our team has been determining our ideal wheels, and given our searches, we’ve found some pneumatic tires that seem to fit our needs perfectly.
I havent found any specific rules against them, but I figured that, after searching chief delphi to no avail, I should at least check to see if there are any obscure rules that would prevent us from using them. Or alternatively, any huge design oversights we may be missing.
This rule seems to cover your question. Please note that the tread design may have an effect on carpet damage so choose wisely. It might be wise to ask the Q&A to be sure.
R08> ROBOT wheels, tracks, and other parts intended to provide traction on the FIELD may be purchased or fabricated (“traction devices” include all parts of the ROBOT that are designed to transmit any propulsive and/or braking forces between the ROBOT and the FIELD). In no case will traction devices that damage the carpet or other playing surfaces be permitted. Traction devices shall not have surface features such as metal, sandpaper, hard plastic studs, cleats, or other attachments. Anchors (i.e. devices that are deployed/used to keep one’s ROBOT in one place and prevent if from being moved by another ROBOT) shall not use metal in contact with the carpet to “stay put.” Gaining traction by using adhesives or Velcro-like fastener material is not allowed.
Wow, that Q&A does seem to ban anything that is inflated (I think I am interpreting it like you are).
Just a little note, make sure your autonomous is smart enough not to crash into walls and keep going. In overdrive a team at our competition had big 8 or 10" pneumatic tires and their autonomous went full speed ahead into the far wall and kept driving after impact damaging the carpet.
I think it just muddies the waters. Since the inflated tire is not being used as stored energy on the robot, nor is it connected to the pneumatic system, I can’t see how it would be considered to be a non-legal pneumatic part. I do not speak for the GDC however and this question needs to be put to the Q&A directly as it is. I can tell you that robots have had inflatable tires in many of the past seasons. In many games where climbing was part of the game, teams have used bicycle tires to help assist in the climbing action. I do not remember that inflatable tires have been specifically disallowed in the past.
Perhaps a member of the GDC could comment here for some guidance.
I know that 1075 in 2004 used 14" bicycle wheels to climb the stairs. I can’t say for sure that the GDC is or isnt banning them this year, but I suspect that they had just overlooked pneumatic tires when discussing inflatables.
J. For the purposes of the FIRST competition, air-filled (pneumatic) wheels are not considered pneumatic devices, and are not subject to the pneumatic rules (although they must still satisfy all other appropriate rules).