This post is meant to share my team’s experience at our first event of 2023 before we could even played any matches
Rule R406 specifically regulates the “Team number on BUMPERS”. Rules are always in place for a reason and to me
such that an observer walking around the perimeter of the ROBOT can unambiguously
tell the team’s number from any point of view and meet the following additional criteria:
very clearly indicates that the intent of the rule is robot identification via the bumpers.
A. consist of only white Arabic numerals at least 4 in. (~11 cm) high, at least ½ in. (~13 mm)
in stroke width,
At our event today, we were made aware that we cannot pass inspection as our bumpers are non-compliant of R406 because our team numbers are not “only white” as per condition A.
To my dismay, we were told that we cannot pass inspection and that obviously meant we had to remedy the bumpers before our first event could actually start for us. My Grade 12 students started painting (in white) our numbers and spent time trying to track down RED and BLUE sharpies. While I was left to try to comprehend why my Grade 9,10,11 students, who have never been on an FRC team before this year, cannot see our robot on the field practicing. I even spoke to a student about how I want to see his face as he walks into his very first FRC event, only to see a look of confusion as seniors are scribbling over our bumpers.
I proposed a solution of painting in our numbers with white paint and drawing outlines as per this image. This was a problem we were told because the “extra white” stuff is now not part of the number, and that it would violate additional condition C. We had to colour in the white boxes inside the ‘6’ and ‘0’ with red/blue colour.
C. may not substitute logos or icons for numerals.
I guess for me “Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” doesn’t intersect with lets just say to this team, sorry the rule about team numbers on bumpers is why you cannot compete. This is a WEEK 1 event!!
IF this rule is truly about making it obvious what team is out on the field, can we not just be lenient to the impact of violating it? I am not suggesting teams should be allowed to violate it, but why is the rule written to be so strict and disallow bumpers that have been allowed in the past? Like the ones we have used since at least my time on the team (2017).
Other teams at our event were told things like black outlines between numbers are not allowed. A maple leaf inside of a ‘0’ is not allowed. All of which are not violating safety or anything that is actually providing these teams an advantage in the game. Let them play this tournament and change them for the next one.
I will include images of my bumpers after 2 fixes. Neither of these photos are in violation of the rules. BOTH of these are less
clearly visible and unambiguous.
Before anyone points out the obvious, I will admit I missed this in the rules and thats on me. So we comply with the rules now but less the intent of it.
The bumpers we came into the event with I did not photograph, but please look up Team 610 and you will find several examples of our numbers. Contrary to common belief our “logo” is actually just our team number in a very specific font but with a maple leaf. This is why we are not in violation of condition B.
Original bumpers we walked into the event with
For the record, my problem is with “R406 Intent vs Penalty”, not with any particular individual at the event trying to do their job.
EDIT: I am not suggesting the penalty is that teams simply cannot play because our FTA and LRI said they were okay with us playing in filler matches, for which you do need to have passed inspection. The penalty is, depending on the remedy, the time lost to colouring in bumpers which could have been spent teaching my new students how an event works. My new drive team how queuing works and go over all our roles for this specific venue. Tuning our robot for the real field, and time spent practicing. I just think that the intent of this rule should superceded the rule when the blue box specifically calls out the intent (and it’s in the rule).