Author Topic: Greasing up a Robot  (Read 3668 times)

thesaxmachine

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Greasing up a Robot
« on: April 09, 2015, 12:58:12 pm »
It came up in Robogames this year that one of the teams were greasing up the wedge of their robot.  As there is nothing specific in the SPARC construction ruleset 15. Forbidden Weapons and Materials.  What would the viewpoint on this be?

MikeNCR

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 01:11:31 pm »
15.2. Weapons that require significant cleanup, or in some way damages the arena
to require repair for further matches. This includes but is not limited to:
15.2.1. Liquid weapons. Additionally a bot may not have liquid that can spill
out when the robot is superficially damaged.

These could apply depending on how extreme the usage was. I think if the grease usage was enough that it was leaving noticeable residue on the other bots/arena, then it would be in violation of this rule.

Koolaid64

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2015, 03:35:32 pm »
why not wax?

daggius

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 02:05:18 pm »
Quote
15.2. Weapons that require significant cleanup, or in some way damages the arena
to require repair for further matches. This includes but is not limited to:
15.2.1. Liquid weapons.
Additionally a bot may not have liquid that can spill
out when the robot is superficially damaged.

In my opinion, the red text above does not apply because the grease is not a weapon (it's part of the armor).  And the blue text does not apply because there is no way that the grease could "spill out" -- it is too thinly coated, viscous, and there is no reservoir from which it could spill.

So it should be totally legal to grease up a bot.  And also more interesting when a flamethrower hits it.

This is similar to the sticky substance people apply to their foam wheels in insect class, which is also allowed.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 02:07:37 pm by daggius »

MikeNCR

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 02:40:56 pm »
Quote
15.2. Weapons that require significant cleanup, or in some way damages the arena
to require repair for further matches. This includes but is not limited to:
15.2.1. Liquid weapons.
Additionally a bot may not have liquid that can spill
out when the robot is superficially damaged.

In my opinion, the red text above does not apply because the grease is not a weapon (it's part of the armor).  And the blue text does not apply because there is no way that the grease could "spill out" -- it is too thinly coated, viscous, and there is no reservoir from which it could spill.

So it should be totally legal to grease up a bot.  And also more interesting when a flamethrower hits it.

This is similar to the sticky substance people apply to their foam wheels in insect class, which is also allowed.

A wedge or plow would be effectively "the weapon" in the context that that is how the robot intends to attack or otherwise interact with the opposing robot. In that sense, excessive oil or grease such that it required clean-up would not be legal, however so long as the volume or nature of it was low enough that cleanup wasn't an issue it would be legal.

On the wheel side of things the "sticky substance" typically isn't actually sticky, so much as it has a high coefficient of friction.

daggius

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2015, 05:38:50 pm »
I guess weapon needs to be explicitly defined in the rules.  I would not consider a wedge a weapon because it does not cause damage to the opponent and its intention is not to cause damage but just to break their traction or get under them.  Similarly if you were pushing the opponent around with the flat side of your chassis, or driving on top of them with your wheels, these things (your chassis and wheels) would not be called weapons, even though they are interacting with the opponent.

Similar inactive devices like a spike would be classified as a weapon because of its purpose to cause damage by stabbing into their armor or wheels.  But I still would not consider a greased up spike a "liquid weapon".  And I could not see how this grease could "spill out" or cause "significant cleanup."  Wiping up some grease is way less clean up than they already have to do for the spinning weapons such as Last Rites and Touro Maximus (bolting beams back down, cleaning up shattered glass from smashed ceiling lights, mopping up tons of shredded tires and armor that blankets the floor...).  These right here are weapons that require significant cleanup AND damage the arena.

I think the only thing that really counts as a liquid weapon is if you are trying to spray or pour liquid on the other teams bot in order to disable or damage it.  Like if they didnt have some rule, someone might try to pour acid on the opponent, or liquid metal, or gasoline...  all of which would be a huge mess.  I think thats the only intention of the liquid weapons rule, to outlaw this type of thing.

MikeNCR

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 06:15:13 pm »
I guess weapon needs to be explicitly defined in the rules.  I would not consider a wedge a weapon because it does not cause damage to the opponent and its intention is not to cause damage but just to break their traction or get under them.  Similarly if you were pushing the opponent around with the flat side of your chassis, or driving on top of them with your wheels, these things (your chassis and wheels) would not be called weapons, even though they are interacting with the opponent.

Similar inactive devices like a spike would be classified as a weapon because of its purpose to cause damage by stabbing into their armor or wheels.  But I still would not consider a greased up spike a "liquid weapon".  And I could not see how this grease could "spill out" or cause "significant cleanup."  Wiping up some grease is way less clean up than they already have to do for the spinning weapons such as Last Rites and Touro Maximus (bolting beams back down, cleaning up shattered glass from smashed ceiling lights, mopping up tons of shredded tires and armor that blankets the floor...).  These right here are weapons that require significant cleanup AND damage the arena.

I think the only thing that really counts as a liquid weapon is if you are trying to spray or pour liquid on the other teams bot in order to disable or damage it.  Like if they didnt have some rule, someone might try to pour acid on the opponent, or liquid metal, or gasoline...  all of which would be a huge mess.  I think thats the only intention of the liquid weapons rule, to outlaw this type of thing.

Wedges and plows are an element of the offensive portion of the robot and thus would be a "weapon" in that sense. Causing damage is not a requirement to have an object classified as a weapon.

A light coating of oil or a bit of grease wouldn't be banned by the rules, but enough of either that it was prone to getting all over the place would.

Dry, solid debris is much, much easier to clean up than oil or grease. You can sweep up small solid debris, you need absorbent material to get up fluids. The cleanup process for spilled fluids is much longer than a few pieces of broken bot and would be banned by the rule.

Feel free to oil your steel or wax your wedge, but if there's enough of it that it's dripping then you're at the point where the "significant cleanup" line applies.

FingerTech

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2015, 03:50:03 pm »
In case it wasn't obvious, the team was doing this so that the opponent's wheels would lose all traction.
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Travis7s

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2015, 07:21:47 pm »
Should be illegal in my opinion, really no different than dropping down an oilslick or spraying grease, its just on a smaller scale.

Lucas Grell

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2015, 12:23:44 pm »
Oh, yeah I was reading this before and it sounded fine, but if it was enough to grease their wheels, then that's not fair, if you ask me. I've tried it before but the point was just to make the wedge a little slippier in case it made a difference for pushing people up it. I had no intention of getting it on the other bot at all, though now that I think of it I suppose it could have.

MikeNCR

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Re: Greasing up a Robot
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2015, 12:42:46 pm »
Again, having not seen what was actually used/done, it's either legal per the rules if there wasn't any cleanup that would have been required (the opponent having to wash elements of their robot would classify as cleanup) or illegal if there was enough grease that it would require cleanup.