Energy Impact | Game Questions & Answers

Questions and answers will be added to this page as we receive them. For a printable version of all questions and answers, see this document.


How long is a match?

Each match is 2 minutes and 30 seconds long.

Are ALLIANCES required to use all four POWER GENERATORS?

No. ALLIANCES can strategize to figure out what approach works best for them, whether it is using all four POWER GENERATORS, or only two or three.

Can a HUMAN PLAYER interact with any of the game pieces in the loading zone, or only the POWER LINE CUBES and SOLAR PANELS?

A HUMAN PLAYER can only have contact with a POWER LINE CUBE or SOLAR PANEL, they must not touch ROBOTS or FUEL CUBES.

If a ROBOT touches a piece and then moves out of the LOADING ZONE, could the HUMAN PLAYER touch that piece and change its location? (For example, if the ROBOT knocks over a SOLAR PANEL, can the HUMAN PLAYER stand it back up?)

No. Once the HUMAN PLAYER has placed the SOLAR PANEL or POWER LINE CUBE in the LOADING ZONE, they may not touch that game element again.

Is it possible that a full REACTION PLANT could score points for only one ALLIANCE and not another, depending on whether or not they've connected their POWER LINE to the REACTION PLANT?

Yes. As soon as the REACTION PLANT is filled, it will start functioning. If one ALLIANCE chooses to connect their POWER LINE beforehand, as soon as the REACTION PLANT is functioning they will start earning points, whereas if the other ALLIANCE waits to connect their POWER LINE until after the REACTION PLANT is full, they will not start earning points until the POWER LINE is connected.

If an ALLIANCE doesn't help fill the REACTION PLANT, but does place a POWER LINE CUBE in the proper slot, can they still receive points?

Yes. As soon as the REACTION PLANT is filled with the eight FULE CUBEs and a VILLAGE has connected their POWER LINE, that VILLAGE will start to receive points. It does not matter which VILLAGE placed FULE CUBEs in the REACTION PLANT. However, keep in mind our values of gracious professionalism and coopertition!

When delivering SOLAR PANELS or POWER LINE CUBES to the POWER STATION, does the ROBOT need to push the items off the edge?

Yes. A ROBOT must completely deliver the item to the VILLAGE POWER STATION by placing them over the edge and releasing control of them.

Can a VILLAGE place all of its POWER LINE CUBES into the power line grid before inserting the FUEL CUBES and turning the crank of the WIND TURBINE?

Yes. A VILLAGE can install all of the POWER LINE CUBES before doing anything else. But for each POWER GENERATOR, teams must connect the POWER LINE for that POWER GENERATOR before FUEL CUBES or turning the WIND TURBINE crank would score points.

Rule T02 states that the violation for a team not showing up to a MATCH is an automatic RED CARD. The game also states that if your robot is being repaired, you are supposed to send at least one team member. So when does your team need to be there with the complete driver team and the robot?

Your team is considered not showing up if they do not send at least a team representative. Note: if your team is given a RED CARD for not showing up, the only impact is that you will not receive points for the round. If you send a representative (even without your robot), you will get points for the round based on your other partners’ performance.

It says in the game manual that the rankings of the final round will be “based on the total individual score.” Does this score include the first round?

No. The ranking and scores from the first rounds will be eliminated before the start of the final round; everyone starts from zero.

Is the total individual score added up from the team’s ALLIANCE over games, or points that the team scored by themselves in their games?

The total individual score is the sum of the ALLIANCE’s scores over all rounds of play. Specific team robot scoring will not be tracked.

Which material is the surface of the playing field made of?

A green, low-pile carpet.

How high are the goals that the boxes go into at the COMBUSTION PLANT and what are its dimensions?

Please see sheet 3 of the Field Build Guide. The high goal starts at 596mm off the playing field and has a height of 250mm and width of 250mm. The low goal at the playing field level has a height of 296mm and width of 450mm.

Are you allowed to grab onto the ledge of a scoring zone and raise your ROBOT up off the ground to bring your ROBOT level with the scoring zone?

Please see rule <G14> ROBOTS may not grab, grapple, or grasp field elements unless otherwise explicitly permitted. This rule excludes game objects but not scoring zones.

Can a HUMAN PLAYER shout at the field?

No, please review rules G05 and E05. <G05> No outside communication with the DRIVE TEAMS during a MATCH and HUMAN PLAYERS must not directly interact with ROBOTS during the MATCH. This does not mean that HUMAN PLAYERS must be silent, just they can not communicate with ROBOTS or DRIVE TEAMS during the MATCH.

Are we allowed to drag the CUBES by the ROBOT to the REACTION PLANT rather than picking them up?

Yes, it does not matter how a ROBOT moves a FUEL CUBE so long as there is no damage to the FUEL CUBE.

Are we allowed to drag the CUBES by the ROBOT to the REACTION PLANT rather than picking them up?

Yes, it does not matter how a ROBOT moves a FUEL CUBE so long as there is no damage to the FUEL CUBE.

Are members of the DRIVE TEAM allowed to use object (such as chairs) to better see the FIELD from a higher position?

No, this causes a safety concern.

Are we going to be given replacement parts if they break in the ROBOT, including motors?

There will be replacements at the event, located at the Spare Parts station.

The definition of DRIVE TEAM includes HUMAN PLAYER in the Game Manual. However, the Q&A under ``Can a HUMAN PLAYER shout at the field?`` says that the HUMAN PLAYER cannot talk to the DRIVE TEAM during a MATCH. How is it possible that the HUMAN PLAYER cannot talk to the DRIVE TEAM while being part of the DRIVE TEAM?

Yes HUMAN PLAYERs are part of a DRIVE TEAM, but they also have special privileges such as they get to not be considered under rule <G06> about how DRIVE TEAM is not allowed contact with the PLAYING FIELD during a match. Because of this, the HUMAN PLAYERs are classed differently and cannot communicate with the rest of the DRIVE TEAM during the MATCH.

Can the DRIVERS restart the program during a MATCH?

Yes, DRIVERS can restart the program using the tablet.

Can teams move around the field to get a better visual perspective of their ROBOT, or do they have to stay in their designated area during the entire match?

Yes, see rule <G04> The CAPTAIN and the DRIVERS must stay in their DRIVER STATION and the HUMAN PLAYER must remain in the human player station they are in when the MATCH begins.

Fuel Cubes / Power Line Cubes

What is the size of the FUEL CUBE?

The CUBES are 150mm x 150mm x 150mm.

How many POWER LINE CUBES are on the field per ALLIANCE? Is it possible to run all POWER GENERATORS?

Yes. There are 5 POWER LINE CUBES available for each ALLIANCE, which is enough to run all of the GENERATORS (COMBUSTION PLANT, REACTION PLANT, and WIND TURBINE), complete the COOPERTITION BONUS, and have one extra. The SOLAR ARRAY does not require a POWER LINE CUBE to activate it. 

Are the FUEL CUBES going to be stacked, or are they going to always be starting on the ground?

All FUEL CUBES will be touching the ground in the FUEL CUBE starting location on the PLAYING FIELD at the start on the MATCH.

How dense are the FUEL CUBES in the starting location?

The exact locations of the FUEL CUBES is not specified. CUBES will be generally evenly distributed within the starting area, but the density is not guaranteed.

Is it possible for you to take a FUEL CUBE from another team in your ALLIANCE?

The FUEL CUBES can be possessed by any team, and the ownership of the fuel CUBES can be passed between ROBOTS as long as no other rules are broken.

Would a team get points for putting a POWER LINE CUBE into a goal that utilizes FUEL CUBES?

POWER LINE CUBES are not substitutes for FUEL CUBES. Any POWER LINE CUBES placed in locations other than the VILLAGE POWER STATIONS will not be worth any points.

If you place a POWER LINE CUBE in the VILLAGE POWER STATION, are you allowed to take it out and place it in a different slot?

No. Once a POWER LINE CUBE is used to CONNECT one POWER PLANT, it can’t be used to CONNECT an additional POWER PLANT.

According to E07, HUMAN PLAYERS can only interact with POWER LINE CUBES that are the same color as their VILLAGE ALLIANCE. So can a HUMAN PLAYER place the opposing ALLIANCE'S POWER LINE CUBE in the slot for the COOPERTITION BONUS?

Yes. A HUMAN PLAYER is allowed to install the POWER LINE CUBE of the alternate color for the COOPERTITION BONUS. <E07> has been updated for further clarity.

In consideration of Rule E06, does that mean each of the 3 ROBOTS in an ALLIANCE can control 3 CUBES each (so a total of 9 CUBES at the same time) or are they limited to 3 CUBES for the whole ALLIANCE?

A maximum of three (3) FUEL CUBES (white) or two (2) FUEL CUBES (white) and one (1) POWER LINE CUBE (colored) may be controlled by each ROBOT in a VILLAGE alliance. A Maximum of 9 CUBES can be controlled by the whole ALLIANCE at any one time.

May ROBOTS launch CUBES into scoring areas? (catapulting, shooting, throwing, etc.)

ROBOTS are allowed to launch FUEL CUBES through the air with the intent of scoring. A ROBOT must demonstrate during inspection that a launched FUEL CUBE cannot travel in the air more than maximum a distance of 2.5 m and 1 m in elevation.

Teams are not allowed to launch FUEL CUBES towards any HUMAN PLAYERS or towards the audience. ROBOTS are not allowed to damage FUEL CUBES at any time.

If the referees feel that a ROBOT is launching FUEL CUBES that would cause a safety issue, the team will be asked to redesign their ROBOT and the ROBOT will be required to be reinspected.

If a human player wants to connect a specific generator, is the robot supposed to collect a specific power line cube relating to the field? Or to place it in a specific slot?

The HUMAN PLAYER can INSTALL any POWER CUBE in the specific location for each POWER GENERATOR. If you are standing in VILLAGE DRIVER STATION looking at the field from left to right it the order is COOPERTITION POWER LINE, COMBUSTION PLANT, REACTION PLANT, and WIND TURBINE.

Are there any penalties if the ROBOT scratches or damages a CUBE while using it?

Yes, <E03> Damaged Game objects no longer score. The referees will make the situation based decision on what is considered damage. If a Robot continues to damage fuel cubes Yellow or Red Cards may be issued.

Can our ROBOT take the opposing team's POWER LINE CUBE and bring it to our VILLAGE POWER STATION in order to score the COOPERTITION BONUS?

No. <E07> ROBOTS can only interact with POWER LINE CUBES that are the same color as their VILLAGE alliance. We encourage teams to talk to the opposing alliance before the match.

Is it required to place both colored POWER LINE CUBES in their location to get the COOPERTITION BONUS? What happens when one POWER LINE CUBE is placed in opposing VILLAGE POWER STATION and another not?

Yes, both POWER CUBES must be in place to get the COOPERTITION BONUS. Nothing happens if only one POWER CUBE is in the opposition’s VILLAGE.

When is a FUEL CUBE considered to be inside the REACTION PLANT? Does it count, if almost half of the CUBE is still outside, or is it possible, that the CUBE stays on the edge of a top slot, but is technically not inside?

The FUEL CUBE must be fully inside the REACTION PLANT. If someone looks from the side or above the REACTION PLANT the FUEL CUBE is not visible.

Solar Array / Solar Panels

There seems to have been an inconsistency in the size of the SOLAR PANEL. What are its actual dimensions?

The dimensions of the SOLAR PANEL are 16.5cm x 21.5cm. We have updated the Game Manual and the Field Build Guide to include this.

If there may only be one HUMAN PLAYER, how can you both place SOLAR PANELS in the loading zone *and* also install the PANELS somewhere else?

An ALLIANCE is made up of 3 teams. Each national team will provide 1 HUMAN PLAYER (3 total). The HUMAN PLAYERS from all 3 teams will choose how to accomplish all of the tasks; 2 in the VILLAGE POWER STATION and 1 in the SOLAR PANEL FACTORY.

Can only 5 SOLAR PANELS be scored in the SOLAR ARRAY? What about the other 5 SOLAR PANELS?

Only 5 SOLAR PANELS can be scored in the SOLAR ARRAY. The other SOLAR PANELS are extras.

Does the SOLAR ARRAY only start generating points once 5 SOLAR PANELS have been installed?

After each SOLAR PANEL is INSTALLED by the HUMAN PLAYER, without violating E11 and E5, it will produce one (1) kJ per second for the remainder of the game. The SOLAR ARRAY does not need to have all 5 SOLAR PANELS INSTALLED to start generating power from an individual SOLAR PANEL.

Is there a limitation for how many SOLAR PANELS a ROBOT is allowed to carry, or how many SOLAR PANELS the HUMAN PLAYER is allowed to place in the slot or the loading zone at a time?

There is a limitation of the ROBOT carrying 1 SOLAR PANEL at a time. There is no limitation on the number of SOLAR PANELS that can be in the loading zone or that can be placed in the loading zone by the HUMAN PLAYER, just make sure to follow <E11>. The ROBOT can get the next SOLAR PANEL at any time. For example, if a Robot drops a solar panel when driving, the robot could try and pick it up or go back and grab a different PANEL.

What is located inside the extrusion of the SOLAR PANELS? Is this available in the kit of parts? Where are the holes to place it on the SOLAR ARRAY located in the extrusion?

The flat surface of the SOLAR PANEL is 3mm polycarbonate. It is not included in the kit, but using some of the 4mm extruded plastic sheet is an acceptable alternative that will result in similar performance. The screws used to assemble the SOLAR PANEL are the 8mm length M3’s that were included in the kit. Please see the SOLAR PANEL drawing in the Field Build Guide for exact specifications.



If the SOLAR PANEL fell from the robot while it's being taken, is it possible to push it until the loading zone?

No, a HUMAN PLAYER can only place new SOLAR PANELs into the SOLAR PANEL FACTORY.

Wind Turbine

In what position does the TURBINE Crank start in? Can we turn it before the game?

The WIND TURBINE crank starts vertically aligned, parallel to the post of the turbine. A TEAM cannot change the position of anything on the PLAYING FIELD before a MATCH. If something is not in place, let the referees or field staff know before the MATCH starts.

Is there any specification on the torque required to turn the crank on the WIND TURBINE?

No. The WIND TURBINE has very minimal resistance. A specific torque won’t be provided, but it should be assumed a force not larger than the weight of the handle is required to move it.

Where can I find the exact measurements or documentation for the Grasper Claw Assembly (REV-41-1358)?

The grasper claw is part #REV-41-1358 you can view all of the dimensions on the grabcad site located here.

Does it matter which direction the ROBOT rotates the starter crank to activate the WIND TURBINE?

No, it does not matter which direction. But the ROBOT must rotate the crank three full revolutions from where the ROBOT start the rotation of the WIND TURBINE crank.


What are the compulsory functions of the ROBOT?

We encourage teams to design a ROBOT that fits with the team’s own strategy. Please look at the game video and the game manual for scoring options.

How are ROBOTS controlled during the game?

ROBOTs are remotely controlled using the Fire Tablet sent in the 2018 FIRST Global Kit.

Rule G02 states that robots must fit in a volume of 50cm³. Does this mean that our robot can have dimensions of, say, 25cm*50cm*100cm (as 25*50*100 = 50³)?

No. The intent of this rule is for a ROBOT to be within a 50cm cubic volume. The rule currently lists all three dimensions of the ROBOT to be a maximum 50cm. There are no additional allowances for length. This does not include soft parts of the robot such as string or zip ties.

At the start of the match the ROBOT has to be 50x50. But at the end of the match does the ROBOT have to remain in the same 50x50 still?

No. ROBOTS can be any size after the start of the match so long they follow all other rules. Example: <S01> ROBOTS must stay on the PLAYING FIELD.

Can a ROBOT extend off of the playing field? If so, how much and which sides can it extend off of?

No. ROBOTs are not allowed to extend off of the playing field. See rules <S01> and <S02> of the game manual.

Are we allowed to place both batteries on the ROBOT, but use one of them as a weight?

No. Each ROBOT may only use one battery at a time on their ROBOT, regardless of if it is electrically connected or not.

Are teams allowed to use pieces of the Plastic Storage Bin on their ROBOT?

No. <R02> states that ROBOTS must be constructed from only the quantity and type of components included in their 2018 FIRST Global kit unless otherwise explicitly allowed. This means only the components inside the Plastic Storage Bin.

Are teams allowed to use the bags that parts come in on their ROBOTs? Every bag is inside of the kit.

No. Teams are not allowed to use the packaging that the parts come in.

Are we allowed to drill holes in extrusions and Hex Shafts?

Yes. Drilling is similar to cutting and according to <R05> cutting mechanical components is allowed.

Are teams allowed to modify provided parts in any way they see fit? Example: cutting the 4mm cardboard or cutting the 16 MM screw to a 8MM or smaller length

Team are allowed to modify according to R05, but need to keeping <R02> in mind. With <R02> robots must be constructed of the type of components sent in the 2018 FIRST Global Kit. Parts must be easily recognized as coming from the 2018 FIRST Global Kit.

Yes, cutting the screw sent in the 2018 FIRST Global Kit is allowed, but please consider using the spacers sent in the kits.

Are teams allowed to modify brackets by melting them down and then using them on a 3D printer?

No. Parts must be easily recognized as coming from the 2018 FIRST Global Kit.

Can we lengthen the motor's electric wire by welding one wire to another?

No. Teams cannot modify the wires to make them longer. There are four JST VH Motor Power 2-pin wires with a length of 100cm sent in the kit. For the encoder and sensor wires, there are four JST PH Sensor 4-pin wires with a length of 100cm as well. For the encoder wires, there are JST PH 4-pin Joiner Boards that can be used to connect two encoder wires together.

Are we allowed to use a marker or a similar coloring device to color our ROBOT for aesthetics?

Yes. MARKERS ONLY can be used for aesthetics and labeling purposes. Do not cover up any technical information on the electronics, motors, or sensors. Paint or stickers are not allowed.

Can we use transparent adhesive tape in the construction of our ROBOT?

No. <R04D> does allow for small amounts of tape (preferably electrical tape) to be used for securing wires.

Are teams allowed to have unlimited of the zip ties included in the kit? (REV 41-1161)

No. Teams can have up to 200 zip ties. <R04B> is for replacing zip ties.

What the corrugated sheets in the kit used for?

The white 4mm Thick Corrugated Plastic Sheets (2018 FIRST Global Kit part number: REV-41-1630) is a robot building material that your team can customize. There are four (4) sheets, size 480mm x 355mm, of the corrugated plastic.

Can we obtain extra points for programming our ROBOT with certain programming languages?

No. There are no specific advantages to using one programming language over another. Just like in the real world of engineering, it is the end result that matters more than the method, as there will always be more than one way to solve a problem.

Our ROBOTS are only allowed to 'control' a specific amount of objects at the same time. How do you define control? Are you controlling an object when you are causing it to move?

See other Q&A on ROBOTs controlling FUEL CUBEs and POWER LINE CUBE. In addition, <E08> allows each ROBOT to control one (1) SOLAR PANEL of the ROBOT’s VILLAGE ALLIANCE color.

See page 7 of the Game Manual for the definition of CONTROL.

Per Rule R04, is there absolutely no limitation for the quantity of screws built into the ROBOT? Can we use screws from the 2017 kit?

No. Teams cannot have more than what is in the 2018 kit. This rule is so teams can get replacements and wording of <R04>A has been updated.

Any commercially available M3 screws and nuts that are the same lengths as in the 2018 FIRST Global Kit may be used, but this is to replace any screws and nuts that go missing, not to increase the number of screws and nuts used in a ROBOT.

Are teams allowed to substitute M3 8mm drop in screws (REV-41-1167) with regular 8 mm hex head screws (or any other screws)?

No. Teams are only allowed to use the quantity and types listed in 2018 FIRST Global Kit.

Are we allowed to use continuous rotation servos?

The REV Smart Robot Servo, sent in the 2018 Robot kit, has the ability to be both a position and continuous rotation servos. The Servo can be switch between modes using an SRS programmer, also sent in the kit. Please see the SRS Programmer User’s Manual from the REV Robotics website for instructions on switching the servo modes.

Can we reduce the length of extrusion?

Yes, <R05> does state that cutting mechanical components such as extrusion, brackets, screws, chain, hook and loop, cords, etc. is allowed.

The rules say that teams are not allowed to modify any of the motors. Is cutting (shortening) the shaft of the HD Hex Motor considered modifying the motor?

Yes, cutting would be considered modification. Teams cannot cut the motor shaft.

Can we use our own device (tablet, phone) to control the ROBOT Instead of tablet provided in the kit?

No, teams must use the Amazon Fire Tablet sent in the kits.

Can we use our own controller that is different from the ones given?

No, only the controller sent in the 2018 FIRST Global Kit.