Questions and Answers: 2009 Robotics scope

All of the information on this page has been asked of the National Technical Comittee and thus will stand for the B.C. Competition. Please check back as more questions and answers will be posted.

Q: just to clarify you cannot be in possession more than one ball at a time correct?
A: correct, one ball at a time.

Q: also any gearboxes we got from FIRST robotics would they be legal to use?
A: yes they would be

Q: I was reading over what we have to use for the controller and i am a little confused do we only have to use one of these
and as for the on board controller can we use any controller we want for example this
we can get a radio from the IFI's controller to accept the links above , would all of this be acceptable?

A: The restriction is that operator to robot communication (direct control) must take place using a 2.4 GHz 6 Channel Radio. You cannot use a FIRST Radio unit for operator to robot communication.

Q: If we were to put a single ball in and then cover up the top of the scoring structure would that be a legal move?
A: The rules clearly state that a strategy based on covering the Rack Openings would not be allowed.
11. Deliberate strategies aimed at the destruction, collision, damage, overturning,
entanglement or active blocking of competitor robots are not in the spirit of the game and are strictly forbidden.

Q: Can the robot drive on the 4' by 4' plywood base of the scoring area?
A: YES a robot can drive up onto the 4 by 4 foot plywood plate as long as they do not touch the Rack.
Note: It is expected that there will be some 'accidental touching of the rack due to driver error or poor mechanical system performance' the intent of the do not touch rule is to prevent robots from using the rack as a source of support for their ball delivery system.

Q: Can you clarify the definition of "possession"? Does it mean a ball that is completely enclosed in your robot?
A: A team can only be focusing their attention / efforts on one ball at a time.
If a robot has a ball picked up and it is either in the robot’s collection system or in a carrying bin on the robot then they cannot be trying to control a second ball in any deliberate manner at all including not being allowed to push / steer /guide the second rolling ball on the court floor.

If a robot is already pushing / steering / guiding a rolling ball along the floor they cannot bring a second rolling ball under their deliberate control.

Q: If we were to use the connect rack base (the 2"X8") as a stop so we can be lined up.
so if we had 2 rubber stops sticking out the front that gently touch then connect rack base so we know our manipulator is positioned correctly over the goals would this be allowed?

A: Deliberate contacting of the rack is not allowed

You cannot make contacting the rack a functional component of your ball delivery system design.

If a team accidentally comes in contact with the rack they will have to move off / break contact with the rack BEFORE they can continue with the ball delivery process.

Q: Can the spotter have a camera and transmit information to the driver. We know the robot can't have a camera, but this is about the spotter.

A: 1) The spotter may NOT have a Camera with them.
2) The robot may NOT have a Camera on-board.
The ‘2009 Connect’ competition design is intended to focus more attention and importance on the role of Spotter and on Spotter / Driver communication.

This is why the Drivers are sitting down.

This is why the Connect Rack End Plates are tall and wide at the top.
This is why if all goes as planned the Drivers should not be able to see the top of the Connect Rack.

Q: if we used something that located off the side of the 4' X 4' platform would that be allowed?
A: Response: Team’s may use the ¾ inch tall edge of the 4 by 4 foot platform as an element of lining up their ball delivery mechanism. The edge in question is along the outside perimeter of the 4 by 4 foot plywood plate the rack is mounted on which defines the location of the plywood plate on the court floor. Note: Teams cannot place an independent structure along the platform edge or anywhere else on the court during the competition that could block access to the rack or a ball by another team.

The ‘Do not touch issue’ only applies to the rack itself.

Q: 1) Will it (Robot) be allowed to approach the rack from the side, as long as you don't touch it of course?

2) Will the driver's seat be of a standard chair's height? How high will it be approx.

A: 1) Robots will be allowed to approach the rack from either the side or the end as long as they do not touch the rack. The tall end plates are considered part of the rack and cannot be touched but a robot is allowed to reach over them.

2) The Driver's seat will be a standard chair height.

Q: What is the exact specs on the playing field surface?
A: In BC it will be plywood, in PEI it is not yet known, more to come on this

Q: I just have three questions about delivering the ball...

1. Will it be allowed to touch the rack, but the ball (while being held by the robot) is the only one in contact?

2. Will it be allowed to accidentally block the opponent while our robot is trying to score?

3. If we have accidentally grabbed two or more balls and moved, can we still remove the other balls to avoid disqualification?

A: (1) The BALL can touch the rack while it is in the possession of a robot. The BALL while being held by a robot is not considered part of the robot.
(2) The only ‘Accidental Blocking’ that is allowed must be based on a robot actively trying to score themselves and not required to move out of the other robot’s way. If a robot is not in the act of trying to score then they must get out of the other robots way.
(3) As soon as a team realizes their robot is in possession of more than one ball then their primary activity must be to unload the excess balls immediately before they make any effort to approach the rack.
Q: What if the delivery system takes up the entire width of the rack at the top as it delivers one ball? Is this OK?
Response: It is not ok to have a ball delivery system that takes up the entire width of the rack at the top as it delivers the one ball a robot is allowed to possess at a time.
The spirit of this event is to the play the game and not prevent others from playing the game, even if it is just for short periods of time.