Answered: One Last Locking to Field Thread

Yesterday a robot was posted on the forums and the VEX community seems to be in debate of whether it is legal or not.

Disclaimer Normally I hate doing this to a specific team and normally am not one to call out a specific team on a public forum for being illegal. But due to the possible outcomes of this one team I think its best to post here and get things cleared up about these “Trough Blockers”. I also will be explaining my logic as to why this is illegal for everyone to see.

I start out with the rule <SG9>

Robots may not intentionally grasp, grapple or attach to any Field Elements. Strategies with mechanisms that react against multiple sides of a field element in an effort to latch onto said field element are prohibited. (See figures 8-10) The intent of this rule is to prevent teams from both
unintentionally damaging the field, and from anchoring themselves to the field. Violations of this rule will result in a Disqualification.

Now the first thing that I want to address about this robot is the fact that its all passive scissor lifts can not be retracted. They can be pivoted on an arm but in one instance that arm has limited movement due to the center post for the High Goal.

Zoomed in picture of this instance.

According to the image attached to SG9 this would be illegal.

Image attached.

This would create the scenario in the middle of the picture.

But I am a curious person, and would like to know if the rest of the robot would fall under this category for using a powered device to intentionally attach to the field.

In this thread:

More specifically this picture

You said this does not violate SG9, however I think there is missing information from the picture.

In my modification to the picture I added the Trough Supports that seperate each trough (or at least a rough sketch).

If you were to have a device that was to expand far enough to extend further than both Trough Dividers much like what is shown in the following picture

Could this then be considered “latching” as according to the middle scenario under SG9 since it is covering 3 sides of a field element? If so what happens, would the team be required to not use said device as long as the “latching” action still exists? Or would the team be given a warning and then be DQed every time they used this mechanism? (considering it is considered latching)

Some would argue the robot can move back and fourth a few inches its not considered latching, and the device its self is on an arm, and that the arm could be moved to remove the latching effect but this only happens when the team decides they want to. So that being said if the device is considered “latching or grasping” then the device would be intentionally latching based on this assumption.

If this is all considered illegal then this robot has both a) an active latching system (on the trough dividers themselves) and b) a passive latching system (On the High Goal Post).

I would just like to clear the air on this subject so that teams who pursue this kind of design know exactly what could happen if they do not take all of the rules into consideration.

Original Thread in question: [

Sorry for the long winded post Karthik

Don’t worry about the long winded post. Unfortunately, I only have a short answer. Without examining the mechanism in detail, it’s impossible to tell if they have latched onto the field and violated <SG9>. My gut instinct is that the robot has not latched or anchored itself to the field, but it’s hard to evaluate without a closer look.

Thank you Karthik.

I’d like to apologize to the team involved if this seemed like a threat to get their robot disqualified, this was not my intention. My intention is to make sure that all teams follow the same set of rules and there is fair play. Having had this concept from day one, we knew we would have to take extra scrutiny to make sure the robot did not have any signs of latching, passive or active.

Sincere apologies for calling you out on a Q&A, I felt it had to be done.

  • Andrew

It was a well thought out question. All the points you made were valid, however it’s nearly impossible for us to issue any sort of blanket ruling without being able to fully scrutinize the robot. We will be watching very carefully for signs of latching at Worlds, especially teams who try and wrap around the High Goal pose and the Trough stanchions.