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General Robot Rules

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  • General Robot Rules

    Answers to questions about General Robot Rules.

  • #2

    Originally posted by FTC14188
    Q1: Is vacuum allowed if generated by FTC legal motors??

    Q2: If vacuum is allowed are air tanks allowed to store that energy?
    A1: Yes, vacuum is allowed providing the system that generates the vacuum does not create a higher-than-ambient pressure anywhere in the system.

    A2: No, vacuum storage tanks are not allowed.


    • #3

      Drivetrain Marks

      Originally posted by FTC10650

      Question:[/B] According to rule <I8> in Game Manual Part 1, "Discoloration or black marks alone are not considered field damage." Our team is using GoBilda's new mecum wheels, and GoBilda has recently come out with rollers which can be dyed. If small amount of colored dye come off on field tiles during the Field Damage Test, would that be a violation of rule <I8>?
      A: Yes. Rule <I8> allows for marks caused by the COTS wheels. Transfer of paints, dyes, lubricants, etc. from the Robot to the playing field floor is considered Field Damage and will result in a penalty.


      • #4
        Robot Size

        Originally posted by Guest
        Q: <RG02> states the maximum starting size of a robot must fit into an 18" cube. A cube cut on it's hypotenuse would have it's longest side be 25", allowing for a 25" x 18" drive base. The robot could be measured for compliance by first tipping it on it's side before using the sizing tool. Would a robot having a drive base larger than 18" x 18" be legal if it still fits inside the 18" cube dimensions?
        A: The Robot, in it's starting configuration as it sits on the Tile Floor at the start of the Match, must fit into the 18" sizing cube. There is nothing in the rules that says the Robot cannot start tipped on it's side, providing it can remain in that position without outside support (i.e. the Perimeter wall) until the Match has started.
        Last edited by Broadway Joe; 10-07-2019, 05:20 PM.


        • #5
          Alliance Marker

          Originally posted by FTC16072
          Q: RG06 seems to say that the markers must be a solid red square and a solid blue circle respectively. Can they both be out of a 2.5 square but have the circle and square painted on the material? (so you could have an inset that they went into that was the same for both.)
          A: Rule <RG06> refers to the image of the Red Square and Blue Circle, they must be solid colors approximately 2.5" in size. They can be mounted on anything you like of whatever size you prefer, as long as no other rules are violated.


          • #6

            Originally posted by FTC13804
            Q: Follow up question to FTC 14188's question on vacuum storage vessels dated 10-01-2019. Can we use a syringe to create the vacuum? Does the syringe count as a vacuum storage vessel?
            A: Pulling a vacuum using a syringe is legal, however reversing the direction of the syringe and forcing air out through tubing can create a positive pressure and is illegal. This is especially true in circumstances where the Stone may be trapped between the gripper and the wall (or other Field Element) which would result in higher than atmospheric pressure in the syringe.


            • #7
              Allowable Vacuum Devices

              Originally posted by FTC10138
              Q: We know that vacuum systems are allowed as long as they use an approved motor (or servo) for power. Our question relates to COTS air “pumps” that could be modified and used with respect to the one degree of freedom restriction. We know in all cases that air outlets must be unrestricted to prevent any possibility of positive pressure. Would the following be permitted?
              1. Q1: Diaphragm style pump. These typically consist of a top flexible diaphragm and two flap “check” valves. Everything moves in the same direction (up down with movement of the diaphragm).
              2. Q2: If #1 is not permitted, could the pump be fabricated using just the diaphragm and adding a chamber and valves separately?
              3. Q3: A “turbine” style pump with a fan and shroud (similar to most hand vacuums or air pumps)? These consist of an impeller plate and a contoured housing.
              4. Q4: A small vacuum pump with rotating spring-loaded vanes? This would be run without flooded oil (but would be lubricated, no more than a chain might be lubricated).
              A: A commercial off the shelf (COTS) vacuum pump is not legal if any of the following apply:
              a) if it compresses air in any form. Rule <RG01> applies
              b) If there is more than one degree of freedom (i.e. pistons, diaphram, valves, etc.) Rule <RM02> applies
              c) if the vacuum pump motor is not listed in Rule < RE09>

              A1: This would not be allowed as it violates Rule <RM02>
              A2: This is legal providing it is designed in such a way that there is absolutely no possibility of positive pressure building up in the system. This is especially important in situations where the Stone may get jammed or if the output ports get blocked. If a jam or blockage occurs and the system can possibly create a positive pressure, then the device is illegal.
              A3: Yes this device is legal. The restrictions in A2 apply.
              A4: Yes, this device is legal. The restrictions in A2 apply. Teams must be able to demonstrate to the Inspector that the Stones or playing field will not be contaminated by any residual oil in the system.


              • #8
                Soft Gripper

                Originally posted by FTC4096
                Q: Our team was thinking of creating something like this (sorry, best link I could find):
                It would be a gripper made of silicone with an air pocket inside. A linear actuator would move a syringe that would inflate/deflate the gripper to make it grip and relax. I realized that this could potentially be considered a closed gas device. However, we believe it follows the spirit of the rules, as it would not have significant pressure, poses no danger, and would only be constructed using available legal materials. Would this be legal?
                A: Devices that result in above atmospheric pressure of a fluid are illegal. Therefore the soft gripper as described in your question is not allowed.


                • #9
                  Safety Grip Tape

                  Originally posted by FTC3763
                  Q: We are building a claw like device to pick up blocks. Would using safety grip tape on the claws to help hold the blocks be against the rules? The tape would not be on a rotating device or moving in any way to cause damage to the block. Two years ago it was legal and we would like to know if it would be legal again this year.
                  A: Yes, the use of safety grip tape as described is legal.


                  • #10
                    Masking Tape

                    Originally posted by FTC9979
                    Q: Is using masking tape a legal way to grab stones in this year's game? The ruling on this sort of thing seems to be: you can't use anything that would leave a residue on the game pieces. To our knowledge, using masking tape on our stones is not leaving a residue. Can we have an official stance on this
                    A: Using a sticky substance, like masking tape, in contact with a Scoring Element is legal providing there is absolutely no residue. Teams using such a substance may have to demonstrate to the Robot Inspector or Referee that no residue remains on the contacted surface. If this cannot be demonstrated satisfactorily, the team will have to remove the substance/mechanism. Note that Duct Tape is known to leave a sticky residue so this would not be a legal material to use in this situation.


                    • #11
                      Number Size

                      Originally posted by FTC12644
                      Q: With respect to Rule <RG05>, When you print out and measure Arial Font, Bold, 250 point, you will find that there are very few elements that meet at least in 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) stroke width, and I would say if they did, you would have a blob of text that is hard to read. Our robot inspectors insist that each element of the text have the .5” stroke width. Is the Arial Bold Font 250 Point ok and how can we prove it to the robot inspectors when the stroke width rule appears to contradict this?
                      A: Yes, Arial Bold Font 250 point is acceptable. When printed out using Microsoft Word the numerals are .5" wide and 2.5" tall and are clear and easy to read. The intent of this rule is to insure that Field Personnel can clearly read the team numberfrom outside the playing field during a Match. This should be the primary consideration for the Robot Inspector, slight variations from the specification can be allowed providing the rule intent is achieved.


                      • #12
                        Alliance Marker

                        Originally posted by FTC5501
                        Q: In previous seasons the alliance specific flag did not count towards the 18" sizing limit. Is this the case this year? Do the alliance specific markers need to fit within the 18" sizing limit?
                        A: Yes, just like the Team Number, the Alliance Marker must fit within the 18" sizing limit.


                        • #13
                          Mechanism Exchange

                          Originally posted by FTC10107
                          Q: Can we interchange our lift mechanism with an intake mechanism in between matches as long as our robot remains within size and weight restrictions?
                          A: Mechanism exchanges that significantly change the robot's capability must be re-inspected after every exchange and prior to being allowed back on the field. Even if the mechanisam has been used in an earlier match, the revised robot must be re-inspected.


                          • #14
                            Team Number

                            Originally posted by FTC3848
                            Q: Hello wonderful people of FIRST. For this challenge our team is using a modified diamond design robot. Due to the nature of the design we cannot have team numbers 180 degrees from each other. To remedy this we have three team numbers on each side of the robot. It this acceptable? Thank you very much for your time.
                            A: Yes, this is perfectly acceptable. The intent of the rule is to allow Field Personnel to be able to quickly identify a robot, and having your team number on three sides accomplishes this.


                            • #15
                              Team Numbers

                              Originally posted by FTC12592
                              Q: We have one of our team numbers mounted on our robot vertically but the numbers are rotated 90 degrees. Is this legal? At our last competition the inspector said he doesnt know if this is ok or not but he let it slide.
                              A: As long as the numbers can be clearly read by Field Personnel it is ok to rotate the numbers.