Robot contact underneath opponents' pyramid

Rule G27 states:

ROBOTS may not contact or otherwise interfere with their opponents’ PYRAMID. Inconsequential contact will not be penalized.

If my robot is underneath the opponents’ pyramid and contacting it, and an opponent robot bumps it (intentionally or unintentionally), does this violate G27?

It doesn’t matter whether or not your opponent contacts you. You were already contacting your opponent’s pyramid. You already violated G27. 3 points to your opponent, unless the contact is inconsequential.

If your opponent is also contacting the pyramid when they contact you, other rules apply–that’s a Foul, Technical Foul, or 30 points plus climb points, or a strategy to cause a penalty (no foul points awarded).

Based on the wording of the rule, I would think that contacting the opponents’ pyramid would violate the rule, regardless of if an opponent robot comes in contact with your robot.

Thanks for the help. If we contact their pyramid while going under it to get the other side as a strategy, does that count as consequential contact?

That would depend on the manner of the contact. If you were to brush it with a broom or something similar, once or twice a match, you could probably write it off. If you were to hit it with a frame member on multiple occasions during a match, that would probably count as a penalty per occurrence.

In other words, 1) we’d need more information on the manner of contact, and 2) that’s for the referees to determine.

Now, I do have some advice for the future: If a referee would need to make a judgement call on an action your robot is designed to perform, you probably want to rethink the design and manufacture.

This is an interesting discussion. The whole term ‘inconsequential’ is so iffy.

Interesting scenarios are:

Assume that my team has a flexible wire that contacts the bottom rungs when we cross the lower rungs of the pyramids.

(1) If my robot goes under the pyramid (contacts) in order to play defense, is that penalty consequential?

(2) As OP mentioned, if I use the pyramid kind of a block to do a “pick and roll” kind of move, is the action consequential?

(3) If traversing under the pyramid (contacts) in order to get to the feeder station the fastest, is the action consequential?

  • Sunny G.

Consequential means the action has an effect on the outcome of the MATCH.

By the exceedingly broad definition the GDC gives, I think any tactic that would give you an advantage (ie going under the pyramid to make a faster route to your goals) could be considered consequential. The ambiguity comes up when you consider actions that are potentially consequential versus actually consequential.

But the term has an “effect on the outcome of the match” can be interpreted differently as well. If I’m forced to contact the pyramid in some minor way to go under it and the only purpose of this contact is to go under the pyramid, making my route shorter, does this count? Because going under the pyramid does have an effect on the outcome of the match but the physical pyramid is not used to give this benefit.

Our robot is capable of going under the pyramid, but we want to start in the center of the pyramid. To do this, we have an item for barely contacting it, that extends vertically to the pyramid pole. Will we be able to go back and forth under the opponent’s pyramid to the feeder station and contact the pyramid with this item every time without penalty?

My interpretation of the rules is that we will be able to do this without penalty, because we aren’t getting any advantage out of this contact, it is just happening as we pass by.

From the wording of the rules it doesn’t seem like the pyramid will be treated like the lanes from 2011 were, but more like the key was in 2012. Week 1 will show us a lot I bet.

I would think that deliberately driving under the pyramid, knowing that you were going to contact the pyramid in the process could not be considered inconsequential. Brushing the leg of a pyramid as you drive by on the outside probably would be considered inconsequential. In short, deliberate, knowing contact will probably get you in trouble.

This one is going to be a judgement call on the part of the referee. You might want to discuss your strategy with the Head Referee before you attempt to use it and get yourself in trouble.

Dr. Bob
Chairman’s Award is not about building the robot. Every team builds a robot

Seems like you want it both ways. When you are near your own pyramid, you want your device to satisfy the starting requirements (count as touching) and when you are at your opponents pyramid you want it to count as not touching.

I would say you need to pick one interpretation.

But what you are describing is exactly the way the key was judged last year, you needed to contact it at the start and it would protect you when you were in contact with it, but you could freely touch the opposing key, just not robots contacting it.

I have seen wording like this get interpreted differently even as the season progressed. The best place to ask is the drivers meeting at current event. You will get answers from the referee calling your event. Before then it really speculation.

As I recall, last years key rule was clear that you could contact the oppose key as long as you did not touch an opposing robot. So that is a different situation.

GDC Opinion:

Q190 Q. What determines “inconsequential” contact with an opponent PYRAMID? Is consequentiality based on the consequence of the whole action, or only on how the itself pyramid is contacted? e.g. Is it legal to touch an opponent’s pyramid while hitting climbing/shooting opponent (not contacting its pyramid)?
FRC1640 on 2013-01-16

A. The determination of if an act is consequential or not is determined based on what happens because of the action.** For example, if a ROBOT contacts the opponent’s PYRAMID as it drives past it, and no opponent ROBOTS are nearby or affected, the action would be considered inconsequential.** If a ROBOT contacts the opponent’s PYRAMID and blocks an opponent’s attempt to CLIMB, it would be considered consequential. Contacting an opponent ROBOT who is contacting its PYRAMID is illegal per [G30].
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