Safety, Safety, Safety

Blog Date: 
Friday, January 18, 2013 - 13:43

2013 Safety Animation Award Winner

We’d like to congratulate Team 245, the AdamBots, from Rochester Hills, Michigan, for winning the 2013 Safety Animation Award, sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories! Great work, team!

Team 2607, the Robovikings, from Warminster, Pennsylvania, is the runner-up for the award. Nice work!

2013 Safety Manual

The updated 2013 Safety Manual is now available. Every team should read and follow this manual.  Safety is a priority here at FIRST – we want your participation in our events to be fun and exciting, and it’s hard to do that if you’re injured.

Rotating Mechanisms

We understand many teams are exploring the use of high speed rotating mechanisms as part of their robot designs this year.  You should use a great deal of caution around these mechanisms, whether they are on or off the robot.  Also, be careful if you are purchasing wheels for use in high speed mechanisms.  Not all purchased wheels are designed to be run at high speed, or with the particular stresses you may be putting on them.  If you have a question about appropriate use, you should contact the supplier.

Getting a Climbed Robot Down

As I said in an earlier blog, we’re really looking forward to seeing lots of climbing robots this year.  What I failed to say is that we’re also looking forward to seeing those robots come down from the pyramid safely!  This means that in addition to designing your robot to climb the pyramid, you have to design for getting it down.  If you check the rules, section G04, you will see that robots need to be removed from the pyramid by the team, while the team is standing on the floor, with the robot unpowered, and without special equipment (such as ladders or poles).  A belay device will be attached to your robot – at the attachment points required by R10 – to minimize the chance of the robot falling to the floor, but this is a safety device only, not intended to ‘lift’ the robot.  The belay device will be operated by a trained volunteer on the field, not a team member, but the actual removal of the robot is completely the team’s responsibility.

When you practice with your robot, you should make sure to practice getting the robot down from the pyramid.  Which team members will be responsible for this?  How will they do it?  Think ahead.  This will keep things flowing safely and smoothly at competitions.


I’ll blog again soon.



You should consider to build a ramp that the teams will be able to remove the robots safely from the 3rd level. The 3rd level is very high and lifting robots that weight 50KG+/- is very dangerous. It's harder anf even more dangerous to people eho are short.

"Which team members will be responsible for this?"
Are teams allowed to have any members remove the robot? Or must they be from the drive team (drivers, human player, coach)?

What happens if the team designed the robot incorrectly and cannot get it down without special equipment?

can other teams assist a team in taking down their robot?

Suggest clarification wording for R10C - "Located near and above the ROBOT's balance point, and". This will help eliminate a top heavy robot's tendency to flip completely over when on the belaying system. Other solution would be to specify three (3) connection points and go to a three (3) leg belaying system rather than just two (2).

If the robot wasn't designed to reach the third level, does it still need the belaying points

what if the robot falls from the pyramid, and is severly damaged?

Teams generally try to repair their robots in time for the next match.

what happens if the team is unable to fix the robot in time for the competition? are they expelled?

No. Please carefully read the 'Tournament' section of the manual, especially as it relates to 'no-show' teams. However, it's important to recognize that your alliance partners are counting on you to be present. Even if all you can field is a robot that just drives around, most alliances would prefer that to a empty space where a robot should be. This is your choice - just be sure you understand the full consequences, inside and outside the rules.

What PPE should the team responsible for removing the robot from the pyramid be required to wear? I would suggest Gloves, safety glasses, safety shoes and possibly hard hats but don't specifically find that in the safety manual. What are your ideas.

Teams are required to wear safety glasses and appropriate footwear on the field at all times as a minimum, as described in the FRC Safety Manual. Every robot and team situation is different, though, and you may want to go beyond these requirements.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

All comments should embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversation civil and productive.