Safety, Safety, Safety

Jan 18, 2013 Written by FIRST Staff

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.


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