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Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

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  • Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

    My Girl Scout “Lego Queens” FLL team had a question on the rules that I wasn’t able to answer. I'm hoping that coaches with more experience than I do will be able to offer their opinion!

    They want to build 2 “Lego Carabiners” so the robot can grab hold of the biomimicry wall to climb it (one girl brought metal carabiners from home to illustrate the idea to her teammates). Basically a loop with a gap that swings in direction only once it’s around the top of the biomimicry wall, no springs to make it snap back in place. This would be the last mission (points are scored if the robot is hanging on the wall at the end of the match).

    R11 says “if you combine a Mission Model with something (including the robot) the combination must be loose enough that if asked to do so, you could pick the mission model up and nothing else would come with it.”

    The combination would be very loose, but I could see two different ways of interpreting R11. Can they pick the robot up in any fashion to show that the robot doesn’t stay attached when they lift it off? If they put one hand on the brick and one hand on the carabiner, they could easily demonstrate a “loose” combination if asked to do so per R11. However, if forced to pick the robot up one handed (by the brick), they could not ensure that the carabineer swung open, and the robot would remain attached to the wall.

    I know the head ref will make the final call, but I'd appreciate any insight experienced coaches may have!

  • #2
    Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

    Originally posted by Suzann1701 View Post
    My Girl Scout “Lego Queens” FLL team had a question on the rules that I wasn’t able to answer. I'm hoping that coaches with more experience than I do will be able to offer their opinion!

    They want to build 2 “Lego Carabiners” so the robot can grab hold of the biomimicry wall to climb it (one girl brought metal carabiners from home to illustrate the idea to her teammates). Basically a loop with a gap that swings in direction only once it’s around the top of the biomimicry wall, no springs to make it snap back in place. This would be the last mission (points are scored if the robot is hanging on the wall at the end of the match).

    R11 says “if you combine a Mission Model with something (including the robot) the combination must be loose enough that if asked to do so, you could pick the mission model up and nothing else would come with it.”

    The combination would be very loose, but I could see two different ways of interpreting R11. Can they pick the robot up in any fashion to show that the robot doesn’t stay attached when they lift it off? If they put one hand on the brick and one hand on the carabiner, they could easily demonstrate a “loose” combination if asked to do so per R11. However, if forced to pick the robot up one handed (by the brick), they could not ensure that the carabineer swung open, and the robot would remain attached to the wall.

    I know the head ref will make the final call, but I'd appreciate any insight experienced coaches may have!
    Interesting question. Let the disputes and interpretation begin!

    Since the mission rule trumps R11, it is allowable for the robot to rise when the mission model is raised (part of the test under R11). It may not even be possible to lift the Wall model, since it is dual-locked to the mat.

    A latched connection (even one without a spring) is in my view a risky design choice. R11 doesn't say "pick up the robot", but you never really know how a ref is going to look at this issue. A ref could claim that if picking up the robot causes the Wall model to also rise, that it doesn't meet the "loose combining" intent of the rule. Then the team would have to argue their case and hope to get a Benefit of the Doubt ruling from the ref.

    Why risk that? Encourage the team to design a solution that doesn't incur the risk of a referee's decision.

    Perhaps ask the team if a latched connection is necessary.
    Last edited by Tom Mosher; 09-09-2016, 04:42 PM.
    FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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    • #3
      Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

      Originally posted by Suzann1701 View Post
      My Girl Scout “Lego Queens” FLL team had a question on the rules that I wasn’t able to answer. I'm hoping that coaches with more experience than I do will be able to offer their opinion!

      They want to build 2 “Lego Carabiners” so the robot can grab hold of the biomimicry wall to climb it (one girl brought metal carabiners from home to illustrate the idea to her teammates). Basically a loop with a gap that swings in direction only once it’s around the top of the biomimicry wall, no springs to make it snap back in place. This would be the last mission (points are scored if the robot is hanging on the wall at the end of the match).

      R11 says “if you combine a Mission Model with something (including the robot) the combination must be loose enough that if asked to do so, you could pick the mission model up and nothing else would come with it.”

      The combination would be very loose, but I could see two different ways of interpreting R11. Can they pick the robot up in any fashion to show that the robot doesn’t stay attached when they lift it off? If they put one hand on the brick and one hand on the carabiner, they could easily demonstrate a “loose” combination if asked to do so per R11. However, if forced to pick the robot up one handed (by the brick), they could not ensure that the carabineer swung open, and the robot would remain attached to the wall.
      The carabiner is not a Mission Model, so your team can attach it as tightly as they wish to their robot.

      R11 applies when the robot is transporting a mission model such as the shark tank. In this situation the combination must be "loose enough" that one can pick up the shark tank and nothing else would come with it.

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      • #4
        Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

        In the past few years, carabiner type attachments (also sometimes called "one way hooks") that grab/hook mission modules (mostly anything with a loop) have been allowed. If I remember correctly, the attachment rules have been similar. I believe the spirit of the rule is to prevent teams from "sticking" mission modules to the robot or attachments via the Lego studs. But we don't go by the spirit of the rule but rather the letter with interpretation left up to the head referee. i'd say it's allowable. But I'm just a coach, not a ref.
        --
        Fort Worth Robotics - North Texas Region Team #455
        Technical coach, baker of the cookies, keeper of the time, transporter of the travel field walls, finder of the spare parts, maker of the pop culture references that only the other tall people understand.

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        • #5
          Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

          The Bio Wall is a mission model, so this is subject to R11. However, I believe R11 only applies to "you", meaning the human technician. If a robot can combine something...then that is not an R11 issue. At this point in time, I would allow it just fine.



          I think latches, one-way hooks, carabineers, et al - all fall into the debate when a mission model is within a loose-fitting, but trapped state. You loosely place a manure disc in a 'basket' - no problem. But what is the basket has a 'lid'? When the "gravity check (old term)" is performed or assessed by the ref for R11, how much movement, shaking, gyrations must be done to separate the two items in question...

          Items combined via LEGO studs, pins, and other mechanisms, are indeed the spirit behind this rule. But alas it has been difficult to write a concise clear bit of text to describe it and how to determine yea/nay.


          Interesting enough at WF last year, the refs allowed the octopus's curly legs to be wrapped around a small LEGO flag pole or perhaps axle. When you pulled the octopus, the flexible curly tentacles would unfurl and the octopus would be freed. This required the base robot to be heavy/sturdy, or even hand held during such an operation. My personal take was this should not be allowed. The "nothing would come with it" clause was being stretched too thin. But I may not have been privy to all the tests and discussions.

          We see robots use one-way latches on "loops" every year. The robot is allowed to combine.


          Funny though, I just went back and the M11 Prosthesis mission should have some exemption text I think for its likely R11 implications.

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          • #6
            Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

            This is a situation where the rules as written do not provide a satisfactory answer.

            The rules are supposed to say that the consequence for violating R11 is that the robot is not allowed to launch (meaning that your solution is fine because the combination takes place after launch.) I know this because Scott has told me so. I don't know it from the rules because they don't say it anywhere.

            Ideally we would be able to get a clarification on this but this problem was present last season and nothing was done about it.

            I will be teaching refs to prevent launches with illegal combinations because the literal reading suggests the rule should not be enforced at all (the consequence for violating the rule is a detail that isn't mentioned and so does not matter) and I am not comfortable with that. You will want to get a ruling from your local rules authority (possibly suggest they ask Scott.)

            Originally posted by dna1990 View Post
            Funny though, I just went back and the M11 Prosthesis mission should have some exemption text I think for its likely R11 implications.
            This was the question I was asking when I found out what Scott thinks the consequence for violating R11 is. His opinion is that no exemption is needed because mission rules have priority over game rules and the mission rules say to put the wheels on the pig. I pointed out that the mission rules don't say you are then allowed to launch the robot but he still didn't think it was a problem.
            Last edited by SamLast; 09-09-2016, 09:32 PM.
            Team members and coaches in North Carolina, direct your rules questions to [email protected]

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            • #7
              Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

              Originally posted by dna1990 View Post
              The Bio Wall is a mission model, so this is subject to R11. However, I believe R11 only applies to "you", meaning the human technician. If a robot can combine something...then that is not an R11 issue. At this point in time, I would allow it just fine.
              (...)
              Funny though, I just went back and the M11 Prosthesis mission should have some exemption text I think for its likely R11 implications.
              I'd agree that "you" in the rules refers to the team, not the robot, and R11 applies to "handling", so R11 applies to handling by the team. If the robot combines a mission model with something (including itself), R11 does not come into play.

              Since the mission rule trumps the game rules, combining the prosthesis with the "pet" model is allowed.

              Scoring the higher point value for the Prosthesis mission would be very challenging if the robot isn't allowed to launch after the pet and prosthesis are bonded.

              Under this year's "interruption" rule, the team risks losing 9 points if their "put the pig+prosthesis on the Farm" mission ends with the pet in the ref's hands.
              Last edited by Tom Mosher; 09-12-2016, 05:33 PM.
              FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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              • #8
                Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

                Reviving this old thread to get opinions on the following idea: Under R11, is it OK to use a LEGO rubber band (yellow belt in this case) to strap a mission model to another object? My team has an idea that straps a model to a piece of equipment in such a way that they could probably pick up the model if they were allowed to use both hands to keep the equipment stationary. This rule and it's previous variants have usually been interpreted to mean you can't attach things by studs or pins, but this is a pretty firm combination that keeps the objects together after falling about 8 inches to the table.

                I'm going to suggest that they find another method, but wanted to see if people think I'm reading R11 too strictly (that's not my usual MO, but you never know!).

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                • #9
                  Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

                  Originally posted by mkirkwood View Post
                  Reviving this old thread to get opinions on the following idea: Under R11, is it OK to use a LEGO rubber band (yellow belt in this case) to strap a mission model to another object? My team has an idea that straps a model to a piece of equipment in such a way that they could probably pick up the model if they were allowed to use both hands to keep the equipment stationary. This rule and it's previous variants have usually been interpreted to mean you can't attach things by studs or pins, but this is a pretty firm combination that keeps the objects together after falling about 8 inches to the table.

                  I'm going to suggest that they find another method, but wanted to see if people think I'm reading R11 too strictly (that's not my usual MO, but you never know!).
                  I think that's not allowed. Mission models must be loosely combined:
                  R11: "...the combination must be loose enough that if asked to do so, you could pick the Mission Model up and nothing else would come with it."
                  FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Does a Lego Carabiner violate R11?

                    There may be ways to strap items together that is clever or impressive, but usually when I see bundling in the solution I am left with the impression "That was the best you could come up with?" It is right down there with the robot pushing something into place in the list of uninspired and boring solutions. It may be effective, and it might be efficient, but is it any fun? Does it inspire? Is it food for the soul? That is far more important than any official ruling. The team should glow with pride when the robot accomplishes a mission. If they don't the solution must be wrong.

                    There hasn't been a bundling rule referencing any particular kind of connection for quite some time. It is perfectly legal to bundle models using pins or stud type connections as long as they come apart when picked up. Many LEGO builders know from experience how easy it is to make a stud type connection that comes apart when you pick it up.
                    Last edited by Dean Hystad; 02-04-2017, 04:41 PM.

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