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Question about Definition 01. Equipment not intended to separate

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  • Question about Definition 01. Equipment not intended to separate

    I'm a first time coach and have a question about attachments. In the definitions section, it states: "01. Robot ... all the Equipment you combine ... which is NOT INTENDED TO SEPARATE FROM IT, EXCEPT BY HAND".

    I've watched YouTube videos from past seasons and seen teams leave attachments on the board, which separated from the base by design. This might be to reduce weight and complexity of the attachment without returning to base. For example, in "Escape Velocity" of the Into Orbit season, I've seen teams leave behind a hammer mechanism on the board after smashing the pad. The robot then goes on to some other part of the board in the same run. Is this legal?

    For example at approximately 2:05 in this clip:

  • #2
    Yes, it is legal. Equipment that is designed to autonomously detach from the robot is Cargo.
    See rule 11 (Transport and Cargo) and rule 29 (Stranded Cargo).
    FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
      Yes, it is legal. Equipment that is designed to autonomously detach from the robot is Cargo.
      See rule 11 (Transport and Cargo) and rule 29 (Stranded Cargo).
      Thanks for the clarification!


      • #4
        Hi dragonops, Welcome to the Forums!

        I believe you're asking all the right questions. You're a first year volunteer coach for a bunch of kids, and that makes you a huge Hero.

        May I presume to offer you a bit more advice? Especially since you're posting a great video as an example?

        The video you've posted happens in a team's basement. I've gotten a lot more help from videos shot in a match. Granted, the camera work is usually far less clear than this one, but the referees make the action much more realistic. For instance, in this video, at 0:54, I think that attachment is slightly out of base ("launching area.") I'd have to see a referee hold up her 12 inch high clipboard, I suspect some of the robot is too tall, but I could be wrong. Definitely, the team uses the area north of base on the mat more than would be allowed in my region.

        Also, a first year team should absolutely see this video and want to be this good, but not if it creates expectations that they can get this far in their first few weeks. I always make certain to show a rookie team a variety of videos, from 50 point elementary teams to the 398 point battle fleet teams.

        Speaking of battle fleets, I'm sure you've read rule 19. (Whoo hoo! YES! I love this year's change.) Teams used to be able to use 10,000+ elements without penalty, while other teams couldn't afford it. Judges would have fierce philosophical arguments about the "efficiency" of the sprawling contraptions. Your rookie team will probably not have much trouble staying with the small inspection zone. The truly great teams will pack every cubic inch, and then their robots will unfold gracefully after inspection. I'd like to suggest this video:

        Zoom in at 0:59 to 1:01, look at the simple but perfectly reliable mechanism. Watch at 1:12, why is the robot dancing back and forth? (They have two light sensors buried in the robot left and right, and they're squaring to the green line.) The action at 1:42 accomplishes one of the hardest FLL missions ever, simultaneously with another mission, and without using a zillion blocks. Then at 2:12, they do something considered impossible at the time. They needed a three foot long gadget, so they built a 3 foot long gadget.

        My first year, I was a terrible coach. I did way too much touching plastic and suggesting methods to solve problems on the board, and it hurt my rookie team. My fourth year, I didn't teach a team enough, and it hurt them when they didn't have the programming ability. It's much better to turn one of your kids into a rules lawyer, than it is to be their rules lawyer. Great coaches spend a HUGE amount of their time teaching basic presentation skills, actually living the core values, and helping the team learn to focus. I personally believe that great coaches teach a lot of programming ability during the summer, but never ever suggesting which methods to use during the season. I hope you get that crucial part of coaching a lot faster than I did.

        You're going to love this.


        • #5
          Thanks for the kind words Rbbbb!