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Official Q&A: VRC 2019-2020: Tower Takeover Usage Guidelines

Ramming the towers


Zack Helgesen (Event Partner)
9 months ago

<R3> Robots must be safe. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed: a. Those that could potentially damage playing field components such as the field perimeter or Field Elements.

My teams noticed that it is possible to remove a cube placed in a tower by ramming the tower at full speed. This causes the tower to bend and then whiplash back, often dislodging the cube. As an EP my initial thought is that at the drivers meeting I will announce that this strategy is a violation of R3 because of the potential damage it would cause to the towers over the course of a tournament (or even more so over the course of a season). That drivers will be given a warning if it is done intentionally and be disqualified if they continue.

I just completed the referee certification, however, and it mentioned ramming several times in the final test that made it seem like an allowable strategy. My concern is that a pole may take a lot of damage before it breaks/becomes unusable. If ramming is allowed it would hardly be fair to the 20th team who bends the pole to give them a penalty simply because the pole was weakened by the preceding teams.

Are teams allowed to ram the towers intentionally? (obviously if a cube is barely in there and it is incidentally knocked out that is different). 
R3  
Answered by Game Design Committee

Please see this similar Q&A, which appears to be asking the same question: www.robotevents.com/VRC/2019-2020/QA/293

If this does not answer your question, please feel free to rephrase and re-submit.

My concern is that a pole may take a lot of damage before it breaks/becomes unusable. If ramming is allowed it would hardly be fair to the 20th team who bends the pole to give them a penalty simply because the pole was weakened by the preceding teams.

During development of VRC Tower Takeover, this specific scenario was tested by driving a VRC robot into a Tower several thousand times until the Tower failed. We are confident, based on this testing, that the number and severity of impacts needed to cause failure exceeds the realistic number of impacts that any given Tower will see throughout the competition season. Therefore, if a Tower does break as the result of a specific single Robot impact, it is highly likely that Robot has violated some other rule in order to cause that failure (e.g. S1 or G16).