Cascade vs Continuous Rigging

For the elevator system, which type of rigging do you prefer and why ?

It all depends on what the application is.

For many elevator applications, my team tends to prefer cascade rigging because it’s simpler for multi-stage elevators. If you don’t really need any downward force applied, this is just fine. We did this in 2019 and 2020 for our hatch mechanism elevator (where the mechanism provided enough weight to bring the whole thing back down just fine) and our climbing hook delivery arm (where the elevator arm was just placing the detachable hook and then we were winching the robot into the air separate from the elevator, which retracted on it’s own by gravity.)

However, if you need to exert downward force with the elevator to do something like climb with it, then continuous rigging is what’s needed. We did this in 2018 for our elevator that both lifted the powercube mechanism and pulled us up in the endgame climb. These were once much more difficult to rig, but with some of the COTS solutions now out from places like WCP and Thriftybot that’s not so much true.

For this game, since there’s no real need for applying downward force, using cascade rigging is probably fine.

So you know, you CAN (and imo should) rig a cascade to apply downward force. The Greyt and TTB elevators both do this.

I think Cascade elevator are easier to make. Everything is tied together, so its easy to add Constant force springs and things like that. Also, the force is the same throughout the travel of the elevator.

Continuous elevators Have an advantage of having a lower COG when the elevator is not fully extended, because the heavy stages aren’t moving yet. I personally think that the rigging is more difficult to do well though, since everything is a long continuous chain rather than a short chain.

At this point, I think most teams should do Cascade, and COTS is probably a good choice. If you know what you are doing…you get some benefits from continuous.

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The design of the GreyT elevator and others like it are a bit of a hybrid. The single stage GreyT is actually just a single stage continuous rig, not a cascade at all (despite the name.) What they’ve done is essentially cascade separate continuous stages for the mutli-stage designs. It’s quite clever, to be sure and yes, it can exert downward force since each stage is once again a single continuous rig. So we might term this a continuous/cascade hybrid elevator. It definitely has the advantage that it’s simpler to rig than a traditional continuous elevator.

I think you might be using non-standard definitions of cascading and continuous. I would define cascade as every stage being rigged separately so that all stages must move at once, and a continuous elevator has a continuous cables/ropes running through all stages, this also allows stages to extend/retract in sequence rather than in unison. If anything a hybrid is an elevator that has each stage rigged individually for extension but a single pull down rope, though I would still call this a cascade as it’s behavior matches a typical cascade. Exactly how you pull the cables isn’t nearly as important as the behavior of the elevator its self.

I’m personally a big proponent of cascade, but if the op wants more discussion they should try searching Chief as there are many long discussions of this topic.


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