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  • Touching Robot

    I have one group that will tap the robot after launch while it is still in the launch area. They say it is a "Good Luck" tap going back to when they didn't know much and used the tap to straighten out the robot when launched wrong. They have done this for 3 years no matter how much I try to get them not to. In the past it has never caused an issue and they have never received a penalty token.

    This year the rule states "Interruption- The next time you interact with the Robot after Launch"

    So, if they tap the robot in the launch area do they
    A- have a precision token taken away
    B- not earn points for missions completed after they tapped it
    C- both


  • #2
    Touching is an interruption and the Interruption rules apply. If everything is still in the launch area, then it's a free interruption and they can restart again without penalty. If something has exited the launch area, they lose a precision token and must restart.
    FLL Mentor/Coach 2006-2015
    Founding Mentor for FRC 1759: 2006-2012
    Founding Mentor for FRC 4999: 2016
    FRC Field Supervisor, Los Angeles 2007-2016
    Manager, Software Development, EMC Corp.

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    • #3
      No Token will be taken, but Update RG07 ("Mis-launch") says the team must re-launch the robot. So your list needs an Option D.
      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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      • #4
        They have done this for 3 years no matter how much I try to get them not to. In the past it has never caused an issue and they have never received a penalty token.
        Referees should never have allowed that, not this year and not in the last three years either. It should always have caused a mandatory re-launch.
        FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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        • #5
          Tell them good luck taps work much better if done BEFORE they launch the robot.

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          • #6
            I'm with timdavid, change the timing, not the ritual. All the member should give it a good luck tap in the pit just before it goes to the table. Maybe create a pattern of going down the Pit checklist and last is good luck tap by all members.
            FLL coach Trash Trek on, State 4x, World 2x, ref, judge advisor.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DJR View Post
              I'm with timdavid, change the timing, not the ritual. All the member should give it a good luck tap in the pit just before it goes to the table. Maybe create a pattern of going down the Pit checklist and last is good luck tap by all members.
              Love that idea, I will suggest this to them

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              • #8
                I can't imagine anyone cares, but I "knock" the side of every plane/boat I board. Ritual habits are strong.

                I too would suggest the "tap" be done before (or as part of) the pressing of the "go" launch action. I am with Tom - in all years that should have been at least an interruption with cause to re-launch, and except for RG07 this year, should have been a loss of precision token as well.

                Opt C (no missions scored) is a rarity. At least for me. If a ref misses or is unable to prevent a launch that doesn't meet some requirement - looking at the chain of events of what missions were scored, could have been scored, etc - is quite tedious and fraught with assumptions and errors. In my events, if ref allows the launch to occur - then the results of that launch always stand on their own. Too much toothpaste to put back in the tube.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dna1990 View Post
                  Too much toothpaste to put back in the tube.
                  I like that one.

                  FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                  • #10
                    I don't understand why this is controversial. The definition of LAUNCH says, "Whenever you’re done handling the Robot and then you make it GO." Isn't the final tap, part of "handling the robot" and therefore, by definition, doesn't the final tap occur before LAUNCH? The kids are "done handling the Robot" whenever they say they are "done handling the Robot". As long as the Robot is in the Launch area pre-Launch, the kids can handle it as much as they'd like (R21).

                    Furthermore, there's no definition for "GO" so "benefit of doubt" should apply. Perhaps they "make it GO" by the power of prayer after they are "done handling the Robot". According to R21, the requirement that "nothing on the Field is moving or being handled" only applies during the countdown to the first launch. After the countdown, there's no rule against touching things in motion pre-Launch.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WilliamFrantz View Post
                      I don't understand why this is controversial. The definition of LAUNCH says, "Whenever you’re done handling the Robot and then you make it GO." Isn't the final tap, part of "handling the robot" and therefore, by definition, doesn't the final tap occur before LAUNCH? The kids are "done handling the Robot" whenever they say they are "done handling the Robot". As long as the Robot is in the Launch area pre-Launch, the kids can handle it as much as they'd like (R21).

                      Furthermore, there's no definition for "GO" so "benefit of doubt" should apply. Perhaps they "make it GO" by the power of prayer after they are "done handling the Robot". According to R21, the requirement that "nothing on the Field is moving or being handled" only applies during the countdown to the first launch. After the countdown, there's no rule against touching things in motion pre-Launch.
                      True. The rules no longer say anything about "pressing a button" or "signaling a sensor" as they have in the past. But I can also see a ref having a tough time with this as the good luck tap is not going to do anything to notify the robot that it is time to launch. How is this any different than tapping the robot to knock it back on course? You already did the thing that is really going to make the robot go, so technically the robot is already launched. It is not well defined.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WilliamFrantz View Post
                        I don't understand why this is controversial.
                        The reply from user "terbos" on Oct 3rd says it all:
                        Touching is an interruption and the Interruption rules apply. If everything is still in the launch area, then it's a free interruption and they can restart again without penalty. If something has exited the launch area, they lose a precision token and must restart.
                        Once you "make the robot go", any further touches are an Interruption.
                        FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
                          Once you "make the robot go", any further touches are an Interruption.
                          Yeah, but that's my point. There is no definition or limitation on what you can or can't do to "make the robot go", therefore isn't the team free to decide and declare what "makes the robot go"? It's impossible to break that rule because there is no externally visible indicator of a robot that is "going" and a robot that is not "going". The fact that the robot is or isn't in motion doesn't seem to be a factor. The kids can simply claim that the final tap is what makes the robot go (unless somebody can point to a clear definition of "make the robot go" or a "going robot").

                          the good luck tap is not going to do anything to notify the robot that it is time to launch
                          A ref can't know that unless the kids say that. Besides, a gyro sensor or ultrasonic sensor might be able to sense the final tap and the bot could audibly say "go" in response, but why would that make any difference to a ref? AFAICT, as long as it's in the Launch Area, the robot is past "go" only when the kids say it has past "go" and not a moment before. A ref can't rule that the robot has been "made to go" if there's no criteria to judge that.

                          it's a free interruption and they can restart again
                          So, another way to look at is that the final tap is an interruption, but it's a free interruption. And, since there's no rules about exactly where the robot starts in the Launch Area, then we can consider everything after the final tap to be a "relaunch".

                          So it doesn't seem to matter. A final tap on a moving robot in the Launch Area could be considered to be "making the robot go" or could be considered an interruption and relaunch. Either way, it's allowed and there's no penalty.

                          How is this any different than tapping the robot to knock it back on course?
                          As long as the bot is in the Launch Area, I don't see any rule against "knocking it back on course" although I'd phrase it as "positioning the robot to GO" since again, there's no rule that says the robot must be motionless when you "make it GO".
                          Last edited by WilliamFrantz; 10-09-2019, 05:24 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WilliamFrantz View Post

                            Yeah, but that's my point. There is no definition or limitation on what you can or can't do to "make the robot go", therefore isn't the team free to decide and declare what "makes the robot go"? It's impossible to break that rule because there is no externally visible indicator of a robot that is "going" and a robot that is not "going". The fact that the robot is or isn't in motion doesn't seem to be a factor.
                            Really? If the robot is moving, it is very difficult to claim that you haven't "made it go" yet.

                            So, another way to look at is that the final tap is an interruption, but it's a free interruption.
                            Yes, it is a free interruption. It must be launched again.
                            FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
                              If the robot is moving, it is very difficult to claim that you haven't "made it go" yet.
                              On the contrary, I think it's very easy to make that claim since "GO" is undefined, the robot is not required to be motionless pre-launch, and "benefit of the doubt".

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