Imparting energy in driver control loads

We’ve seen this a few times now and no ref has seem to notice it.
<SG6> states that the 2 ways to enter a driver load ball is by GENTLY placing on the field and not imparting energy to have it move, or
place gently on the robot. We’ve seen teams shoving balls into the robot. They put the ball on the bot and then shove a good 2" further into the robot. Not legal. The bots that have violated the tile entry, have done similar actions. They place the ball on the floor then guide it into the intakes. Still not legal. Anyone seen this happening? The worst we saw was a team would shove 4 balls into the intake from the top.

The rule does say gently, but it also says the intent of the rule is to keep from imparting energy into the shooting mechanism (I’m paraphrasing from memory here). At our competition we only had one team shoving balls into the robot, and they were shoving them in sideways where their mechanism would grab it and shoot it out 90 degrees to the loading. So we determined it was okay for that case. It can be a bit tricky sometimes, but the refs are really looking for intent to “help” the robot along, which wouldn’t be legal.

Yes I have seen some infractions this year too. Nothing totally egregious but please keep an eye out for Karthik’s rulings and get with event organizers and referees to be on the look out for things like imparting energy and hitting the colored tile in front of the robot, or having someone on the far side giving hand signals to adjust the aim one way or another.

Our local head ref has been keeping a tally of his warnings so he does not forget them the second time he points it out. It seems to be a good system.

I would suggest having the conversation before the competition day starts in the drivers meeting to ask nicely as a question versus as a directed statement. “I’ve seen this before and was wondering the legality of X?” Or “Karthik ruled X, can you explain what that means?”

I’ve seen at least 3 teams over two competitions “flick” the ball into their fly wheels. Their accuracy appears to be affected by the consistency of the “flick.” I’m hoping this is addressed at regionals (and beyond).

Imparting energy into the balls while they are in the process of launching or in the direct path of the launcher is illegal and does affect how the ball is launched. In situations where you’re trying to load the balls quickly into a robot, such as dropping them in the intake, will obviously involve the loader imparting external force into the ball. I don’t think the rule is meant to prohibit any kind of external factor on the ball, as it would be painfully time consuming to gently place the ball in a robot or in the loading zone. As long as the way the ball is loaded doesn’t affect the outcome of the match, dropping or placing a ball into a portion of the robot that isn’t directly associated with the scoring mechanism should be considered legal. This should only be allowed in the process of loading. Moving the ball through a section of the robot would still be considered illegal.

In this case, since the flywheel is requiring the ball to be pushed at a certain speed that is not being provided by the robot, it’s considered match affecting and I’m surprised this was allowed.

Teams are trying their hardest to have the bot do the work of picking up the ball. SG<6> clearly states place the ball on the loading zone or onto bot that is touching the loading zone. Team drivers can put as many balls in the loading zone as they can. Move the bot to pick it up if you have to. This is not slow.
Placing a ball on the bot is not slow either. Some of the teams can not even keep up with the launching mechanisms.