Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2022-2023: Spin Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

legality of launching projectiles in endgame


William Cahill (Event Partner)
6-Oct-2022

Hello, Given your response to Q&A #1197, I was wondering about the overall legality of certain other types of endgame launcher mechanisms.

A common type of endgame mechanism is using a catapult powered by several rubber bands or other elastics to fling several weighted projectiles across the field at high speed, tethered to string. It seems to me like this category of mechanism shares similar safety concerns to the pneumatic ones described in Q&A #1197. Are these illegal under the same safety grounds as the pneumatic launchers?

Thank you for your time

Answered by committee

Thank you for your question! The type of Endgame mechanism you describe is potentially legal. Teams, Inspectors, and Head Referees must apply judgment to determine whether any specific mechanism is unsafe as described in rule <R4>, and in particular <R4d>:

<R4> Robots must be safe. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed:

  • a. Those that could potentially damage Field Elements or Discs.
  • b. Those that could potentially damage other competing Robots.
  • c. Those that pose an unnecessary risk of Entanglement with other Robots or the Net.
  • d. Those that could pose a potential safety hazard to Drive Team Members, event staff, or other humans.

Additionally, as a further and consistent means to ensure the safety of participants, spectators, and event venues, an unscheduled Game Manual update will include the following additions and changes to rules <S2>, <SG4>, and <R7>:

<S2> will be expanded to indicate that a Robot which comes in contact with anything outside of the field during the Endgame period or due to an early expansion, including the floor or the outside face of the Field Perimeter, will automatically receive a Disqualification for that Match. <SG4> will reference this addition to rule <S2>.

<R7> will limit rope/string to a minimum size of 1/8” diameter and will strongly recommend the use of Alliance-colored string or highly visible string that is periodically marked with the current Alliance color.