Editor’s Note: As part of our effort to make sure everyone who attends the National Competition is able to compete, while also maintaining our absolute commitment to safety I have a couple of important reminders from our NRL Nationals “Pit Boss”. ~ Sarah Brooks
Good afternoon NRL Bots Teams,
My name is Sarah Brooks and I am the NRL Program Manager and the official Pit Boss for the 2016 NRL National Competition. My role is to ensure things run smooth in the pits. If you have any questions about where you should be or what is going on during the competition look for me or one of the Safety Inspectors / Pit Runners and we will get your question addressed.
Part of my work involves working closely with the Safety Inspectors to make sure we have an accident free event. Now, I love watching robots fight as much as all of you enjoy building and fighting your bots, but our number one priority during the event is always safety (things get decidedly unfun when someone gets hurt). This is the reason why the Competition Rules specify the NRL can disqualify a bot if it does not meet safety standards and why there are safety inspections (see Part 7 of the Competition Rules for details).
However, we would much rather we didn’t ever have to disqualify a team (our second priority is to see that everyone can participate). So, we wanted to remind everyone about the safety rules before you get to the competition, especially those related to the design and construction of your bots since safety problems related to design and construction are nearly impossible to correct at the competition.
- From Competition Rule 4.2 – All bots must be placed on blocks when in the pits. So, please be sure to bring blocks for your robot and make sure they are strong enough to hold the bot (no cardboard boxes please) and that they do not let the robot’s drive system (wheels, tracks, etc) touch the table/ground OR the blocks for that matter.
- From Competition Rule 4.11 – At no time may operators place their hands in the path of a bot’s weapon. This means you need to make sure your bot can be carried, turned on/off, and worked on without your hands (or other body parts) needing to be in the path of moving parts (especially weapons).
- From Competition Rule 4.12 – A bot’s weapon restraints must really prevent a weapon from operating (usually this means spinning, but levers and other non-spinning weapons need to be locked, too). So, please make sure your weapon restraints really work (clips must fully lock the weapon, stops must be strong enough to not break if the weapon is activated, etc).
- From Technical Regulation 6.1 – LiPo batteries are not allowed to be used at the NRL National Competition. Don’t even bring any to the event. Enough said.
If you have any questions, concerns, or doubts of any kind about these rules and how they apply to your bot’s design or construction, please contact Sarah while there is still time to discuss them and address any issues.
Thank you for joining us and helping make this a fun and safe competition,
Sarah Brooks, NRL Program Manager