QA165 regarding rules G23/R25: Wall-bot

My team is not brave enough to attempt this but I REALLY want some team out there to do this:
Based on these rules and the GDC’s answer to this question, it is complete legal to create a robot that tips over and extends 27ft vertically (which at this point would be horizontal) and create a wall separating the opposing alliance’s HAB zone and scoring area.

In effect, you would prevent robots on the opposing alliance from being able to collect balls from the feeder station or climb the HAB platform. And you aren’t violating the frame extension rules because all part of your robot are still within the frame perimeter.

Is my logic or understanding of the scenario somehow flawed? 2019 broken game?

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R19 on a technicality: “Don’t tear others down to lift yourself up. Strategies aimed at the destruction or inhibition of ROBOTS via attachment, damage, tipping, or entanglements are not allowed”. Since technically you’re implementing a strategy which inhibits robots via tipping.

But realistically it’d be a combination of C8 and R20. You’re effectively forcing the opponents to contact you within your frame perimeter in order to play the game.

C8: Don’t expect to gain by doing others harm. Strategies clearly aimed at forcing the opposing ALLIANCE to violate a rule are not in the spirit of FIRST Robotics Competition and not allowed. Rule violations forced in this manner will not result in an assignment of a penalty to the targeted ALLIANCE.

R20: Stay out of other ROBOTS. Initiating deliberate or damaging contact with an opponent ROBOT on or inside the vertical extension of its FRAME PERIMETER, including transitively through a GAME PIECE, is not allowed.


If you do this repeatedly/strategically, the refs may rule that laying down is a “normal” configuration for your robot, and when you assume this position, your bumpers are way out of the bumper zone. (OK, if your robot is less than an inch wide, you might be able to keep them below 7". But then, where do you put the battery?)

It’s a creative thought, but I think that would get shot down pretty quickly. I think the spirit of competition should be trying to make your team win rather than making other teams lose.

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Don’t forget the pinning option, G18. If 1 robot is pinning 3 robots…

As far as I understand, it’s not a pin if the other robots have somewhere legal to go.

You have put the wall over 27’ of field. Now, that basically plants them in the Hab or between their Cargo Ship and rocket. If they’re stuck in the Hab, they’re pinned against the Alliance Wall.
If they’re stuck away from the Hab, then ONE of them has somewhere to go and the others fall just about right into the G18 blue box. I suspect that someone will find a way to call that pinning, relatively easily. There’s also the option for “egregious behavior” but you’d really need to work to get that one.

Building a 27’ tall robot so you can lay it down athwart the field seems egregious to me.

A 27 ft robot span aimed at blocking the field seemed egregious to the GDC back in 2003 as well. Ask Truck Town.


That seems to be the sort of creative idea that goes against the spirit of the competition so it would not be surprising if the Referees and/or GDC would apply at least as much creativity to find ways to rule it illegal.

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This sounds like an interesting story worth telling. Please do :grinning:

I’m not with 68, and was not in Michigan at the time. Others will know the story better than I do. Karthik comes to mind as a possible eyewitness.

Here’s a picture of Truck Town’s 2003 robot, a most impressive monster.

This robot would easily be turned into a boat anchor, about 10 seconds after it tipped. :thinking:

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Don’t forget about this rule! I think this would prevent that.

G10. On defense, rein it in. No part of a ROBOT, except its BUMPERS, may be outside its FRAME PERIMETER if its BUMPERS are completely beyond its opponent’s CARGO SHIP LINE.
Violation: FOUL, plus an additional FOUL for every five (5) seconds in which the situation is not corrected. If G9 is also being violated, additional FOUL escalates to TECH FOUL.

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Per stated in the OP, technically nothing is outside the frame perimeter since the robot is tipped over.

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Had the exact same idea regarding Power Up! Check here to see how that conversation went. The rules lie in your favor, but because it’s against the spirit of FIRST, despite being innovative, the referee’s discretion would likely keep you from advancing past your first match in any useful capacity.

I recall hearing something about it at the time. Richard’s picture doesn’t do it justice as that particular pic doesn’t have ALL of the wings out.

As designed, from the position in the picture, the robot could reach out and block: the top of the ramp, and by reaching over polycarb and down, plant into the carpet on either side of a 14" high bar across the field next to the ramp, running to the field border. They could literally lock down ALL movement across the field. Something like…


GDC came down on that one, something along the lines of “you’re still attaching to the field, cut it out” as I recall hearing.



It’s probably worth noting that while it’s legal to have a 27ft tall robot, most venues don’t have a ceiling that is 27 ft tall. The typical height of a gym in the US is 18ft to 20ft. Even the venues that have ceiling heights higher than 27 ft typically end up with some type of lighting or scoreboard above the arena below 27 ft.

A robot that by design would top out on the arena really should be cited for S1.