Team Update #5 Posted

I didn’t see this posted anywhere yet.

This is big

Uh, don’t they have their wording backwards?

I agree with the rule… But if “tinted” is ok, then aren’t some reflective lens ok?

that is what i am wondering. i have some mirrored saftey glasses.

If I might hijack this thread, these two rules appear to be in confliction. Does anyone have a more clear interpretation?

Under Rule<R105>, the only pneumatic cylinders permitted are those that are identical to
the Bimba Custom Cylinder Order form found on the last page of the Pneumatics Manual.

<R106> The following pneumatics items may be added to the ROBOT:
 **-Prior year FIRST Kit Of Parts pneumatic cylinders, solenoid valves, and pneumatic tubing may be used in addition to those items in the 2007 Kit Of Parts. Their costs must be
accounted for explained in Section Additional Parts - Cost Limits and

**Now, while Rule 105 states that the only cylinders that may be used are the ones available on the order form, Rule 106 goes ahead and allows cylinders that may not be available on the Bimba form- including rodless actuators- not simply cylinders with slightly different stroke lengths.

Have I missed an update somewhere, or is this a question for Q&A?

<R105> as amended and <R106> are potentially in conflict.

Originally, with respect to the old KOP Parker cylinders, <R105> prevented them from being purchased and used (since they’re not the same as the Bimbas), but <R106> specifically allowed them to be used if not purchased (they came in a previous KOP). <R48> supports this notion, with a “YES” entry for previous years’ cylinders.

Now for the interpretation business. The update states that “nder <R105>, the only pneumatic cylinders permitted are those that are identical to the [ones on the form]”. Does that mean “the only cylinders allowed are the ones on the form”, or does it mean “cylinders governed by <R105> may only be the ones on the form”? The former is a direct conflict with <R106>, which currently allows the old Parker KOP cylinder. Note that there is a distinction, because <R105> does not address non-purchased cylinders (other than to say that there is no numerical limit, and that they must be rated for 125 psi). If the latter was intended, then clearer wording would be appropriate, because it’s easy to interpret the update too broadly.

<R106> doesn’t concern cylinders in general—only those in old kits. So rodless cylinders aren’t allowed (unless we received one in a kit at some point).

On another note, it’s a little unlikely that a Parker Hannifan dealer would have Bimba cylinders, and not be a Bimba dealer. Indeed, by definition, selling a Bimba cylinder pretty much makes them a Bimba dealer (though not necessarily a factory-authorized one). Since no Parker products have ever existed on the Bimba free cylinders form (that should hardly be a surprise), it doesn’t make much sense to talk about Parker dealers in the rule. I know it’s a holdover from an old rule, but it should probably be edited out of <R105>, one of these years.




The latter two actually dull your vision, while the tinted goggles are designed to brighten it. The darker goggles are designed for working in very bright environments, and are not suitable for a FIRST competition. (Note, this was the 116 shop training, and we warned those team members with inappropriate goggles then to purchase new ones).

From this thread in the FIRST Q&A:

Please remember that rules from prior FIRST Robotic Competitions do not apply to the 2007 competition. Under Rule <R105>, the only pneumatic cylinders permitted are those that are identical to those shown in the table on the Custom Cylinder Order Form. Rule <R106> and availability listed on Bimba’s website do not override this. Therefore, any parts scavenged from prior year robots, as permitted by Rule <R106>, must still be in compliance with Rule <R105>.

That GDC answer leaves out the word “purchased”, which is found in <R105>, and which is the basis of the omission that I referred to. <R106> is not in a position to override <R105> on the specific issue of non-purchased, ex-KOP cylinders, and as a result, this answer is not consistent with the rule as it is actually written.

Despite that, judging by these two Q&A responses and the update, it seems that the intention of the rulemakers was to ban those old Parker cylinders. To keep things consistent, <R106> therefore ought to also be amended to include something similar to the last sentence of <R105> (stating that even non-purchased, ex-KOP cylinders need to be the same as the ones in the current Bimba form). If that amendment is made to <R106>, the inconsistency will disappear, because the non-purchased ex-KOP Parkers will become explicitly illegal.

Is a team ever going to try to read the rules in that depth, and take advantage of what seems to have been an accidental oversight? How many teams even have those old Parkers lying around, available for use? I don’t know, but leaving even minor discrepancies around serves nobody’s interests.

The latter two actually dull your vision, while the tinted goggles are designed to brighten it. The darker goggles are designed for working in very bright environments, and are not suitable for a FIRST competition. (Note, this was the 116 shop training, and we warned those team members with inappropriate goggles then to purchase new ones).
I’d be tempted to argue that a FIRST competition is a fairly bright environment for the drive teams down on the field under the stage lights. Glare off of the plexiglas and various shiny field elements can be quite bright and distracting at times, spurring our drive team to switch to polarized, ‘shaded’ saftey glasses two years ago - we found it did help noticeably with the glare.

I can understand the pits are by no means a similar lighting setting, and non-shaded safety glasses could be deemed more appropriate - but I know I’ll be missing having my polarized glasses as a driver this year.

You beat me to it. Being down on the competition field is a completely different environment**. You get a lot of glare off the plexiglass and the diamond plate reflects light back at you as well. Also, the stage lights are very bright and one at the wrong angle can be very annoying while trying to operate your robot. I definitely think this is gonna cause alot of debate.

As for being in the pits, I understand that one. Being in a area with poor lighting as it is, and then having shaded glasses can be an issue. I, myself, don’t have that much of a problem, but i’m sure other people do too.

** The different environment while being on the field also has prompted our driver team, coach, and human player to wear shorts. While it may be 20F outside, it’s VERY warm down on the field and you definitely want to be comfortable.

I always wore the Tinted ones. I loved them. I had a pair of sunglass safety glasses a few years ago, which I thought only made things worse. But to echo what everyone else has been saying, being on the field is completely different then the pits, so I could see how people would be upset by it. However, it is just safety glasses, who cares. Wear a pair that feels comfortable and that are okay to wear according to the rules. It really is not that big of a deal.

I plan on carrying three sets of glasses on to the field then this year. Clear, Amber Tinted, and Shaded.

Agreed, especially when the power went out to the secondary pits at UCF. Some parts of that tent were somewhat dim if you were away from the doors.

20F outside? In Florida? glances at thermometer that reads 70F I wish.

Is that the intent here? No Parker cylinders from previous years? If that is the intent, then the first bullet of <R106> is completely redundant since any of the items listed there would be covered by <R24>.

We have nearly all of the pneumatics components that were in any of the previous year’s kits - and we use 'em. (We used a 2001 cylinder on our 2005 robot.) We just want to be sure that we are within the rules!

-Mr. Van
Coach, 599
The RoboDox

I like the scoring simulator. Nice to give us a tool like that.

Now you just watch, the next thing they will say is no shorts allowed in the pits.


I mean seriously. The whole safety glasses thing isn’t a tried and true system, and now they want to get even more complicated?? How many people you see in the pits think it’s ok to not wear glasses when in the walkways? Is it? Idk. I know my work site has places designated saftey glass zones (inside the yellow and black caution tape - similar to your actual pit) while outside the taped zone (similar to the walkway in front of the pits) are non-safety glass required zones.

Sometimes I think some of these rules are just written based on the current OSHA “work force” standards, and are not adapted at all to FIRST Robotics “competition life” ways of working.

I mean, safety is the key to it all, there is no denying this… but who was hurt last year by wearing tinted or reflective glasses?

If they were wearing them, they were safe from flying debris in the eyes which is the whole point of wearing safety glasses. We don’t mix chemicals in the pits (or shouldn’t) and we don’t deal with lasers (or shouldn’t).


^---- Most common FIRST Event usage shown, and approved types.

Note for the Plano Lenses which is the most common type I see at FIRST events:

Are available in clear, filtered, or tinted lenses

Just give us a link next time FIRST to something that is industry proven & we can rely on and that the safety inspectors won’t be biased to by funky wording when handing us them little green poker chips in the pits.

Wrong. Read all of Rule <R105> and Rule <R106>, carefully. Now read it again. Now read it again. Don’t analyze it seventeen times. Don’t try to read between the lines. Don’t insert your own interpretation of what hidden meaning might be there. Just read the words. There is no inconsistency. There is no conflict between the rules. You are finding fault where there is none. If you still think there is a conflict, then post a question to the Q&A system and get an official response from FIRST on the subject. But you need to stop poosting incorrect interpretations of the rules and misleading other teams.


:confused: In referance to R105 and what was available on the bimba site and responses on the Q and A the manual very clearly states Please check the Bimba web site for available strokes in each bore size. We did and ordered what was available. We are now going to be out time and money due to a serious mistake that was not ours. This is not good:ahh: When the speed limit sign changes after you pass it – should you get a ticket for going the old speed limit ???

OK - If this seems obvious - I’m sorry, but I think there is still room for confusion regarding legal pneumatic cylinders - primarily because of differences in the Bimba order webpage and the printed order form. I wish for teams to avoid problems in a few weeks at inspection. I’ve read the Q & A and the updates and the manual. I’ve come to the following conclusion:

The PRINTED order form (the last page of the pneumatics manual) lists the ONLY pneumatic cylinders that can be on a 2007 robot.

It does not matter that teams can order different cylinders from Bimba’s FIRST webpage.
It does not matter that the manual is somewhat confusing regarding previous KOP cylinders (<R106>).
It does not matter that the Pneumatics Manual states “you may order the exact custom cylinder or rotary actuator you need for the job”.
It does not matter that the Pneumatics Manual states “please go to and click on the FIRST link and follow the instructions”.

Only those cylinders IDENTICAL to those on the FIRST Free Components Order Form (p. 16 of the Pneumatics Manual) and allowed.

This means no Parker cylinders at all. This means no 1.5" bore cylinders longer than 11".

I make this post because I think lots of teams are going to confuse the PRINTED order form with the Bimba FIRST webpage - even after Update #5. As an inspector, I do not want to be telling teams that their pneumatics are not legal.

-Mr. Van
Coach 599

While that’s generally good advice, you don’t seem to realize that I did not attempt to read between the lines, nor did I insert some interpretation of hidden meaning.

Perhaps you need to look at what’s actually written, and not what you (or whoever was responsible for this rule) intended to write. That’s the salient point here: what’s actually written. Teams are not bound by intent, they are bound by rules. You know as well as I that the officials can’t just insert words and concepts as if they should (in someone’s opinion) be there. While I certainly recognize that the intent of the rule is very important, if the rule doesn’t actually say what it was intended to say, no amount of good intent can take the place of actually fixing the rule.

I’m not trying to mislead teams, but you’re not helping matters by denying that the rule is potentially inconsistent. If they’re misled, it will be because you refuse to acknowledge that there is a slight difference in the way that the rules are worded, and that omission has the potential to cause practical consequences.

I’m going to go over this in detail:


  • Is the part a safety hazard or likely to damage robots, the field, or interfere with the humans or the controls?

(No.) - Is the part used as a bumper?
(No.) - Is the part used as a non-functional decoration?
(No.) - Kit Part? Was the part included in the Kit of Parts?
(No; that applies to the 2007 kit.) - Pneumatics? Is the part a pneumatic component?
(Yes.) - Is it an Air Cylinder ordered from the Custom Cylinder Order Form?
(No.) - Is it a purchased fitting or valve rated for 125 psi?
(No.) - Is it a previous year’s cylinder, valve, or tubing?
(Yes; the Parker cylinder in question was a KOP item in several previous years.) - Is the part or material off-the-shelf or is it custom made by the team after the start of the 2007 Kickoff? (See Robot Section)
(Yes; it is COTS, from Parker.) - Does it exceed quantity limits and/or cost limits? (See Robot Section)
(No; <R105> specifically describes cost and quantity limits, and they would not be violated.) - Yes The part may be used

The following pneumatics items may be added to the ROBOT:

  • Prior year FIRST Kit Of Parts pneumatic cylinders, solenoid valves, and pneumatic tubing may be used in addition to those items in the 2007 Kit Of Parts. Their costs must be accounted for explained in Section Additional Parts - Cost Limits and Accounting.

…[The rest is not relevant.][/quote]

It satisfies the flowchart in <R48>.

The first sentence of <R105> says there is no overall quantity limit on cylinders. The second sentence says that they must be rated for 125 psi and COTS. So far so good.

The third sentence says that you may purchase cylinders. The fourth sentence says that they must be the same as the ones on the form (same part numbers), and obtained from a Bimba or Parker dealer. So, what’s that saying? The word “they” bolded above logically refers to the objects in the preceding (third) sentence, namely purchased pneumatic cylinders. Not pneumatic cylinders in general. Not donated, found, stolen or bartered pneumatic cylinders.

If you take that fourth sentence to mean cylinders in general (referring to sentences one and two, but not three), its content is logically consistent, but grammatically disjointed. You wouldn’t write an essay like that, and you can’t reasonably expect people to read like that.

Going to Update 5, the relevant sentence references rule <R105>. We have previously established that the text restricting us to cylinders from the form applies to purchased cylinders.

If we are operating under <R105>, then the clarification ought to be referring to those items in <R105> which are in question—namely the ones with the restriction that needs clarifying, or in other words, the purchased ones (see sentences three and four). It makes no sense for the update to be referring to all cylinders (i.e. clarifying one of the first two sentences), because it isn’t a mere “clarification” to add a new restriction where it never existed before. If the intent was to modify the rule, then you can’t just call it a clarification, and expect people to treat it identically.

<R106> says, in the first sentence of the first bullet, that prior year KOP cylinders are allowed in addition to those in the KOP. The second sentence of that bullet says that these parts must be accounted for as explained in Section (i.e. account for the cost like any conventional COTS item). Note that the word “purchased” doesn’t make an appearance in <R106>.

Like I said earlier, there’s a subtle point that was overlooked. It’s your problem if you feel compelled to take it personally, but the fact of the matter is, given a reasonable application of English sentence and paragraph structure, I can’t interpret it your way.

The stupid part of all of this, is that it’s a tiny change to fix it to everyone’s satisfaction.