Ways to Handle Gears

I had a quick questions about how a robot can handle a gear. So according to the rule manual, a robot is not allowed to launch or shoot a gear. How would one define that a robot is shooting a gear? Would it be that it is in the air or would shooting still count if the gear is sliding across the floor (maintaining full contact with the carpet)? Also, would rolling a gear be considers shooting/launching? This may be a strange questions but just wanted to know what someone outside of our team thinks about this rule. Thank you for all the input!

Definition of Launching (from Section 11, but also found in Section 7 in one of the blue boxes–G23’s if I remember right):
shooting in the air, kicking or rolling across the floor with an active mechanism, or throwing in a forceful way”

Funny how all the actions you list are in the definition, and thus a violation of G24 (and thus a yellow card if seen by a ref).

What if the roll was a passive system? Like if the gear were to go from the feeder station to roll across the field with no motors? This is all hypothetical.

Gears come in flat(ish) from the loading stations. I could see a couple of possibilities to get the gears into rolling position, and rolling, passively, but most maneuvers to do that are probably going to be active.

I’m not saying that a passive system isn’t an interesting (and quite possibly legal) way to handle the problem. Just be ready to handle some extra attention from the refs the first time or two you use it–and make that in practice rounds if at all possible, as you’ll want to discuss it with the head ref early.

Okay, from reading the rules, I figured that we couldn’t launch or really shoot the gear in any way. But I was just wondering if you were to rotate the gear 90 degrees to allow it to roll from the human player station without motors, if that could be legal. Thanks for the quick reply!

As I understand this, you are thinking of building some sort of ramp that takes the gear from the loading station, passively rolls it to vertical and disgorges the gear at carpet level.

As the loading station is about two feet off the floor, and the gear is nearly a foot in diameter, you have 18-20" worth of gravitational potential energy. Even if you could do this with no friction at all and the speed at the carpet level is about 5 ft/s (actually a good bit less because energy will go into rotational energy with those gears having most of their mass near the edge). A gear rolling that slowly through a sea of balls and marauding robots? I can’t picture that getting far enough to be worthwhile; better to snag the gear at the station and carry it.

The ramp idea is clever, but still illegal. The refs must consider your robot as black box. If a gear comes rolling out of your robot, it doesn’t matter if it was passive or active. It was still caused by the robot and violates g24

Okay, that would makes sense even if it was possible because the gear would be rolling way to slowly. It was all hypothetical. I knew it isn’t possible without some sort of motor to help aid which therefore makes it illegal.

That was one of our two design ideas to get all the gears in on trip to our end, went far (in my mind) until a student reminded me of G24 so we went with less out of the box Plan A…the gear rolling was a potential chokehold strategy…serves several great purposes including junking up their gear retrieval area with 18 gears, Darn.

Springs could do it, but its not feasibly IMO legal/effective anyhow. Was interesting to think about. Who knows maybe some team will try it. I think it still might somehow be legal using a passive mechanism but my team nixed it.

I don’t think this is true. First, the definition of LAUNCH specifically mentions an active mechanism. If the intent was active or passive, they would have said that.

Second, by your reasoning, if a gear is stuck on top of my bot and I stop quickly so that it falls off, I’ve just LAUNCHed a gear and get a yellow card. Penalizing someone for shaking off a gear that would otherwise get them penalized seems excessive.

Not saying it ends up being worth it, but in terms of physics, you’re not starting from zero at the outlet of the loading station. The gear can be and is already moving; in fact, there’s no legal limit on the human-input kinetic energy of the gear. (There are of course physical limits by geometry, human capability, and safety standards). It might even be possible to forehand or backhand the gear through the slot like a frisbee. Then you could pull a 469@2010, using an active mechanism that redirects the passive mechanism in between passive uses to send it left or right around the defender.

Practicality aside, this is pretty cool.

Separately, the “active mechanism” clause is grammatically parsed (with the first “or”) to apply to “shooting in the air” and “kicking” as well. Conceivably one could employ some kind of gear trampoline that passively bounces the gear instead of actively shooting it.

I tend to agree with this interpretation of how a foul would be called, given the mention of an active mechanism. Reference 33 & 469 from 2010 - their mechanisms were passive, even if they were actuated to re-direct the ball before the ball made contact. Both were called on fouls a couple of times when they accidentally actuated the re-directing mechanism while in contact with the ball. Yet if the ball made contact and the robot didn’t move - it was not a foul.