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Official Q&A: VRC 2022-2023: Spin Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

<SG4> Disk Intakes That Move Out of Size and Skills Early Expansion

Christopher Morris (Event Partner)


It has been noted at a few competitions that when some teams go to intake a disk, their intake moves and causes the robot to momentarily become outside of the 18x18 Horizontal limit.

How should this be ruled during:

  • A standard qualifier/elimination match My thought process here is that if they are intentionally breaking this rule so that they can pick up disks, it should fall under the Major Violation category due to the manipulation of disks.

  • A Driver/Programming skills run My thoughts on this would be two fold, first it would immediately start the final 10 second timer due to breaking the horizontal limit and second it would be a Major Violation due to the reason listed above.

How should the Skills Referee judge if a robot that is close to the 18x18 limit while driving has exceeded the allowable limit and start the 10 second countdown?

For example:

  • A robot that sits at 17x16 is driving around and its endgame string is waving back and forth enough that to the Referee it looks as if the robot has expanded past 18x18. The referee starts the 10 second timer and then ends the run. Upon inspection at the end of the run, the referee notes that it may have still been in size due to the space remaining, but it may have been out as well due to how string moves when the robot turns. Would this warrant a replay at the referee's discretion or should the initial ruling stand due to it being a mistake on the team for not securing their string well enough? This is very subjective to the robot and the conditions that it was seen under, but it would be nice to have a guideline in place before state/region championships begin

Thank you for your time,

Cowboy Chris

Answered by committee

If a Robot’s intake causes its size to expand beyond the 18”x18” horizontal limit of <SG4> prior to the Endgame, the violation should be handled exactly like any other violation of that rule. If the Team scores points as part of any violation, and those points change the winner & loser of the Match, it becomes a Match Affecting violation. By definition, a team on the losing Alliance cannot have committed a Match Affecting Violation.

As decribed in rule <RSC7>, if a Robot horizontally expands beyond 18”x18” before the final 10 seconds of a Driving or Programming Skills Match, the Endgame immediately begins and horizontal expansion is unlimited. The Robot in your scenario would trigger the Endgame while intaking the first Disc, and would not be in Violation of <SG4>. It is the Team's responsibility to consider this constraint when designing and building their Robot.

While a mechanism that "has the capability" of expanding should not prevent a Robot from passing inspection, it may be worthwhile for Inspectors to consider and point out this type of expansion during Robot inspection. Reminding a Team about this rule before the Robot takes the Field will give them an opportunity to avoid later Violations.

Referees must use their best judgment to determine whether Robots have violated rules during Matches, and may check the expanded size of a Robot after the Match if there is question about whether it violated <SG4> during the Match.