1. “Each team may only have a maximum of five independent structures on the game board at a time.” What is the definition of “independent structure”?
An independent structure is any part of a robot entry that separates and which (in the opinion of the judges) is designed to be in play while on or above the field of play. Loose pieces which remain in contact with the robot are not independent, nor are small pieces that happen (in the opinion of the judges) to fall off due to collision or other mishap, nor are once independent structures that rejoin a robot or are no longer on or above the field of play (i.e., dumped over the side). Debris strewn about the surface either as a deliberate act or the result of deliberately marginal construction (in the opinion of the judges) will be treated as independent structures; e.g., as a case in point, an entry with a hopper loaded with marbles which supposedly are there to provide ballast, but get strewn about when the robot “accidentally” drops the hopper.
2. “Team entries may NOT contain parts that may reasonably be confused with game pieces or table elements (entries may not contain mirrors, lights, colored objects, or tape designed to confuse an opponent).” What about (mirrors, lights, or colored objects) which are not designed to confuse an opponent?
The use is permitted so long as in the opinion of the judges it won’t serve to confuse an opponent, no matter any claim the use is not designed to confuse an opponent.
3. “No projectiles can be used other than game pieces and once collected may be launched by the team’s robots with no restrictions.” What is the definition of “projectile”? Is a projectile defined to be either an independent structure (banned) or a game piece (not banned)?
A projectile is anything launched in space. In that sense, a tethered object is not a projectile and is permitted so long as it is neither intended nor likely (in the opinion of the judges) to damage an opponent’s entry (a tethered object might be ruled out on human or robot safety grounds due to size, weight, or that the tether line might entangle an opponent’s robot). In general, tethers are used for tensile purposes such as winches and will almost always be problematic for anything launched to the opponent’s side.