Update from Bill's Blog (Rules 1/6/09)

The director of FRC just updated his blog with the following information.

Good Morning Teams,

I want to clarify the Game Design Committee’s intention on a few matters to save you time and resources:

  1. De-scoring is not permitted (ie. You may not remove game pieces from a trailer)
  2. Goal tending is not permitted (ie. You may not block access to a trailer)
  3. Don’t spend time attempting to develop a vacuum car system like Jim Hall’s sucker Chaparral car. Even a slight suction over the base of the robot will damage the field surface and you don’t want to do that (See the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition Manual section 7 rules G-29 & G-30)

I’ve had some requests for more information on the field surface. You can purchase 4’x8’ Fiber Reinforced Plastic Sheets, pebble texture on one side available from Home Depot SKU 121-586 or Lowes SKU 8566. If you’re on a tight budget, a clean waxed linoleum tile floor (found in many older school cafeterias) mimics the performance of the field closely enough for practice. What’s important is duplicating the coefficient of friction; 0.05 static and 0.04 dynamic.

And an update on the Orbit Balls: Walmart has provided us with this list of which stores have inventory. This list is as of yesterday, and will probably be obsolete very quickly, so take a look ASAP. And please don’t contact the Orbit Ball manufacturers directly. They can’t accept individual orders. FIRST has some extra Orbit Balls we will sell directly to teams. Stay tuned for more details.

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I have a few questions about the update.

What exactly is “Jim Hall’s sucker Chaparral car”, I mean how mean how does it work and how will it damage the field?

Also does anyone think that fans would be permissible if we could some how prove that it will not damage the field?

This is the car he is referring to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaparral_2J#2J
A similar idea was also used in F1 at one point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brabham_BT42B

As for why he thinks they will damage the carpet, I really don’t know. I have heard that the slick material is flexible, but I can’t imagine that the amount of suction that could be created by a FIRST robot could damage it.

The playing field would get damaged by a corner or edge of the plastic being lifted and then getting caught in the robot. Its not that the vaccuum would damage the plastic but the risk to the plastic after being lifted up.

Please discuss this in the thread for Team Update #1: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71407