Rules that may be missing

Some questions:

  1. The rule governing how and when a team can choose to pick up one of their robots does not seem to be present. It should be clearly stated that it is a removal penalty (30s), and for what reasons the referee can deny the team the pick-up.
  • The rule “A goal can only be scored from the respective half of the field” is not present. Is this intentional?
  • In line 1440 there is a reference to a robot possibly being called for “inactivity”. This is the only use of the word in the whole document. Has a concept of penalties for robot inactivity been inadvertently forgotten somewhere? In previous years there was an “incapable goalie” rule that forced a goalie to be removed if he did not react to the presence of a ball, however that was defined. This rule was valuable and seems to be missing in the revised rules?
  1. Has that rule been present in the last rule book? Can you give a reference?
  2. No, that was not intentional, it will be added for the final version.
  3. This rule was (except of the last sentence) copied from last years rule book. In last year’s rule book, you will only find one other reference to incapable players which states that the referee may always request teams to show the capability of their robots if he or she has doubts about the robot being capable to play. The “incapable goalie” rule was an “invention” or an interpretation of the “incapable player” rule requesting the goal keeper to react to the ball within a certain time. However, to my knowledge, it was never written down in the rules. If I miss something, please point out the specific places in the old rules where this rule can be found. I still think it would be worth adding this rule, but then this would still be a “new” rule.
  1. In principle, no one should pick up a robot any more … If there is a necessity to pick up a robot it needs to reconsidered as injured, which is handled in Law 5: “[Referees]…stops the match if, in their opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensures that he is removed from the feld of play. An injured player may only return to the eld of play before the respective penalty time is over…”

  2. Why??? It will be allowed in 2050 and currently there are few teams to actually kick this far on decent grass. Furthermore, it may encourage teams to pay attention to goalies (which will have more time to react on long-distance shots).

  3. Everything should be settled in the section on incapable players (lines 1402 and following).

  1. We don’t think the rules governing pick-ups were really described even in the old rules, but there was somewhat of an understanding between teams how that was to be managed (as described in the referee trainings at RoboCup). Something along the lines of a robot handler can call “pickup blue 3”, and if the referee allows it the robot handler can go in and collect the robot. The only situation we can recall that was specifically disallowed for such ‘voluntary pickups’ is if the robot is about to score an own goal. Voluntary pickups are a part of life in robot soccer, as I’m sure most teams will be familiar with, so should be addressed at least somehow in the rules, including stating clearly that it is a removal penalty. It is definitely not the same as being “injured” because otherwise the referee would have to stop the whole match (!) every time a team wants a pickup. Also, it would be good to have rules in clear text, and not have to just know to severely bend rules that are intended for human soccer and human soccer players.
  • Ok, added for final version.
  • It seems the “incapable goalie” rule was another understanding between teams that should now be explicitly addressed by the rules. We agree it would be worth adding this rule.
  1. While I agree that in human soccer, referees can directly see if one of the player is injured. For robots, some of the “vital signs” can only be observed through monitoring. I think that monitoring basic functions of the robots (presence on wifi, link with the camera, …) is something very important in robotics. However, if the robot has lost some basic functions required to play, I think that we should be able to pick it up to fix the problem. I agree with team NimbRo that the major issue is ‘voluntary pickups’ and I also agree that we will have to suppress pick-ups by 2050. A solution might be to have a limit on the number of pickups allowed per team per game/period. We could reduce this limit year after year, thus requiring more robustness for the robot progressively. In this case, a specific rule forbidding pick-ups of robot ‘aiming at the ball’ would make sure that no ‘voluntary pickups’ are possible.
  1. I see the point that it should - at least now - be handled different to an injured player. I think it is actually worth stating this rule explicitly along this line: “A robot handler may request to pick-up a robot if and only if a robot is in a dangerous situation that is likely to lead to physical injuries. If a robot handler touches a robot without the allowance of the referee, the respective robot receives a yellow card.”
  2. Reinhard: Because we agreed on this rule like two years ago and teams haven’t voted to take it out. I see the point that most robots can’t shoot far enough on artificial grass anyway, but in my view it was a major improvement for the game play. At least I think the TC should vote on this issue and then it will either be added or removed explicitly within the rule book so teams are aware of it.
  1. We support Ludovic Hofer’s point that there will be situations where it makes complete sense to pick up a robot, even if at that time it is not dangerous. Robot handlers should be able to pick up a robot if they know through monitoring tools that they for example have low battery, a disconnected camera (can happen after a fall due to glitches on the USB bus), no wifi connection (thus cannot listen to game controller and may also negatively affect the team by indiscriminantly going for the ball out of turn), or any number of other faults that are not externally visible or dangerous… yet. If a robot handler knows there is a fundamental problem with a robot and that it is not going to do anything reasonable, and may even hurt itself in future because of that, then a pickup should be an option. Can this be subsumed in something like “incapable player”?