Seeking Next Level R<5> rule clarification - Two appendages that cannot extend at the same time


We have a robot that has two appendages - “A”, that can extend out the back and “B”, that can extend out the front. The appendages are long enough such that if they operated independently and extended both at the same time, it would violate R<5>. But the appendages do not operate independently. When appendage A is extended, B cannot extend. Similarly when B is extended, A cannot extend. This coupling makes it impossible for the robot to violate R<5>, shown below.

R<5> “A Robot may not expand beyond its 11” x 20” (279mm x 508mm) constraint at any time during
the Match. However, Robots are permitted to expand beyond their 15” (381mm) starting height
constraint at any time during the Match.”

But following the rule definition I see this statement:

Note: The 11” x 20” (279mm x 508mm) limit includes the full range of motion by any

How is the “full range of motion” to interpreted for this robot? The appendages can only be extended one at a time, thus their range is not full.

Does this statement consider each appendage separately?? That does not reflect the robot design or operation.

Can someone please clarify this?

Thank you,
John P

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<R5> does not prohibit robots from being able to expand beyond the 11" x 20" constraint, only from actually expanding beyond the constraint. The note you quoted doesn’t mean that a robot whose appendages can extend outside the constraint is illegal, just that it’s possible for a robot to violate the constraint simply by moving an appendage. Take a look at the illustration that goes along with that note:


The robot on the left is legal even though it is physically capable of violating the 11" x 20" constraint; it only becomes illegal when it raises its appendage high enough to violate the constraint (as at right). So, it sounds like the robot you described is legal.

Side note: At many events, your robot may still get checked for its maximum possible horizontal dimensions at inspection. Although the capability to expand beyond 11" x 20" is not grounds to fail inspection, it can still be helpful to perform this check for 2 related reasons:

  1. If a robot is capable of violating the horizontal constraint, this is a good opportunity for inspectors/refs to make sure that the robot’s drivers understand the rules and know what the legal range of motion of their appendages is to avoid accidentally violating <R5> during a match.
  2. If a robot looks like it might be close to violating the constraint, but stays within it at all times, this provides some ‘peace of mind’ to refs, and saves them the trouble and delay of checking the robot for horizontal size immediately before or after a match.
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Thanks for your response.

That gives me some relief. We’re going to worlds with this robot, and the official Next Level Q&A rule forum is no longer taking questions. I don’t want to show up there and have a disaster.