Robot Dodgeball

The problem with this is that a team asked if this was legal and within the rules and they responded with “there is no penalty” so… throw as many balls at opponent robot radios as you’d like I guess…

I was just answering the question of if there was a rule about throwing a ball at another person, and that looked to me as it could be an example of H101/E102. (Based on circumstances, intent, your referees may vary, etc.; I’m not trying to make an actual “ruling” of any sort here.)

I wasn’t attempting to make any comment on Q89 and attempting to throw at an opponent robot (though I’m following the discussion with interest). Naively, I don’t expect it will become a big issue in practice, just given the difficulty with throwing/aiming the ball across the field and that robots should be expecting to get hit with random balls from missed shots anyway. I suppose I could be wrong and they’ll end up needing to add some sort of G402-equivalent rule for human actions.


Obviously the human player is just screaming “the”, nothing unGP about that!


But only during Auto. HP’s can’t throw Cargo in Teleop. :innocent:

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Yes… because the period of the match is the issue here…

Seeing my favourite Simpsons episode end up on this site has made my day. Now to avoid stepping into a pile of rakes.


The role of the HPs and the corresponding allowed actions described in the manual is very odd to me:

6.2 Autonomous Period
The first phase of each MATCH is called Autonomous (AUTO) and consists of the first 15 seconds. During AUTO, ROBOTS operate without any DRIVE TEAM control or input. ROBOTS attempt to TAXI from the TARMAC, score CARGO in the HUB, and retrieve additional CARGO from around the FIELD. HUMAN PLAYERS attempt to score their CARGO in the HUB.

This would seem to imply that the HPs are allowed to take “free throw” shots at the upper hub or even try to side-arm the cargo into the lower hub during auto?

6.1.1 CARGO
22 CARGO, 11 red and 11 blue, are staged for each MATCH as follows:
B. 1 ALLIANCE colored CARGO is staged in the TERMINAL closest to its ALLIANCE AREA.
C. 1 ALLIANCE colored CARGO is centered in front of the TERMINAL closest to its ALLIANCE AREA and placed on a CARGO RING whose center is 1½ in. (~4 cm) from the edge of the ramp.

So, the HP has access to one cargo at the beginning of the match and potentially a second one if one of the robots pushes the second ball into the terminal area.

H404 AUTO CARGO delivery. During AUTO, CARGO may only be introduced to the FIELD by a HUMAN PLAYER in a TERMINAL AREA.

The Terminal Area is the purple taped off area behind the terminal. Unlike in Tele-op, this rule does not state that the cargo needs to be introduced through the guard (Rule H504 below). So, this also appears to allow for the HPs to shoot the balls, as long as you shoot from inside that taped off area, I guess.

So, near as I can figure, it is legal for the HPs to throw the balls onto the field during Auto. While throwing items on to the field by HPs has been used in past games, I don’t remember direct scoring like this before.

Relative to the concern that is being raised by Marshall in light of the answer to Q89, I’m not all that worried about a high lob “free throw” shot at the upper hub goal. Other robots will be lobbing the balls up there as well, so the robots should be designed to handle balls raining down on them from some pretty high apexes.

But Marshall’s title for this thread is apt; asking whether those same HPs could throw the cargo balls toward the lower hub opening and, should there happen to be a robot between them and the goal, and/or the HP did not have particularly good aim, what would happen?

Now, the guard on the Terminal is a bit over 5 ft tall, so average sized human players would have a bit of difficulty with a “dodgeball” style sidearm or even hard overhead throw directed at the lower hub. Really tall human players might be able to pull it off, though.

Scenario 1 is the concern that Marshall raised about electronics being damaged.

Scenario 2 is that a robot is running a multi-ball auto and that “accidentally” hitting that robot and throwing off their shot might be a strategic advantage. Playing this scenario could also result in scenario 1.

The good news is that the robots will be on the opposite side of the hub from the opposing alliances HP. So that affords a pretty decent level of protection.

A few other details that came up that support the idea that the HPs can throw the Cargo balls during Auto:

6.1.3 Humans
Humans stage for the MATCH as follows:
A. exactly 1 HUMAN PLAYER per ALLIANCE stages in each TERMINAL AREA
a. the HUMAN PLAYER in the TERMINAL AREA furthest from their ALLIANCE AREA stages behind the TERMINAL STARTING LINE

So, the red alliance’s HP can start inside the Terminal Area for the Terminal closest to the red alliance area and similarly for the blue alliance’s HP.

H401 *Behind the lines. During AUTO, DRIVE TEAM members staged behind a STARTING LINE or TERMINAL STARTING LINE may not contact anything in front of those lines, unless for personal
or equipment safety or granted permission by a Head REFEREE or FTA.

The other HP has to stay out of the Terminal Area (which is probably a good thing to avoid getting whacked by the HP that is lobbing their Cargo at the Hub).

But, there is no shooting of Cargo during Tele-op:

H504 TELEOP CARGO delivery. During TELEOP, CARGO may only be introduced to the FIELD
A. by a HUMAN PLAYER and
B. through the GUARD.

Calling FRC Team 3620, ”The Average Joes” !!


The warning in the rules of make your robot robust makes it clear that the robot should be able to take some hits from other robots, but I guess this year also means human players too. However, these robots are really heavy, so you’d need a death star level design flaw and a REALLY light robot to be able to actually move or damage it. If your robot is ruined from a human-thrown ball, that just seems like a design flaw.

That said, only the strongest survive

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Death Star level design flaw you say? Have you met the Openmesh OM5P-AC/AN robot radio?

Which by the way, best practice is to mount as high and outward as possible for these robots. Granted, it’s totally not a topic I know anything about.


2004 and 2009. And 2006 and 2013 (limited).

And 2007, 2011*, 2012, 2015.

*In theory at least. Not sure anyone actually scored any tubes but it was possible, I believe.

Instructions unclear, womp rat stuck in robot.


Yeah, I used to bullseye packets back home too.


Pool noodles launch!

Well, Team Update 10 (and an updated answer to Q89) has lumped prohibiting Robot Dodgeball into the general H101 “Be a good person”. Seems like a good reasonable way to handle it.


RIP robot/human dodgeball
You will be missed


It lasted almost as long as The Noodle Agreement.


One of my students proposed a Noodle Agreement for this season. While I liked the creative spirit, I had to shut it down. (I won’t be saying what it was, but I’m sure someone who really wants to can figure it out )

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