Some RSC5 Clarification around "controlled"

A Q&A about what does controlled mean has been answered here

Definition of ‘being controlled’ in RSC5

David CRAIG (Event Partner)

1 month ago

I act as a referee in Scotland. My question is about RSC5. This question will become important if teams exploit strategic replacement of game objects.

A Team may handle their Robot as many times as desired during a Programming Skills Match.

b. Any Game Objects being controlled by the Robot while being handled must be removed from the Robot and gently placed in a non-Scored position by the Team.

Question: what is the definition of ‘being controlled’ and ‘while being handled’ in this context? If a game object is clasped and lifted off the floor, it is clearly ‘being controlled’, but what about:

*touching a game object, on the floor

*being entangled in a game object

*having a robot arm pushed through a cube, but without touching it

There is no explicit requirement for the robot to be at rest before being handled, so there is a need to define when all these apply. If the act of lifting the robot to reset it leaves the game object behind on the floor, was the robot controlling the game object while being handled? ; and, specifically, is the team allowed to stratgically replace the game object?

Answered by Game Design Committee

Question: what is the definition of ‘being controlled’ and ‘while being handled’ in this context?

We cannot provide a strict definition for “controlled” that would apply to all possible Robot interactions. That said, the following thought experiment can be used as a general guideline: if, upon lifting the Robot for a reset, the Game Object is left behind on the Floor, then it would not have qualified as “controlled”.

This still leaves some a question: If the robot inserts a claw (or spear) into the cube’s volume, but doesn’t touch it, it would be possible to remove the robot without picking up the cube, or pick up the cube while lifting the robot, depending upon how the student maneuvered the bot during pickup.

The definitions are difficult…for example, you can’t just say “the cube has to be picked up” because a claw could grapple a cube without lifting it, but have the cube fully controlled (i.e. the bot could drag the cube anywhere.

(I’m not saying I like the rules, but we have to live with, and follow the rules as they are stated, no more/no less. It certainly would have been easier if the GDC said to remove the game elements that the robot is touching, as in past season’s games!).

I don’t disagree. At least now we know simply touching is not controlling.

I’m hoping the GDC takes away from this to be more conscious in having an obvious method to score in programming for new teams in future games.

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Seems like this provides some varying strategies for teams. If they pick up their robot, and it has a cube with it, they need to remove the cube and put it down in a non-scoring position.

However, if the cube is green, and on a green platform, and the team can move their robot without moving the cube, then the cube can remain where it was.

To just throw some more confusion out there: If the robot is touching the green cube on the platform then the cube is not scored. Moving the robot has now turned it into a scored position and is not allowed.


I accept your added confusion. :slight_smile:

In my opinion, if (in a programming run) a driver picks up their robot, and no cubes are moved, I don’t believe they have caused any infraction.

The difference is actually “Controlling the cube”!

If the arm is resting on a cube, they are not controlling it. So, they could pick up their robot and the cube would not move with it.

The end result, if a team is planning to use this strategy for programming skills, they must do two things to avoid any potential conflict with the rules and/or their interpretation at a particular event:

Before the match, ensure the field is set so that the cubes can be placed in their non-scoring positions without moving any other cubes.

Ensure the program grasps, grapples, or lifts the desired cube so that it clearly lifts off the field with the robot

Sub-note…students talk to the skills referee and/or the head referee ahead of time to ensure the current rules are understood by all parties.

While doing less than the above might be legal, there would be risk.

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I can see your point that the cube is not being moved Into a scored position but rather it’s status is changing from not scored to scored. Feels like it needs to go back to court, I mean the Q&A.

I think a better practice would simply be move away after scoring before picking up the robot.

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I very much agree and encourage the things you’ve listed.

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This would be my read.

There’s also a version of this where the bot isn’t touching the cube, but because a beam is sticking up an inch, it WOULD move with bot bot anywhere on the field… In the moment of reset, however, the bot is not in control of the cube.

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