Quick release bumper design

This is like the 15th snowday for our school so I came up with a relatively simple bumper attachment design and thought I would share.


Eagles - Team 2874

What is the bumper height

You can adjust how high the bumpers are by the position you mount the plywood to the attachable piece of metal. If you are wondering about the height for this years competition the bumpers must be between 1 and 7 inches off the floor. We have made ours to be 1.5 inches off the floor on the bottom and 6.5 inches off the floor on the top

As you probably know the bumpers are 5 inches high

If we ever have school again i will take my video camera and make a video of our bumper system so you have a better idea of how it works as a whole

Wow, very nifty idea. If you machine it just right, maybe grease the contact points, I can see this being extremely quick and easy. It is more complex than a simple bolt or pin, but it might make a team’s robot all that more snazzy. You should find some kind of handle/grasping point you can put on top of it for simple grabbing.

One thing I thought of: if your bumper has two latches/quick releases, you’ll need three hands or a helper: two to pull and hold up the latches and one to pull out/place the bumper. Could you make the quick releases latch up so that you don’t have to hold them there? How about sawing a notch in the middle bolt, which you can hook on to a lip from that metal tubing.

Once you have the two side bolts clear of the holes, it looks like you could just twist it so they don’t go back in and relatch it.

Looks nice. Could you give us a report once you have them in place on a driving robot and let us know how they fair in hits with the walls and other robots? I am interested to know if they will accidentally release the bumpers.

And that’s a RED CARD this year!

<G30> Any ROBOT used during a MATCH must be in compliance with all ROBOT Rules (as defined in Section 4 – The Robot). Violation: RED CARD
(BUMPER rules are found in Section 4)

We have finished building the quick release mechanisms. We have a total of 8 on our robot 2 per side. They work amazing, we are in the process of making a cable that will allow one person to pull up on and then just slide the bumpers in.

If you space the 2 quick release brackets the same distance from the front and the back of the robot the right and left sides will be interchangeable same with the front and the back.

We made the spring to be adjustable so they are plenty strong enough. We dont plan on them coming off but I will keep you all posted.

Today I will post an updated video of all 8 on the robot and how we intend for them to work.

2 per side might violate the “support every 8” rule"

How are you supporting the robot to meet this rule.
It is a very nifty idea…

Remember also that your fastener can’t extend out beyond the wood…

I hope you make this works
Our team has used rivets to fasten our bumpers for awhile now… pretty quick and very sure

good luck!

Where do you go to school? I want to go there!

I assume I’m misunderstanding this. It sounds like you’re riveting your bumpers to your robot…and that can’t be right. Among other things, it would take forever to remove them for inspection. Please help me understand what you’re describing.

On the contrary - removing riveted bumpers wouldn’t take that much time at all. All you have to do is drill them out.

I’m assuming aluminium rivets here - a bit easier to drill out than a steel rivet.

The 8-inch support rule says that you cannot have any missing sections of frame greater than 8". It doesn’t say your bumper has to be connected every 8".

Most teams using traditional bolts and wingnuts use 2 or 3 connectors per side.

Our fastening system utilizes rivets top and bottom.
They are quicker to get on and off than bolts and nuts actually. Our whole robot is riveted in constuction… similar to the 217/148 style of construction…

The school we come from is Aviation High School …right in the middle of the land of Boeing.
Rivets come natural to us…

Many of our students want to go on into aero engineering…


I wasn’t referring to the number of attachments but to the ability to keep all of those points tight against the frame sections…

i am sure they can do it… I just want to make sure that the entire rule is considered…
Quick release mechanisms, from my experience, are not commonly as tight as standard solutions…



“Tight” has a bit more flexibility to it this year. 1/4" of space or less of space officially counts as supported.

Okay we finally finished making all the brackets (16 because we are making two complete sets)

I, the build team captain, put another student in charge of making the brackets. However, not a single one fit so I re did them and if they are done right everyone of them fits the first time. When I get some time i will make a how-to video.

Both sets will be completed by this wednesday I will keep you updated

I am concerned how quick release designs are not a violation of rules.

The hardware attached to the plywood can only protrude out from the plywood surface a bit more than 1/4" if it stays attached to the bumper.

So if you then declare the fancy bumper hardware is, instead, part of your robot and not part of the bumper, then they are sticking out past the outer planes the frame, which is also a violation, plus it reduces the max size of your frame.

So this seems to be a Catch-22 scenario. How is the quick release attachment H/W going to BRIDGE across both the frame and the plywood enough to strongly join them when the joining h/w can only overlap onto the frame by ~1/4"? Having only 1/4" of metal protruding from the plywood that can overlap onto the frame is not very much to work with for accomplishing an effective quick release design. Am I missing something here?

BTW, even if horizontal bolts going through the frame to protrude enough to screw into flush threaded inserts, set into the plywood, are used to secure the bumpers, are the bolts considered part of the robot or the bumper? If they are part of bumper, they are a violation, and if they are part of robot they can also be considered a violation (no protrusions from robot frame can go out very much), plus they would be extending the size of robot.

-Dick Ledford