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Can moving robots by hand be an essential part of an autonomous strategy?

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  • Can moving robots by hand be an essential part of an autonomous strategy?

    NOTE: I posted this in the non-official forum first, but I really need an official VEX staff answer for this question.

    My rules clarification question is if it is legal for a team to use people moving the robot into the next scoring position over and over to save time and programming as an essential part of their autonomous strategy.

    General rule <G16>: Handling the Robot mid-match is allowed, under certain circumstances.

    It states you have to bring it back to the start, ditch the hubs, etc. ... then

    "This rule is intended so Teams can fix damaged Robots or help get their Robots "out of trouble." It is not intended for Teams to use as part of a strategy to gain an advantage during a Match. If a Head Referee sees Teams strategically exploiting this rule, they may be Disqualified from said Match. "

    Programming Skills Match Specific Rules state:
    <PSC1> "A Team may handle their Robot as many times as desired during a Programming Skills Match." It then tells you you have to bring it back to start etc.


    PSC1 allows you to move your robot not only when it is physically stuck (like during the driver matches), but unlike in the driver matches it also allows you to move it when it simply deviates from what the player wishes it to do (ie. misses a hub it should have gotten). Of course putting back to start, etc.

    HOWEVER, I am unclear it if it actually completely replaces General Rule G16 which states that "if a head referee sees teams strategically exploiting this rule, they may be disqualified from the said match." No where in PSC1 does it state you can move the robot as a part of your strategy or to ignore that general rule either.


    With the starting blocks so close to the point gathering this year, teams are incorporating human runners moving the robot to the next scoring position into their programming strategy. This seems to defeat the purpose of the robot being autonomous and in fact makes the autonomous challenge even more dependent on human interaction than the driver mode.


    A common early situation:

    1) A robot is placed down in the leftmost starting area. It grabs the yellow and then pushes the 3 hubs nearest the square into the box.

    1S) The a player snatches the robot up and runs it over to the closer starting area right in front of the bar.

    2) Robot moves forward and hangs.

    I am starting to see:

    1) A robot is placed down in the leftmost starting area. It grabs the yellow and then pushes the 3 hubs nearest the square into the box.

    1S) The a player snatches the robot up and runs it over to the rightmost starting area.

    2) Robot gets the yellow hub, snakes around and pushes hubs into the rectangle.

    2S) The a player snatches the robot up and runs it over to the closer starting area right in front of the bar.

    3) Robot moves forward and hangs.


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