Author Topic: Activation and shutdown safety procedures  (Read 3213 times)

seangcxq

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Activation and shutdown safety procedures
« on: January 24, 2015, 11:39:36 am »
Looking to continue discussion from http://m.delphiforums.com/cjrc/messages/3575

MikeNCR

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Re: Activation and shutdown safety procedures
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2015, 01:27:18 pm »
To save people a bit of time, here's the relevant posts:

Quote from: seangcxq
Looks great, glad to see we finally have some standardization in the works.
 
 
I have a concern with the process of activiating a robot.
 
"If the robot has a weapon that is aimable it will be aimed at the wall furthest from the arena entry door. "
The thing that worries me here is with spinner bots similar to my retried bot Fiasco - with long horizontal blades. If it is placed facing the wall, but accidentally not far enough from the wall that the weapon doesn't hit it, here is something that could happen in theory.
The bot is powered on, driver standing to the side of it to activate. All seems fine, weapon lock is removed. Suddenly, there is interference or some other issue that causes the weapon to activate - maybe even the transmitter is dropped and the throttle goes to full. The weapon will now hit the wall, causing the robot to potentially suddenly spin at the driver from the impact thereby injuring them.
It is for this reason I have always faced the weapon toward the center of the arena, so if it suddenly powered on, there would be no risk of it actually hitting anything without the drive system, giving the driver or others time to move away - with drive; or posing no risk - without drive. If the new standard will be to face the robots to the wall, I feel we should add that any long bar spinner weapons should be extended toward the wall to ensure that in the event of an accidental spin-up, it does not come in contact with the wall.
 
 
Also, for disabling the weapon system, I feel it should be made clear that weapon lock is put in first, then weapon powered down, then drive powered down. Usually weapon powering down isn’t instantaneous like a weapon lock is, and it isn’t as obvious that it is disabled as seeing the weapon lock in, i.e. a mistake could be made where drive was disabled instead and it would be hard to tell.

Quote from: MikeNCR
The counter argument on the aimed at the wall vs. center of the arena would be that on any horizontal spinner with sufficient power to toss itself around if it were powered up too close to the wall also in all probability has enough power that the act of spinning the weapon up will result in the body of the bot spinning, again potentially hitting the person powering the bot on. This is why the removal of the weapon lock is the last step of the process, as the procedure is all about mitigating risks. There is risk inherent in occupying the same floor space as a combat robot, which is also why the procedure gives preference to activating bots on opposing sides of the arena kick plate/barricade as that further mitigates the risk.

 

The power down procedure is left somewhat more open, as it is also meant to address pneumatic systems where it may be safer to vent pressure prior to interacting with any sort of locking mechanism. In the case of spinning weapons, whether it is more sensible to install the lock or remove power from the weapon system is somewhat dictated by the design of the specific bot and locking mechanism. The leeway here is to ensure that a less safe situation isn't forced because the rules were written with a different weapon system in mind.

Quote from: seangcxq
I completely agree that different robots will have different optimal safety procedures - I was just addressing some concerns that I feel some of the rigid requirements are potentially less safe in this one instance - at least without that additional information - i.e. Fiasco / long blade horizontal spinners based on my experience with this type of robot over many years. When I said weapon lock first - I meant this to apply to non-pnuematic, battery operated, weaponed robots with non instantaneous power switches, such as hex screw switch, especially those with two - one for drive and one for weapon.

I think continued discussion of the startup and shutdown procedures among other safety procedures would be extremely beneficial to future safety of the sport since this will likely be the ruleset of many events to come.

Edit: Thinking about it more, as Mike pointed out some robots will move on spinup - if the driver is to the side where the bot moves to on spinup they could be injured. Could we ensure the driver is always on the opposite side in the rules? I see the benefit in being to the side rather than behind - the bot can't reverse into the driver. But obviously the weapon is the greater danger on some bots.

IanMcMahon

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Re: Activation and shutdown safety procedures
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2015, 11:26:48 pm »
Ok, to reply to an old thread. What about turning your robot on at the door and driving it over to the square? You never have to expose more than head, torso, and arms to the bot. You are also already in the path of escape that way. The side benefit is that you can test drive the bot while driving it to the start square.

Also, place your transmitter flat on a surface with the sticks up so that it cannot fall over onto the sticks. If the transmitter is placed outside of the arena, the transmitter remains accessible and the robot cannot hit it if something bad were to happen.

seangcxq

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Re: Activation and shutdown safety procedures
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2015, 11:36:23 pm »
Ok, to reply to an old thread. What about turning your robot on at the door and driving it over to the square? You never have to expose more than head, torso, and arms to the bot. You are also already in the path of escape that way. The side benefit is that you can test drive the bot while driving it to the start square.

Also, place your transmitter flat on a surface with the sticks up so that it cannot fall over onto the sticks. If the transmitter is placed outside of the arena, the transmitter remains accessible and the robot cannot hit it if something bad were to happen.

Quote
What about turning your robot on at the door and driving it over to the square?
Seems obvious, but this actually never occurred to me until at Motorama 2015 when it was suggested. This seems like an even better way of doing it.

Quote
Also, place your transmitter flat on a surface with the sticks up so that it cannot fall over onto the sticks.
I have mixed feelings on this. I've alternated between this method. My concern with it is if someone trips over it or bumps into it when I'm powering up the robot. Maybe a specialized area for it when powering up. What I've been doing is putting it flat outside, powering up the robot keeping the weapon lock in. I then wait a few seconds to make sure everything seems ok - no unexpected motor twitching, etc. Then I hold the transmitter with the throttle stick firmly in the LOW position in my left hand and remove the weapon lock with my right hand.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 11:39:54 pm by seangcxq »

IanMcMahon

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Re: Activation and shutdown safety procedures
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2015, 11:58:44 pm »
I have mixed feelings on this. I've alternated between this method. My concern with it is if someone trips over it or bumps into it when I'm powering up the robot. Maybe a specialized area for it when powering up. What I've been doing is putting it flat outside, powering up the robot keeping the weapon lock in. I then wait a few seconds to make sure everything seems ok - no unexpected motor twitching, etc. Then I hold the transmitter with the throttle stick firmly in the LOW position in my left hand and remove the weapon lock with my right hand.

I too was concerned about someone stepping on it, so I set it on the step next to me. That kept it off of the ground where everyone else was walking. If one of my spinners went in first, I would also hold the transmitter with my left thumb preventing the throttle stick from being moved until the box was locked. I didn't touch the transmitter while removing the weapon lock.

Lucas Grell

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Re: Activation and shutdown safety procedures
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2015, 12:35:30 pm »
I'm not sure if this is practical for other events, but at the NRL/MRL events, where a team is mandatory, the driver holds the transmitter and the other person places the bot in the arena and powers it up.