Buddy Climb Endgame

Would that not push the bumpers out of the bumper zone? If that robot were transposed onto the floor, the bumpers would definitely be over 7.5" tall.

Per G16, bumper zone requirement doesn’t exist while within the volume above the Rendezvous Point


Hmm good catch. I missed that in my first readings of the manual :smile:

Yes. I believe we are ten inches out for a two inch buffer.

This is a key point that teams need to consider.

[Edit: it doesn’t say its a reply so I’m pinning you: @darthtater]

I completely agree with you, the rule is explicitly worded to allow for vertical extension in ENDGAME in the RENDEZVOUS POINT (otherwise, I don’t think the climb would even be possible without some jumping robot abomination). The quote you included from @Csherm ties into rule G16 about bumpers:

G16. Keep your BUMPERS low. BUMPERS must be in the BUMPER ZONE (see R18) during the MATCH unless a ROBOT’s BUMPERS are intersecting its RENDEZVOUS POINT or a ROBOT is supported by a partner ROBOT whose BUMPERS are intersecting its RENDEZVOUS POINT.

Where the BUMPER ZONE is the space from the carpet to 7.5in off the carpet (R18).

Once in the robot is in the RENDEZVOUS POINT (note nothing said about ENDGAME for some reason, probably for traversing the raised edges), this restriction disappears and bumpers can be moved wherever wanted, which allows the climb. Restrictions about downwards extension come more from violating the BUMPER ZONE and not vertical extension rules (for example if you had a robot shorter than 48" then it could extend vertically some without violating G17 but if it extended downwards pushing itself up then G16 would be violated). Therefore downwards extension during a climb currently is allowed by the rules.

In my opinion, FIRST isn’t trying to kill buddy climbing this year, otherwise they would have not included the statement in 4.4.4 GENERATOR SWITCH Scoring about hanging being either direct or transitive. Not to mention other rules that have contingencies for buddy climbing, like G16 (italics added for emphasis):

G16. Keep your BUMPERS low. BUMPERS must be in the BUMPER ZONE (see R18) during the MATCH unless a ROBOT’s BUMPERS are intersecting its RENDEZVOUS POINT or a ROBOT is supported by a partner ROBOT whose BUMPERS are intersecting its RENDEZVOUS POINT.

I do think FIRST is trying to make it harder this year so it’s less prolific (not that it was super common before), but they most certainly weren’t trying to completely kill buddy climbing. I just hope it results in less ramp bots.

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I think the 12" extension outside FP pretty much takes care of that.

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When you are climbed are you or are you not allowed to drop a fork or a buddy hook from beneath the robot the wording is kinda unclear

This is definitely allowed.

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I might be wrong about this, but I feel like 2 robots climbing on the Coat Hanger is going to be much easier than 2018. I feel like we are all way over-complicating the difficulty of getting two robots to climb and balance reliably. This reminds me of the situation in 2018, at 610 we spent the time adding a buddy bar for others to climb on, but never ended up using it at the Detroit Champs because so many teams had just switched to rope climbs by then…

Here is how I see double climbing happening this year:

  1. Robot #1 goes to line up at the end of one side of the coat hanger, and only grabs the bar slightly. Robot stays on the ground, doesn’t raise the other end by more than a couple inches.
  2. Robot #2 comes and lines up at the opposite end of the coat hanger, and both robots only pull up a couple of inches. By not pulling up too far any un-balance or rocking in the coat hanger will be minimal.
  3. If the bar isn’t balanced, Robot #2(or #1) releases and re-positions, if Robot #1 hasn’t pulled up too far the bar shouldn’t rock too far.

I feel that elimination alliances will be able to sort out this robot coordination by week 1, and by later weeks balanced hangs will be very common even in qualifications.

I see no need for an active leveling mechanism.


Do #1 and #2 but instead of the end of the make it the middle. You then eliminate step 3.

To add, I think a lot of mid-high to high tier teams are going to have climbers that are able to change CG. That way lining up isn’t as hard.

I think you’re vastly underestimating how long it will take unfamiliar teams to coordinate an endgame maneuver together. Teams are always, always, always running out of time to do what everyone claims “only takes 5 seconds” when they’re asked in the pre-match drive team meeting. If your plan involves one robot lining up, the second robot lining up, both trying to climb, descending back to the ground, one moving along the bar (likely perpendicular to the normal direction of travel for many teams), and both climbing again, it will not happen in Week 1 outside of exceptional alliances. It will still be rare at any point during the season.

Basically, either the two teams will guess right and get the balance on the first try, or at least one will have to have some sort of active balancing aid. Otherwise, they’ll just end up with a double hang and no balance. I’m not saying no one will get the balance, but I don’t see everything you’ve laid out happening in under 30 seconds very often.


yea don’t get me wrong it’s going to take a lot of learning from drive teams over the season to get it right. I was probably too ambitious in my predictions, but at the higher levels of play later in the season I think teams will just figure out how to play together and pull off balanced climbs in 15-20 seconds.

This biggest factor that could derail climbs is having a very unbalanced climber, make sure your climber is over your centre of gravity and balancing will be much easier.

3 robots on the bar is totally possible and might be worth it for some of the top teams, but I would recommend that most teams build a tall bot with a very simple single-stage climber and focus on: Cycling Optimization to see success this year.

A center climb helps balance the SWITCH. The math is easy to do to determine where the other 2 need to climb to be balanced, and the SWITCH is surprising forgiving to placement errors, as long as the ROBOTS are relatively the same weight.

Top heavy tall ROBOTs are going to be unhappy with the dealing with the angled (to normal direction of travel) BOUNDARIES in the SHIELD GENERATOR.

I’m not sure if this was mentioned above - I confess I didn’t thoroughly ready through.

Every team that plans on climbing at the end should know the full weight of their robot with bumpers and battery to help coordinate positions on the coat hanger at the end. Of course they couldn’t make it easy by having a nice side view of the coat hangers from the drivers stations.

This seems like a good solution to me, but I don’t think my team will go for it.


Added bonus, automatic metal chip and field debris removal from the electronics. :+1:

It seems like it would be easier to have the elevator mechanism lower through the belly-pan of the robot, and store the forks underneath the robot. No flipping required. But, I am also of the opinion that buddy climbs will not be as necessary this year.



that is a unique approach. I love it and hope someone does it. When 125 and 1323 did 90 degree rotations in 2018 that was pretty amazing. This would get the crowd on their feet.


Be careful to not extend into the other alliance’s zone.