Rule R17 - the flag requirement

Since the ball is bigger than the robot itself, the flag rule could be a challenge. Any thoughts on this folks!

<R17> ROBOTS must use one of the two FLAGS provided at the event
queuing location to display their ALLIANCE color (red or blue). The
FLAG shall be held in a flag holder mounted on the ROBOT. The
only acceptable flag holder is a 12 inch long piece of 1/2” ID
Schedule 40 PVC tube. The tube must be a single, contiguous
piece, capped with a commercial PVC pipe cap cemented at the
bottom end. The tube must not have any “lightening holes” or other
modifications other than mounting holes, paint, or other decorative
surface finishes. The flag holder must be permanently mounted to
the ROBOT such that when the ROBOT is in any PLAYING
CONFIGURATION and the FLAG is in the flag holder, the FLAG is
approximately vertical and the top of the FLAG is 75 inches above
the floor. As the flag pole is approximately 36 inches long, that
means the top of the flag holder must be 51 inches above the floor.
The region above the flag holder must be kept open and clear of
obstructions so that the FLAG can be placed in the holder and
displayed during the MATCH and the LAP INDICATOR is visible to
the Lap Detectors (see Rule <R18>). The intent of this rule is to
insure that the FLAG is as high as possible so that it may be easily
seen from any side during the entire MATCH play, while fitting under
the OVERPASS as the ROBOT drives around the TRACK.
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Some teams will simply put the flag on the outside edge if they handle the ball. The “box” robots can just put a mast on and have the flag on that. Others have masts already and can attach it there.

Can the flag be mounted on a flexible pole, so for example a ball could pass by? I didn’t see anything that disallows this, but want to be sure.

Thanks!

The flagpoles are flexible. According to the manual:

<R17> ROBOTS must use one of the two FLAGS provided at the event queuing location to display their ALLIANCE color (red or blue). The FLAG shall be held in a flag holder mounted on the ROBOT. …]The flag holder must be permanently mounted to the ROBOT such that when the ROBOT is in any PLAYING CONFIGURATION and the FLAG is in the flag holder, the FLAG is approximately vertical and the top of the FLAG is 75 inches above the floor. As the flag pole is approximately 36 inches long, that means the top of the flag holder must be 51 inches above the floor. …]
I’ve underlined the relevant phrases here. The pole itself is somewhat flexible, but I think the emphasized portions imply that it’s a hard mount to the frame. I also am not on the GDC, so if you want to have a rotating holder, you should ask Q&A first.

the flag holder on the robot has very specific requirements, and we had to change ours last year when we did not have it exactly right.

i can’t give you the paragraph reference, but the length of tube, cap and mounting details are in the robot portion of the rules. i believe it is schedule 40 plasic pipe, which is thick walled and not very flexible. The flag poles that you are provided at the matches are very flexible.

If you carry the ball exactly centered on a 28x38 frame, you have 3-1/2 inches (measured diagonally) in each corner that are not obscured by the ball. Move the ball a bit off-center, and you have even more room.

From what I have obverved from your comments on various threads, your robot will have conveyer belts that fit in 3 1/2 inches? Or are you just playing the devil’s advicate?

The question in this thread was how were you going to fit the flag mounting on your robot if you were carrying a trackball. My calculations show where the flagpole could go without interfering with your ball-handling. You can figure out how to get the ball onboard using the rest of the space on the robot for the manipulator(s).