<R01> says, “Teams must be very careful when incorporating springs or other items to store energy on their ROBOT by means of part or material deformation. A ROBOT may be rejected at inspection if, in the judgment of the inspector, such items are unsafe.”
Our team has a simple spring loaded arm that delivers a grappling hook to the tower bars. The arm is deployed by lifting it out of its cradle thus allowing bungee cords to pull its several sections into line. The action of the arm during deployment is very rapid and would be a danger to anyone standing close by.
However, out on the playing field I don’t think the arm is much of a danger.
Does anyone know from past experience how the inspectors would view such a device as this arm?
As an inspector, for BMR, I would like to see that there is no way it can be accidently deployed. You should come up with a way to make it safe, at all times, until it’s on the field.
Just my $.02
You should add a safety pin to the latch mechanism. What do I mean by that?
Look at your school locker or gym locker. It has a handle that slides/moves up to open the locker. It also has a hole in the handle to accept a padlock. When the lock is in place, the locker can not be opened.
The deployment mechanism on your arm should have some similar safety mechanism so that it can not be deployed by mistake in the pits or being placed onto/off of the field. This safety pin/mechanism is removed as the very last action you do after you have placed the robot on the field for a match. It is also the first thing to go back onto the robot when removing the robot from the field.
If an inspector suspects a mechanism is unsafe he/she should ask to see it in action. If it is a danger to anyone standing nearby, then it is up to you to instruct the inspector that the demonstration should take place in a safe area. If your robot makes it onto the field and someone out there sees a problem they will contact the LRI to check and correct as needed. there are several rules that you need to double check before you decide to include such a mechanism. Team update 9 has some interesting language on “out of bounds”.