FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Our Mistake and Q612

Jan 21, 2016 Written by Frank Merrick

Through Q612 on the FRC Q&A we learned that we made a mistake on the drawing for the Rock Wall. The Rock Wall is actually wider than indicated on the drawing.

When our supplier first attempted to make the Rock Wall to our requirements when we were prototyping, they found that they would not be able to do so because of the proximity of the bends in the steel. They asked if we could adjust the size of the Rock Wall to make them manufacturable without running the risk of distortion. We agreed, but did not make the necessary changes to the drawings that would later be published, as we should have. I’m sorry for this.

In verifying the Rock Walls that we had already been manufactured and delivered, we learned additionally that the height was out of specification. Working with the supplier to understand their capabilities, and considering the time to manufacture, we will be having the current manufacturer remake the Rock Walls to an updated specification that will retain the height as published on the original drawing, but widen the wall to 5.25”, the closest the supplier can come to the original dimension. Attempting to switch to a different manufacturer at this time capable of maintaining the original wall width while meeting our delivery deadlines is not realistic, and would further delay our ability to confirm to teams the dimensions of the Rock Wall they can expect at competition.

I recognize that this will lead to some teams having to rework their designs and defenses. I sincerely apologize for the extra resources the teams in this situation will now need to invest. 

The updated drawings have been posted to the Game & Season Materials page (or for direct links: 2016 Team Versions and 2016 Field Components). We have verified all other defenses as being manufactured to the drawings. Further, we will be reviewing and updating our drawing verification process to ensure this issue does not recur.

Again, I apologize for the extra investment teams are now required to make.


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Is this the only mistake as all the obstacles have been built already and one other question. I don't understand why if you were giving measurements in inches that you would brake down any measurement that was less than an inch into the tenth scale as opposed to using the fraction scale that is part of the US scale on rules. The assembly directions made explaining these to kids much more difficult than it should of or had to be. 

Any decent fab shop has offset tooling to make the required shape. Lakeshore Cutting Solutions in Holland MI can provide your fab needs and is a fantastic FIRST supporter.

Thank you for the update and the details behind the issue!  I am sure that anyone who has had to deal with outsourced manufacturing and deadlines can appreciate what happened.  This is like real life where the customer changes the specifications mid-stream and engineering has to adapt to the new constraints and yet still meet the deadline for the product ship.  Lets have fun "storming the castle!"

This is how engineering looks like, also in real life. If it was so straightforward it would've been boring!

Is the 5.25 widen on each side or a combination of both sides. Also since we have finished all the obstacles, are there any other modifications that we need to make. 

The bump is centered on the base panel. We just added a 1/2" piece of plywood to both sides.

Thank you for the comment! Please keep in mind that adding two ½ in. thick pieces of plywood will make your bump slightly larger than the 5.25 in. specified in the field drawings. How much wider depends a lot on the actual dimensions of your plywood (manufacturing tolerances vary). Most likely this difference is negligible and will not impact your robot design, but it is something to keep in mind.

Also, the 9.13 in. from the bump to the leading edge of the base should be verified to ensure that it matches the official field. 

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