Rotating Light

Now, before anyone dashes off a quick link to the first “rotating light” thread they find, does anyone know if there is a definitive answer on mounting the light? I’ve searched here and the official FIRST forums, but there’s just too much contradiction to wade through.

My specific concern is: can the light be momentarily retracted or turned out of the way (i.e., with a spring or pneumatic). I’ve yet to find two similar answers to this question.

Umm… Yes. This was mentioned in those threads. FIRST says its okay for that to happen for a few moments.

FIRST has made it quite difficult to interpret this year (imho).

As best as I can figure it, the following covers 99% of the rules concerning the light:

You have to have the light mounted bottom side down to meet the “upright” requirement and not just in the starting position. Essentially, except when going under the bar, the light must be bottom side down. If you fall over like Beatty did last year you have to have your light keep its bottom side down both before and after the fall (perhaps by mounting it on a swivelling base for example).

You have to have at least 4 inches of the light “exposed.” “Visible” is not good enough. For example, it cannot be behind clear sheet of polycarb. Exposed means exposed – why? Because that is what FIRST wants, that’s why!

You can (for brief periods of time) retract or dip the light to get under the bar.

You may not have the bar hit the light to retract or deflect it (for example, you cannot mount it on a spring that just gets deflected by the bar as the robot runs the light into the bar).

You can have the bar activate a switch that would tell the controller to retract the rotating light but you cannot have the bar itself retract the light.

In my mind it is still not clear if you can have a bar hit a lever that retracts the light, but I think not as it would run afoul of the rules against reacting against forbidden field surfaces. But… …I could be wrong on this point.


…have I got it about right?

Comments welcome.

Joe J.

P.S. A summary from FIRST would be very helpful – if anyone from FIRST is out there reading, please take note.

exactly… the light can go down and up for a few seconds to get under the bar, but it has to go down/up under its own power, not by being pushed down by the bar (i.e. motor or pneumatics)

If you take the rules literally, you can have 1.2 seconds where your light is not visible. :slight_smile:

The rules confuse me on this topic. What if you are a stacking team? if your stack goes above the height of your robot or the highest part of your stacking mechanism, your light will obviously be blocked from view from one direction. What happens then?

I have a feeling that FIRST might be a little more lenient on the rulings of this.

Last year, during the Silicon Valley Regional, they were a lenient on the rulings of a line to touch the opposite ends. No wires or lines, but meausre tape was allowed…Anyone think they’ll be a little more lenient on that ruling this year?

in my limited opinion, first rules are based on the robot as it starts… if stacking causes the light to get blocked, they won’t care, because its not important… if the stacker device blocks the light without boxes, your screwed, but the boxes themselves don’t matter…

its like saying the goal blocked the light from view last year, or the ramp blocked it this year… who cares… as long as the light can be seen “MOST” of the time, the odd few seconds stacking or going around the ramp won’t matter (period).