Asking for a friend... Ramp Fail?

I’ve heard that ramp bots didn’t work as intended during Week 1 competitions. Can anyone explain why?

When driving in from the side the scale is leaning towards, tall robots were hitting the scale. Some of the problems could’ve also originated with depth perception issues.

Many ramp bots that people developed forced people to climb from side, and they would end up hitting the scale. Our ramps were pretty successful due to them being front-facing and robots would climb from front.

Most of the issues I saw split between two types.

First the side-loading ramps - the ones you have to drive toward the robot that deployed the ramps. Some problems were ones of alignment - trying to be close enough to the scale to center on the ramp, but not too close as to hit it with your bumper as you approached. The other problem was, as said earlier, tall bots would hit the platform of the scale and require some really odd approaches to land on the ramp correctly. This took a lot of time.

For the front/rear loading ramps - where the bot drives straight toward the switch to get to the ramp, the problems were fewer, but the ramps in that direction were harder to get fully on, some long bots couldn’t get far enough onto the ramp, or had issues going up the platform lip + the ramp lip, in addition to some alignment issues.

Overall I think the front/rear loading ramps had greater success in the matches I saw.

Some things I noticed - some ramp bots would drive all the way in, deploy and then wiggle around a few times as bots are trying to load on. I don’t think this helped, and at least once hurt the chance of a climb. Second, if the ramps are onto the floor, finding some way to help keep the ramp in place and not move as it’s loaded on I think would help. Finally, if you can park just back from the edge of the scale a bit, and not cause an overhanging lip of your ramp, for the longer bots this may ease them getting on and centered on your ramps.

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Team 2605 was able to get the ramps to work quite a few times during the Mt Vernon event, they coordinated what side and when the tall robots would get on the ramp to avoid clipping the scale. Here are a few matches that it worked in:
qualification 78
qualification 69

1675 has front entry ramps and we competed at Miami Valley this past weekend. We expected problems with the scale and blocking from the null zone.

In 9 qualifying matches, we successfully* lifted 8 partners, unsuccessfully lifted 3 partners (only one of which tipped, without any damage), and had 5 partners who failed to attempt to climb us (2 of which were unable to due to our ramps not being deployed in a botched match). In one match we played without our ramps so that we could go for a ride on a double lifter. So, for us, we had a 50% success rate.

For the robots that did not get a climb attempt, most just simply didn’t give themselves enough time to get into position.

For the 3 failed lifts, it is difficult to tell if the robots simply rolled forward or if our ramps caused them to roll forward. We gave all partners the instructions to drive on the ramps but then give enough power to hold there until they are fully up. It appears that 2 of the robots may have gotten up and then released the sticks and rolled forward as the lift began, but it is impossible to know that for sure. In one case I know we lifted early before they were in position.

I did not get to observe any of the other ramp bots at Miami Valley but I know one team was not deploying due to a weight issue.

We are looking at a couple of improvements for our ramps before week 4.

*Successfully here is defined as a robot drove up the ramp and the ramp lifted the robot. Two of the 8 that were lifted did not get credit for climbing; 1 robot had a wheel slip off the side of the ramp and therefore the bumpers were below the 12" line and another robot had a flap of fabric that wasn’t stapled hanging below the 12" line.

I’d say your front loading ramps were more than pretty successful. It was amazing to watch. We ditched the idea because no one thought to load the ramps like you guys did!

Congratulations on your win at the Central New York Regional.

It seems as though ramp bots pull up to close to the scale so robots have no room to get on. It also seems as its fairly common for robots to not pull up far enough and they fall off. Mechanum wheels have a tough time staying on ramps with lexan-like material.