Sumo Bots C

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harryk
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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby harryk » May 14th, 2011, 6:38 am

They didn't have any shortage of money, they were using brushless motors and lipo batteries, the vacuum was a small turbine fan attached to a full size rc car brushless motor, and there were another two motors to drive the wheels
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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby MoneyMonger » May 15th, 2011, 7:40 pm

I could be mistaken but aren't pneumatic devices illegal? The rules state "h. The robot may have devices to remove the opponent from the square except any projectiles tethered or untethered, flames, sharp objects, and magnets. Pneumatic devices are not allowed." A pneumatic device is defined as: of relating to, or using gas (as air or wind). A vacuum is clearly a pneumatic device thus if LASA is really using a vacuum than it is illegal according to the rules that were distributed in August. If I'm missing something then please enlighten me, but otherwise I don't think vacuums should be allowed and anyone using them should be disqualified... of course knowing LASA they'll just build something ten times better anyway :)

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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby chalker » May 15th, 2011, 8:38 pm

I could be mistaken but aren't pneumatic devices illegal? The rules state "h. The robot may have devices to remove the opponent from the square except any projectiles tethered or untethered, flames, sharp objects, and magnets. Pneumatic devices are not allowed." A pneumatic device is defined as: of relating to, or using gas (as air or wind). A vacuum is clearly a pneumatic device thus if LASA is really using a vacuum than it is illegal according to the rules that were distributed in August. If I'm missing something then please enlighten me, but otherwise I don't think vacuums should be allowed and anyone using them should be disqualified... of course knowing LASA they'll just build something ten times better anyway :)

Caveat: This is NOT an official clarification nor should you solicit them here.

However, I know that this question was submitted to the national site and here is the response that was given to the person that asked it: "No. That's not a pneumatic device."

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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby Starapollo1 » May 16th, 2011, 5:51 am

That seems rather odd... I spoke with an associate professor at our state college at the begining of the season who said that a vacuum is a pneumatic device so we took it off our robot early on. I'm not going to deny that being allowed to use them peeves me a little... oh well... nothing we can do about it I guess.
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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby MoneyMonger » May 16th, 2011, 6:10 am

@Chalker: Do you know why they are allowing vacuums? I’ve double and triple checked every definition I could find for pneumatic devices and here’s what I came up with:

1. Pneumatics is the use of pressurized gas to affect mechanical motion.
2. Any device which generates or is powered by compressed air
3. Any of various tools and instruments that generate and utilize compressed air.
4. A device moved or worked by air pressure.

A vacuum pump clearly fits all of those definitions… Furthermore if you got to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatics and click ‘examples of pneumatic devices’ vacuum pump is clearly listed at the bottom.

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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby Frogger4907 » May 16th, 2011, 6:12 am

Its because what was stated in the rules in August, was not meant to outlaw vacuums, but other sorts of pneumatic devices. and unknowingly they included vacuums in that of which is outlawed.
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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby Starapollo1 » May 16th, 2011, 6:40 am

That's still a little frustrating... I'm with Monger on this one. If they didn't mean to outlaw vacuums they shouldn't have blatantly said “No pneumatic devices.” My team really wanted to use vacuums but didn’t because the rules clearly stated it would be illegal.

I guess I’m just curious as to why vacuums are allowed. The specific reason, not just: they’re allowed.
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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby chalker7 » May 16th, 2011, 8:40 am

@Chalker: Do you know why they are allowing vacuums? I’ve double and triple checked every definition I could find for pneumatic devices and here’s what I came up with:

1. Pneumatics is the use of pressurized gas to affect mechanical motion.
2. Any device which generates or is powered by compressed air
3. Any of various tools and instruments that generate and utilize compressed air.
4. A device moved or worked by air pressure.

A vacuum pump clearly fits all of those definitions… Furthermore if you got to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatics and click ‘examples of pneumatic devices’ vacuum pump is clearly listed at the bottom.
Wikipedia and dictionary.com are not good sources for a deep understanding of engineering terms. Pneumatic devices are generally either closed systems or use blowing air (i.e. compressed air) to move another object (as in pneumatic air drills). Vacuum pumps are NOT the same thing as vacuum cleaner (which, from your descriptions above, is what LASA is essentially using). Vacuum pumps are highly specialized devices designed to remove gas from an enclosed chamber (hence fitting the closed system pneumatic definition above), vacuum cleaners simply move air through a tube open to the larger world. Violating my first line, compare the wikipedia pages for each. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccum_cleaner (which lists specialized pneumatic vacuum cleaners as a separate section) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_pump

Finally, according to your definition, any type of fan would be illegal in a sumo bot. While not all motors, receivers, etc. have external fans attached for cooling, many do. Also, many motors have hidden, internal cooling fans built in to the end of the drive shaft. These, too, would be illegal under your terms.

That seems rather odd... I spoke with an associate professor at our state college at the begining of the season who said that a vacuum is a pneumatic device so we took it off our robot early on. I'm not going to deny that being allowed to use them peeves me a little... oh well... nothing we can do about it I guess.
That's still a little frustrating... I'm with Monger on this one. If they didn't mean to outlaw vacuums they shouldn't have blatantly said “No pneumatic devices.” My team really wanted to use vacuums but didn’t because the rules clearly stated it would be illegal.
The solution here is to not rely on external interpretations of the rules. If you have an idea that you think might be pushing the rules, submit an official rules clarification on it. That's the only way to know if it will be permitted by Science Olympiad or not. Either LASA took a gamble on the rules and got lucky with their device or asked about it earlier in the year.
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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby MoneyMonger » May 16th, 2011, 1:14 pm

Oh that makes sense; I guess I was just over thinking it a bit! I do have one last question though, if you’re willing to answer it. Would a dedicated closed system (vacuum pump; more specifically, a diaphragm pump) be illegal? That is, compared to fan units.

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Re: Sumo Bots C

Postby chalker7 » May 16th, 2011, 10:42 pm

Oh that makes sense; I guess I was just over thinking it a bit! I do have one last question though, if you’re willing to answer it. Would a dedicated closed system (vacuum pump; more specifically, a diaphragm pump) be illegal? That is, compared to fan units.
Even with the standard disclaimer of this not being an official venue for clarifications (nor me being the person to ultimately answer that question for sumo bots), my suspicion is that the answer would be "it depends, bring it to the event supervisor to see." Many of these extreme hypotheticals are just too hard to judge without the physical device in front of you.

That being said, and you all are probably more creative than me so this could be a moot point, but I simply am not sure I see the utility of a closed vacuum system on a sumo bot. Fundamentally, it will have to engage with either a separate bot or the ground and both of those would require an open system of some type.
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