Answered: "Fixing" the robot

Hypothetical situation: Autonomous mode starts, a fully functioning robot moves off of its tile, drives to a goal, scores, and returns to the starting tile. Then, while attempting to do a match load (still in autonomous), a major subsystem of the robot fails (e.g., broken chain). The robot is still drivable, but is no longer able to manipulate game pieces.

Question: In this scenario, while still in autonomous mode, with the robot touching the starting tile, can the team attempt to “fix” the robot?

Here are the relavent sections from the rules:

<SG5> During the Autonomous Period, Drivers and Coaches may handle their own Robot while the Robot is in contact with their own Alliance Starting Tile. … Drivers or coaches also may not change the configuration of the Robot other than in the act of fixing the Robot … The intent of this rule is not to allow teams to manipulate their Robot in such a way that they are controlling the robot via human contact or creating motions that lead to scoring.

<SG6> During the Driver Controlled Period, Drivers and Coaches may handle their own Robot as long as the robot has never left the alliance Starting Tile.

When read together, the above two rules are a little ambiguous about this scenario. We would appreciate a clear ruling about the legality of fixing the robot at this point.



Let’s take a look at the relevant rule in full. I’ve bolded some text for emphasis.

Thus, teams are allowed to fix robots that are unable to move, during the autonomous period. Examples of this type of fixing include plugging in a battery, turning on a robot, etc. Fixing a chain that has snapped does not fall within the intent of the rule.