Rule G05 and Autonomous G05

When placed on the FIELD, each ROBOT must be:

So our strategy with Autonomous was that we would place the robot into the optimal shooting position and move it so that it touched the pyramid while gathering data from encoders. The encoder readings would then be flipped and used to move the robot back exactly to the optimal position.

We recently reread the rules and found out that Rule G05 might kill our entire beginning to Autonomous. Can anyone clarify whether we would be breaking Rule G05 with our strategy?

Thanks in advance,
Just another programmer from 2338

I sure hope this is legal :smiley: It’s an amazing idea!

All that starting configuration means is that your robot cannot be outside its own frame perimeter before the match, be taller than 60", and have a frame perimeter greater than 112".

When placing the ROBOT on the FIELD it is typical for teams to push it into proper position. However, to record encoder counts would require the robot to be running. This means you would have to wait for your robot to turn on before you can actually finish placing it. I don’t think the field crew will like the possibility of how long your team could take to be ready for a match factoring in the ~25 seconds for a robot to be on.

Confined to starting configuration doesn’t mean you can’t move, it means you can’t expand out of the frame perimeter before the match starts (and you can’t go taller than 60 inches before the match starts).

G05 is not the issue. G07, delay of game, would factor in, however. Robots that take too long to set up get disabled for the match.

BUT! I have a solution! Presumably, you will know (or can dial in) your optimal shooting position before competition matches begin. Some moving of the robot either manually or with the controls should give you an encoder count to move a certain distance. Namely, the distance between the pyramid and your favorite shooting spot. Input that value into your code as the distance to move, and all you have to do is remember to turn the robot on (and anything else on your prematch checklist).

Maybe you could record the data during the practice rounds and make sure that you start in that particular position at the start of the competition.

This question seems like it would fit this thread, would a tape measure be allowed on the field?

No measuring devices are allowed on the field by team members.

Unless it is part of your robot, right?

Yes, but…

Not strictly true, this year.

[Blue text represents the blue box in the rules; emphasis mine]

So, you can use a tape measure if you’re quick about it. “Significant delay” is at the discretion of the Head Referee, so you’d better be careful. You might be able to find something faster (and more discrete) than a tape measure. For example, get a piece of string and tie knots in it at your desired distance from some reference point. That way, you’ll be able to position your robot quickly and consistently, without getting penalized for delay.

Starting configurations definition says nothing about height and considering starting in your own Auto Zone you can be the max height of 84in

Correct, provided you can set up your robot just as fast as all of the other teams. We had a couple of “sighting” holes on our robot last year for starting position and the refs had no problems with us using them.

I am not sure about the legality of this tatic, but the robot could be turned on in the que and you could press a button to start “recording” the encoders when the bot is positioned on the field. Looking in the rules right now.

Last year our alignment jig was my left shoe. It doesn’t have to be too complicated!

This autonomous strategy is inherently outside the intent of the rules. The robot would get live calibration data prior to every match to use during the match? Yea, that ain’t gonna fly. It’s comparable to your drivers controlling the robot prior to autonomous period. It’ll also set a precedent that will lead to wonkier rules about what’s allowed to happen when a robot is set down on the field.

There’s a better way: find a known point to always set down on, then go a known distance in autonomous. If you can’t even do this, then your team will be in trouble if you’re ever asked to move your starting position in order to accommodate another team’s autonomous (e.g. you both shoot 3 from the same spot – who moves?).

This question seems like it would fit this thread, would a tape measure be allowed on the field?

When you said tape measure i instantly thought of a range finder, like what bow hunters and even golfers use to measure distances. It would be fairly quick and discrete and there would be less factors for human error

Your proposal is not inherently against the rules.

My understanding is the disable just disables the outputs. The program in the crio is still running. So you can have code that monitors the encoders, you just have to stick it the right place so it runs during disable. You could input the start point from the smart dashboard. You can even put a push button on one of the inputs on the robot to mark the zero point of where you start reading your encoders from. Nothing in G05 prevents this.

The only issue would be G07 if you take too much time. A little practice would prevent this.

There are a lot of problems with the “move it after it’s on” approach, and we can’t be doing it.

The field will not wait for your robot to boot, then allow extra time for you to move your robot around.
That goes for positioning by encoders/cameras/gyro or anything that demands you wait for the robot to finish booting and connecting with the field before getting on with life.
The goal is to start the match the moment all robots are connected to the field.
Taking one minute more than absolutely necessary adds an hour to the length of a single event day.

We will be told when we can power-up/power-down our robots, we do not get to choose.
We are always told to start the robot after it’s been placed on the field for safety reasons.
Occasionally, the FTA has the discretion to direct us to start the robot before coming onto the field, but that’s for FTA reasons, not team reasons.


  1. get the robot on the field
  2. turn it on
  3. position it (if you have a gyro you have to position, then turn on, so it’s especially important for teams with gyros to be able to position quicker than anyone else)
  4. load frisbees
  5. get off the field
    All should be accomplished BEFORE the robot completes booting.

If there is a problem getting all the robots to connect with the field, then robots will be turned off and back on again, and you do NOT get extra time to re-position your robot to re-prepare your encoders.

Last year our drivers wanted to use the camera feedback to position our robot, but it really didn’t work out.
The camera doesn’t boot all that quickly, and when there was any issue that caused us to connect slowly or be restarted, then the camera image only appeared after we were all off the field and behind the lexan. The match typically started a moment after we saw the camera image on our driver station.

The GDC has given us a number of navigational aids in the form of retro-reflective tape around the goals, a wall and a pyramid. You may want to find an FLL team in your area that knows how to use sensors and how to exploit the field elements and the robot’s physical atributes (i.e. one that can do a large number of the tasks on the half of the field away from Base). They may be able to give you a fresh perspective on how to develop an autonomous mode strategy.

Off topic I know but I think a lot of team’s missed this rule change for this year…