROBOTS or ROBOT COMPONENTS may not be energized or powered in any way on the FIELD once the MATCH has concluded.” Using a battery powered drill/driver to retract a mechanism on the robot is considered “powering” the mechanism.

I haven’t seen any discussion of this ruling that was handed down by the GDC last week. Unless I’m fabricating memories, I know in previous years teams have used hand drills to set-up and/or remove their robot from the field. This year, this will not be legal. Thoughts?


#2

I might be overreading this, but wouldn’t this mean you couldn’t turn something like a lead screw to move something up/down/whatever since you’re “powering” the screw and whatever it controls?


#3

That’s exactly what I read it as, if it’s hand drill powered. This could be very bad for teams whose gearboxes are too stiff to remove the robot from the field without excessive amounts of time with a wrench.


#4

That’s how I read it too, which is why I thought it needed to be brought up. This makes any leadscrew, worm gear, or other non-backdriveable mechanism even less appealing. Probably something that would have been good to know at the beginning of the build season instead of near the end.


#5

See:

  • 2017 Q168, Q565
  • 2015 Q205, Q216, Q329

There are probably more going further back, but I don’t really want to search further back. This has been known since kickoff:

G2. ROBOTS must be removed from the FIELD by hand (i.e. no enabling, power, etc.). ROBOTS
will not be re-enabled after the conclusion of the MATCH, nor will teams be permitted to tether to
the ROBOT except in special circumstances (e.g. during TIMEOUTS, after Opening Ceremonies,
before an immediate MATCH replay, etc.) and with the express permission from the FTA or a
REFEREE.
Violation: YELLOW CARD.

And the blue box beneath it:

Tethering includes any wired or wireless connection used to electrically energize and/or control elements on the ROBOT. The safety of teams and volunteers in close proximity to
ROBOTS and ARENA elements on the FIELD is of the utmost importance, therefore
ROBOTS or ROBOT COMPONENTS may not be energized or powered in any way on
the FIELD once the MATCH has concluded.
Keep in mind that ROBOTS need to be safely transported off the FIELD and back to the
pits after the MATCH, and there may be bystanders, doorways or height restrictions
along the route.

Pretty hard to read the first line of the blue box as allowing drills to power robot parts.


#6

I fail to see how a drill can be considered tethering. Tethering is very clearly connecting your driver station to the robot via an ethernet cable.


#7

Tethering includes any wired or wireless connection used to electrically energize and/or control elements on the ROBOT.

I fail to see any mention of the driver station in that sentence. Hooking a drill up to a mechanism would be a “wired or wireless connection” that “electrically energizes and/or controls” that mechanism, yes?


#8

Tethering definitions aside, this QA directly goes against G2, as it disallows any powering to the bot (such as my hands) to move the bot. While the manual states that the manual overrules the QA (G2 says i can use my hands), this honestly just throws the whole answer in question to begin with.

To the tethering definition, the definition of tethering (a rope, chain, or other device used to attach a person or animal to a fixed object) doesn’t seem to include a drill as you arent really attaching to anything. If we did though count that as tethering, you open a Pandora’s box which then goes against G2 again. Would drilling count as tethering? Would using a screwdriver count as tethering? would me unplugging a battery count as tethering?


#9

I want to say that the GDC is saying that power tools are not allowed, but hand tools are.

This forbids anything battery powered, but makes no mention of human powered tools. And typically, anything not specifically forbidden is legal.

This doesn’t sound like it says anything about hand tools either.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe tools of any kind are not allowed until the robot is off the field. For example, last year my team carried around a wrench that we would use to lower our elevator with, but only once we got off the field.


#10

This shouldn’t really be a hardship.

Just requires an old-school speed wrench:

$7.50 solution


#11

I don’t think the question is what hand tools should replace power tools, but if hand tools are even allowed. Hopefully the GDC clarifies this, and then we can use stuff like that speed handle.

Has anyone asked about this in the Q&A?


#12

What/where, in the rules forbids non-power tools on the field?

Unless it’s forbidden, it’s allowed, right?

Subject to safety rules of course… A non-powered hand tool like a hatchet or axe should draw scrutiny :thinking:


#13

G2, and its QA (the one in the OP) currently ban ANY power on the robot (hand, hand tools, power tools, whatever) from being used post match, as I read it currently.


#14

Yeah, you’re probably over thinking it. Under that logic there’s no competition because robots can’t be lifted or pushed on/off the field with human power.

But it might make for a great Q & A… Just to be sure :ok_hand:


#15

I have no doubts that I am, but thats not to say someone else will take the same interpretation and try to apply it in competition. QA’ing it would be a good idea.


#16

Don’t read more into the question than is there. The question was specifically about battery powered tools. If you want to know about hand drills then you have to ask the Q &A about hand drills.


#17

^^ This. DRIVE TEAM members have to pick up, or at least push, the ROBOT to get it off the field. Obviously, muscles are permitted for removal of GAME PIECES from ROBOTs and ROBOTs from the ARENA.


#18

Thank you, let’s keep some extremely basic common sense here. No ref is about to card someone for pushing their robot. The rule about “connection” is also clearly referring to robot communication connections, not connections of the emotional or physical kind.


#19

https://media.buzzle.com/media/images-en/photos/utilities/1200-4641224-hand-drill.jpg

Hand drill. :grin: