Touching Bot in Trouble

Robot is at the top of the ramp during match on an elevated field and is about to fall over the edge 4’ to the floor below. Player taps robot back onto ramp, WITHOUT putting down controller & signaling referee. - note - If he would have put down the controller & signaled referee BEFORE touching the bot - the bot would have dropped 4’ to the floor. - [finals match - team was DQ for “touching the bot”]

In this situation - where it is IMPOSSIBLE to put down controller and signal referee BEFORE touching robot in order to get the bot “out of trouble” what is the call? Will the player be DQ if he does NOT put controller down & signal referee before touching the bot? If player touches bot(only if in IMPOSSIBLE situation), puts controller down, signals referee, and returns bot to perimeter - will player be DQ?

<G14> If a Robot is in need of assistance, the Drivers may retrieve and reset the Robot. Before retrieving its Robot, the team must signal the Referee by placing its controller down, such that it is not in the hands of either Driver. The Drivers must reset the Robot such that it is touching the field perimeter and not in the Scoring Zone. Any Balls in possession of the Robot while being handled must be removed and taken out of play for the remainder of the match

It sounds like the robot remained on the ramp. If that’s the case, I think the player illegally touched the robot.

I would think they could have caught the robot, set it on the ground with the controller, signaled the ref, and then put the robot back in a legal starting position.

That’s just my un-official opinion.

Well, it would be too hard on the kids to expect them watch their robot falling down (and into pieces) 4 feet in the tournament*.
But unless they have taken the robot back to a legal restart position (that is, down the ramp**, touching the field perimeter), regardless of the way they handled the controller, it was clearly a score-affecting act and a case for disqualification.
So I’d say they were disqualified for illegally affecting the score (“taps robot back onto ramp”), not for the minor infraction of not following the protocol.

*) Been there. One of our teams dropped the robot. Pieces all around. They managed to get the drivebase back in business for the next match and the rest of their robot for the second next, but emotions were really high.
**) Uh-huh, reading the rule G14, it seems it would be legal to place the robot up on the ramp, as long as it is somehow touching the perimeter. You would only need a long enough arm (within the 20" limit) that could reach down enough ;-).

The referee will give you a warning for touching the robot without putting controller down first. It has happened to us once in one of previous years. The controller lost signal and robot was on collision course with the other robot so the driver panicked. It was in the first half, not match-affecting and the robot was being moved to start position. If it was score-affecting like the one you describe then that would have been grounds for disqualification immediately. That was what the judge had said.