Robot Dimension Clarification

Happy New (FRC) Year everyone,

I have question regarding the robot dimension if anyone could clarify.
Is it allowed to have a robot that’s not rectangle-shaped.
___ …___

*the … are space fillers

I didn’t see anything in the rules forbidding such design.

HOWEVER, robots are required to have its team number visible on the bumpers approximately 90 degrees apart.
This meas…no circular bots?
Am I wrong?

Team 296

The limiting factor of shape seems to be that no bumper segment can be shorter than 6" (<R07-B>), and the entire frame perimeter must be protected by bumpers (<R07-A>).

Yes, you can do this in a similar fashion as it was done last year (minus the whole trailer hitch thing). Since the frame perimeter can be determined by wrapping a string around your robot, the “concave” part will not be counted as a part of the perimeter. As long as the short parts in fronts have legal bumper you’ll be fine.

Not under the definition of “frame perimeter” and <R07-A>.

<R07-N> has a diagram showing the bumper can’t go over the gap. Also the frame perimeter definition says “outermost verticies” That wouldn’t count the gap, right?

I see no rule against it but you will have to have bumbers 100% around the edge of the robot.

Look at the note with the definition. It says that the way you check is to wrap a string around the frame in the bumper zone. That’s your Frame Perimeter. This includes gaps.

We had this debate last year over diagrams. They are meant to illustrate the rules that reference them, not be the rules. (Last year’s Q&A)

In this case, Figure 8-3 is not referenced by <R07-N>; it’s referenced by <R07-M>, which clearly states that the bumper must be supported by the frame/structure of the robot. Any bumper over a gap is not legal, and the robot will not be allowed to compete. The gap is included in the frame perimeter.

Exactly that though: string around the Bumper zone. It says nothing about pulling the string back for any gaps, leaving the frame perimeter as the outside edges of the robot. Since <R07-M> says it must be backed by the robot itself, it leaves the gap out

The string itself is the frame perimeter.

Therefore, any gap in the robot frame in the bumper zone must have a structural support running over it to support the bumper.

Assuming that design would be a well for the ball to “settle in” do remember that bumpers must be between 10" and 16" of the ground. This allows enough room for your “ball well” to go beneath your bumpers.

Again assuming that well was for herding balls


Yes. I am fully aware of the bumper height.
The non-rectangular chassis design is for something else.

This doesn’t seem to be allowed even if the bumpers go completely around the edge of the concave portion. The wording is subtle but it doesn’t seem like any concave configurations will be allowed at all by way of:

<R07>A: Bumpers must cover the entire FRAME PERIMETER

FRAME PERIMETER is determined using the string-wrap method (thus spanning the gap)

<R07>M: Bumpers can’t span gaps where there is no physical frame on which to attach

If the robot has such a gap, it can’t be behind the bumpers. So if you want the gap in the 0" to 9.99 inch above the floor area, should be OK. At bumper height the frame can’t have the gap in my interpretation.

This is my opinion, which is worthless for any FRC competition.

And it’s even more worthless if the ball goes more than 3" into the frame. (<G46> specifies 1 penalty for such action.)

But yes, no gaps at bumper height is my interpretation too.

now can you use guiding bars to guide the ball to the middle of the bot beneath the bumpers, of course using only 3 inches of the ball.

If the ball gets more than 3 inches under the frame, then no. Otherwise, I don’t see a problem with it.