The Legality Of Funneling Systems In The Power Port Challenge

Team update 13 included this paragraph regarding what is and isn’t allowed in the challenge space.

If I’m interpreting this correctly, this saying that the only physical elements that are allowed to be in the 15’ x 30’ challenge space for the POWER PORT Challenge are the POWER PORT and a LOADING BAY or LOADING BAY mockup.

Many of the clips I’ve seen from the POWER PORT Challenge include some sort of funneling system adjacent to the POWER PORT. In the 3D representation of the POWER PORT, they are most often in the red boxes I’ve put on the image below.

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Are these funneling systems “physical elements added within the challenge space for the purpose of aiding the robot or drive team” or are they included as parts of the POWER PORT or LOADING BAY? I don’t know, but I would love to get some insight and clarification on this. I made a Q&A about this so hopefully some clarity will come soon. If it is deemed that these types of funneling systems are illegal, there would be a lot of great runs invalidated.

Are those funneling systems considered to be WITHIN the challenge space, or are they considered to be OUTSIDE the challenge space? Are you sure that your diagram (which shows the funneling systems overlapping the challenge space) is correct? It is my understanding that the challenge space is bounded by the perimeter of the diagram. If you locate the power port outside the challenge space, then it would be fairly easy to add a funneling system on either side of the power port that was also located outside the challenge space.

The update does not really place any restrictions on items that are located outside the challenge space. The allowance about having navigational aids outside the challenge space is interesting, but I do not read that as being an exclusive statement about what can be located outside the challenge space. For example, it is required by the rules that you have a video camera to film the runs and it is expected that this would be located outside the challenge space. In addition, I expect that most teams will have some sort of driver station located outside the challenge space. Yet, these are not mentioned in this rule. So, it seems reasonable to conclude that it is acceptable to have items located outside the challenge space and that this rule is only intended to restrict what can be located within the challenge space.

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I think that anything located outside of the challenge space is fair game.

The reason I suspect that many of the funneling systems i’ve seen are considered inside the challenge space is because the team is using the 3D representation of the Power Port. If you’re using a 3D representation of the Power Port, you must put it 30 inches inside of the challenge space. Because the funnels have been located directly to the left or right of the Power Port, i can’t think of a way where it wouldnt be considered in the challenge space. You would probably be fine however if the funneling system was behind the Power Port, extending outside of the challenge space.

Are you sure?

2.4.10.1 Layout

Teams should mark the boundary of zones from the diagram below using at least one MARKER on the NAV POINTS along the zone boundary (e.g., any number of A6-E6 and A9-E9).

Two (2) layouts are provided for teams to choose from. The first layout is intended for flat POWER PORT representations or where a non-flat POWER PORT can be located outside the Challenge Space. The second layout is intended for locating the POWER PORT within the Challenge Space.

So, you can have a non-flat (3D) powerport located outside the challenge space.

The second option allows you to shorten the field if you have a power port located within the challenge space. But if you have enough room, you can put the power port outside the challenge space.

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Didn’t see that, thanks for the clarification.

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