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Miscellaneous Game Questions - Answer Thread

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  • #16
    <GS10> Controlling or Blocking an Opposing Alliance's Scoring Elements - Particle

    Originally posted by FTC5414
    Question 1: If an particle belonging to the opposing alliance drops from the center vortex and lands on top of an opposing alliance, becoming lodged in or on the robot, will this be considered a penalty for controlling a particle of the opposing alliance?

    Question 2: If it is a penalty, will the team controlling the particle be continually called for penalties until they remove the particle from their robot?

    Question 3: If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then can the offending team disable their robot to avoid receiving additional penalties.


    Answer 1: Yes, this violates rule <GS10>. An Alliance has access to between three and five Particles. Keeping an opposing Alliance's Particle out of play creates a significant competitive advantage.

    Answer 2: Yes, Penalties will be assessed as described in rule <GS10>.

    Answer 3: No, rule <G23> does not protect a Robot from earring Penalties when it is Disabled for strategic reasons.

    Tip from the Game Design Committee: Robots should be designed to prevent unintentional Possession of the opposing Alliance's Particles.


    • #17
      Can the GDC describe a &quot;legal&quot; way to recover particles from the corner vortex?

      Originally posted by FTC9765
      Question: As there are a limited number of possible return paths for a particle that has been scored in the corner vortex, can you define a legal distance that the particle must travel on the floor, or a set time that the particle must be avoided, or a minimum distance that our robot must stay back from the particle return, so that retrieving this particle would be considered "open recycling?"

      Answer: No, adding the suggested parameters introduces rule loopholes that could allow Robots to defeat the Game Design Committee's intent for how to legally recycle Particles during game play.


      • #18
        &lt;RG08&gt; Launching Game Scoring Elements - Trajectory Constraints For Particles

        Originally posted by FTC9779
        Game Manual Part 1 rule <RG08> states:

        Robots are allowed to launch game Scoring Elements through the air. It is expected that Teams will launch the elements with just enough velocity to score. If the referees feel that a Robot is launching Scoring Elements with excessive velocity that would cause a safety issue if they were to leave the field the Robot will be required to be inspected. Robots must then demonstrate that a launched Game Element cannot travel in the air more than a distance of 4.88 m (16 ft.) or more than 1.83 m (6 ft.) in elevation.

        The wording of this rule seems to indicate that it is perfectly legal to launch particles in excess of the maximum 16 feet distance and 6 feet elevation, as long as the referees feel that the launching of the particles is responsible and does not pose any safety issues. Our team currently launch particles nearly straight up from under the center vortex. At the top of the slow arch, the ball reaches a height of 6 feet 6 inches. We just want to clarify the intent of the game design committee in regards to this rule.

        Thank you.

        Answer: The Game Design Committee's intent is for a launched Particle to travel in the air no more than a distance of 4.88 m (16 ft.) and/or no more than 1.83 m (6 ft.) in elevation. Robots may not legally launch Particles further or higher than these limits.


        • #19
          Center Vortex max rotation rate and does rotating the Center Vortex break the game?

          Teams have shared in the Game Q&A forum their strong belief that allowing Robots to rotate the Center Vortex breaks the game and the Game Design Committee should proclaim that purposeful rotation of the Center Vortex is not allowed. The Game Design Committee believes this is a valid concern and we would like to share our perspective with the FIRST Tech Challenge community.

          During the game design process, we considered the difficulty level of rotating the Center Vortex, the strategic benefit of the action, and how easily an opposing Alliance Robot could disrupt the strategy.

          It is a difficult task: We believe that the constraints placed on how Robots may legally interact with the Center Vortex prevent Robots from rotating the Center Vortex at an angular rate that will break the game. Referees will pay close attention to how Robots interact with the Center Vortex to assure that there is no damage and Robot mechanisms do not employ multiple points of contact that grab, grasp, pinch, etc. the Center Vortex PVC Vertical Pole.

          Limited strategic value: Rotating the Center Vortex affects both Alliances, reducing the strategic value of this strategy. A Robot that is rotating the Center Vortex is probably not able to concurrently add to the Alliance’s Score. Finally, rotating the Center Vortex during the End Game while an opposing Alliance Robot is attempting to Score a Cap Ball in the Center Vortex violates the Cap Ball interference rule, <GS11>.

          Easy to disrupt the strategy: It should be easy for an opposing Alliance Robot to disrupt the strategy by pushing the Robot away from the Center Vortex.

          At this point in the season, the Game Design Committee believes that allowing the purposeful rotation of the Center Vortex is a valid game activity that is difficult to perform, has limited strategic value, and is easily defended against. However, FIRST Tech Challenge teams are extremely creative and they have surprised the Game Design Committee with their ingenious Robot designs and strategies in the past. For example, in the game Bowled Over, the Game Design Committee was pleasantly surprised that Robots lifted the Scoring Crates so high that referees needed a ladder to measure their height!

          The Game Design Committee will continue to allow the purposeful rotation of the Center Vortex until there is evidence that the strategy really does break the game. If a Robot demonstrates that the strategy does break the game, the Game Design Committee will probably fix the game with a ruling in the Game Q&A Forum.

          The questions and comments made by Teams in the Q&A Game Form have made the Game Design Committee concerned that vigorous rotation of the Center Vortex is likely and it may cause damage. In many cases, the damage will be visible and an obvious violation of the Playing Field damage rule, <S1>. Less obvious internal damage or accelerated wear and tear from fast rotation rates and the high forces needed to rotate the Center Vortex make it difficult for referees at different events to make the same judgment call. To help assure consistency between tournaments, the Game Design Committee is providing the following guidance to determine when the Center Vortex rotation rate violates rule <S1>:

          i) A Robot that purposefully causes the Center Vortex to rotate at a rate of one revolution in less than five seconds violates rule <S1>.
          ii) A complete revolution of the Center Vortex at a high angular rate is not required to violate rule <S1>.
          iii) Similar to the other rules that have a time component, the perceived rotation rate will be a judgment call by referees. Timing aids such as a stopwatch will not be used to precisely determine the rotation rate.

          Teams that plan on intentionally rotating the Center Vortex should carefully review rule <S1> and pay close attention to the "intent" statement that is part of the rule. When a referee warns a Drive Team that their Robot is damaging the Center Vortex, the Robot should immediately stop interacting with the Center Vortex and move away.

          That's all for now,

          The Game Design Committee
          Last edited by Buzz; 10-04-2016, 10:36 PM.


          • #20
            Pushing an opposing Alliance Robot while it is launching Particles.

            Originally posted by FTC9915
            Question: Is it legal to push an opposing alliance robot while it's launching particles into the center vortex?

            Answer: Yes, provided that no other rule is violated. For example, Drive Teams using aggressive actions against an opposing Alliance Robot should have a clear understanding of the Unsafe Robot and and Playing Field Damage rule, <S1>. If the opposing Alliance Robot is launching Particles towards a Vortex, the Particle interference rule <GS9> could come into play. Drive Teams should also be careful not to violate the Pinning, Trapping, or Blocking Robots rule, <G16>.


            • #21
              &lt;RG08&gt; Launching Game Scoring Elements - Elevation Constraint

              Originally posted by FTC0965
              Question: Rule RG08 limits the motion of the particles to 6 feet "in elevation." Our robot actually releases the particles (into the air) about 22 inches above the floor. Are we then allowed to send the particles 94 inches above the floor?

              Answer: The 6 ft (1.83 m) elevation constraint in rule <RG08> is measured from the Playing Field Floor.


              • #22
                Particle Stuck in the Center Vortex.

                Originally posted by FTC5559
                Question 1: If a particle is lodged between the pvc pipes of the center vortex, is it counted as scored?

                Question 2: Based on previous seasons, a stuck scoring element is still up to the teams to dislodge?

                Answer 1: No, the definition of Scored in section 1.4 of the Game Manual Part 2 requires that a Particle "roll through the [Center] Vortex" to be Scored. Particles are counted as Scored after they exit through the bottom spokes of the Center Vortex.

                Answer 2: Correct.


                • #23
                  &lt;GS10&gt; Controlling an Opposing Alliance's Scoring Element - Particle

                  Originally posted by FTC6981
                  Question: If a robot launches a particle into an opposing alliance robot, does this violate GS10? Thank you!

                  Answer: Rule <G17> protects a Robot from receiving <GS10> Penalties if the intent of the opposing Alliance is to place, launch, etc. a Particle into the Robot.

                  <GS10> Penalties will come into play if a Particle that is launched with the expectation that it will Score into a Vortex becomes embedded in an opposing Alliance's Robot. For example, if a Red Alliance Robot launches a red Particle towards the Center Vortex on a trajectory that has a reasonable chance of Scoring and the Particle falls into a Blue Alliance Robot, the Blue Alliance Robot is subject to <GS10> Penalties.


                  • #24
                    &lt;RG08&gt; Launching Game Scoring Elements - Particle Elevation Constraint

                    Originally posted by FTC0359
                    Question: Is it legal for the mechanical capability of a particle launcher to exceed 6 ft in elevation if the robot is limited by software to use a reduced percentage of the full power of the launcher? This would mean that the robot particle launcher will be programmed to have an upper limit of 5 ft 11 inches.

                    Answer: Yes.


                    • #25
                      &lt;GS10&gt; Controlling an Opposing Alliance's Scoring Elements - Particles

                      Originally posted by FTC7203
                      We were wondering if GS10 could be clarified through examples.

                      Our robot is designed to detect the color of a particle we unintentionally collect.
                      Scenario 1) The robot is designed to automatically eject particles of the wrong color out the side of the robot without reversing collection. This would be the fastest way to return an accidentally collected particle to play.
                      Scenario 2) The robot is designed to automatically reverse the collection mechanism (eject the particle out the front) if the wrong color particle is collected. This would also return the particle to play very quickly.
                      Scenario 3) Same as scenario 1, but the driver controls this, rather than the robot being designed to handle it automatically. This would slow down the returning of the particle to play.
                      Scenario 4) Same as scenario 2, but the driver controls this, rather than the robot being designed to handle it automatically. This would slow down the returning of the particle to play.
                      Note that for all scenarios, the robot operators are actively trying to avoid collecting the wrong colored particle, the functions are just a backup to try to prevent penalty. The intent of the design is to immediately lose possesion of the other alliance's particle.
                      In these scenarios, would there be penalties, and if so how would the penalties be assessed?

                      Answer: All four scenarios are examples of Controlling an opposing Alliance's Scoring Element. As stated in rule <GS10>, the first instance will result in a warning with any following violations resulting in a Major Penalty and an additional Minor Penalty assessed for every five seconds that the rule violation persists. The ability to quickly discard an opposing Alliance's Particles may reduce the magnitude of <GS10> Penalties, however, it does not give a Robot immunity from rule <GS10> consequences.


                      • #26
                        &lt;G12&gt; Recording the Score After Objects Come to Rest - Elevated Cap Ball

                        Originally posted by FTC5386
                        A robot has successfully lifted a cap ball above 30 inches as time expires, but the robot slowly lowers the cap ball below 30 inches over the next several seconds following the end if the match.

                        Question: Does the 20 points still score? If scoring is not determined instantaneously, please expand on timing of how scoring determinations are made.

                        Answer: As stated in rule <G12>, referees will determine the Score value of the Cap Ball after it has come to rest. In the example scenario, the Robot has not accomplished the End Game high height achievement because the Cap Ball is below 30 inches in height after it has come to rest.


                        • #27
                          &lt;G18&gt; Removing Game Elements from the Playing Field- Returning Particles to the Field

                          Originally posted by FTC8564
                          Question: If particles bounce out of the Playing Field, how are they returned to the field? Are they just rolled down on a random side of the Corner Vortex?

                          Answer: Field personnel at the earliest safe and convenient opportunity will return Particles and Cap Balls to the Playing Field at the approximate location where the Scoring Element left the Playing Field.


                          • #28
                            &lt;GS10&gt; Controlling or Blocking an Opposing Alliance's Scoring Elements

                            Originally posted by FTC7655
                            <GS10> states in part: "The intent of this rule is to allow Teams access to and from their Scoring Elements. Blocking and Trapping means denying ALL access, so general Robot movement with respect to other Robots should not be considered in violation unless there is no other way to traverse the Playing Field or get the Scoring Element. Also note that this rule requires attempted action on the part of the opposing Alliance. See also Rule <G16>."

                            In forum post Misc #25, situations that constitute controlling game elements are outlined. However, at our first tournament, the refs interpreted the forum ruling as defining the intent of rule <GS10> to include ANY control of game elements, not just when an opposing robot is attempting access.

                            Question: Is the intent of the GDC to penalize any intentional or inadvertent control of game elements, regardless of any attempt of the opposing alliance to actually use said game elements?

                            Answer: Yes, rule <GS10> consequences come into play any time that a Robot Controls an opposing Alliance Particle or Cap Ball. The portion of the rule that states, "violating the rule requires attempted action on the part of the opposing Alliance" refers only to the Blocking aspect of the rule.


                            • #29
                              &lt;G25&gt; Match Replay - Cap Ball Interfering with the Driver's Station

                              Originally posted by FTC5532
                              We were at a tournament, when something unusual occurred. A team was lifting the cap ball during the end game, when it rolled off their lift above the center vortex, bounced across the field and out over the field perimeter walls. The ball bounced into the alliance station, where it knocked over the stand for the phones/controllers. This caused the team's phones to disconnect and they couldn't finish the end game. No penalties were applied and the referees considered it an accidental/incidental event and it didn't change the outcome of the match.

                              Question: Should have the referees handled the situation differently?

                              Answer: Rule <G25> states that Matches are replayed at the discretion of the Head Referee only for a failure of a Game Element or verified Wi-Fi interference that was likely to have impacted which Alliance won the Match. The scenario described in the question did not satisfy the requirements for a Match replay. Based on the description of the event, the Head Referee followed the correct procedure for determining Penalties, and if a Match replay is allowed and necessary.

                              Warning from the Game Design Committee: Intentionally using a Cap Ball or Particle to disrupt the opposing Alliance's Drive Team may subject the offending Alliance to <G26> and <G18> consequences.


                              • #30
                                &lt;GS9&gt; Particle Interference - Stationary Robot With a Raised Part

                                Originally posted by FTC7244
                                Question: If robot #1 has a raised part (such as from a lifting mechanism) but is sitting stationary between an opposing alliance robot and their center vortex, and is then struck by a particle launched by the opposing robot #2, are they still violating <GS9> or would this be being forced into the penalty since the opposing robot could have just moved around them?

                                Answer: <GS9> consequences will come into play if the referee believes that Robot #1 is intentionally using a defensive strategy. If the intent of Robot #1 is to play offense, <GS9> does not apply.