Climbing and G18: A Warning

And yet I’m still encountering people whose unwitting plan is to get red carded (and/or not pass inspection), which is why I figured it was worth a thread of its own just for the heads-up.

1 Like

There was an epiphany once we realized that a SteamWorks climb results in a Red Card.

1 Like

Also in Power Up there could be red cards for extending a lifter cable too far - for a different reason, but same result.

Yes, I thought of suggesting that someone should publish a PSA every few days.

1 Like

That’s debatable. Should they pass inspection? No. But they very well might. It would be extremely easy for an inspector to miss, especially if the climber was near the middle of the robot but not lined up with the CG. We inspect robots sitting stationary on the ground or on their cart, and it’s easy to miss something dynamic like this in that situation.


I was thinking the same thing. Inspectors are focused on safe and sound mechanisms, not on strategic game play, in my experience. I doubt that inspection would catch an uneven climb, especially since there won’t be a test climb area during inspection (as far as I know).

…and having to go back to “reinspect” after that first RED CARD is not a situation we want any team to be in.

Generally speaking, that’s what the practice field is for. Which sucks for everyone that’s patiently waiting their turn when an inspector cuts in line to get an inspection finished.

I don’t have the 2017 rule up but shouldn’t a 2017 rule be rated differently than 2018, and 2020? My thoughts are:

2017 was a rope which you had to attach to the field which the robot later winched up.
2018 and 2020 are extensions from the robot to reach the game element which is undeniably extending.

By this, robots that tilted when climbing (2017) should not be ruled the same as robots tilting when climbing (2018, 2020)

In the past, weren’t robots passed even if they potentially could violate extension restrictions? The inspectors noted the possibility, and the refs were informed. It was the team’s responsibility to make sure the extension didn’t exceed the limit (e.g. via software). I’ll admit it’s somewhat different if there is no control other than gravity.

1 Like

That is true, the rope wasn’t part of the robot.
It is still possible to tilt as we climb, we just can’t exceed 12 inches.

This is the key. R4 can be enforced with either hardware or software limits, and typically rules like it need to be demonstrated in the pits. Last year, for example, was the rule about throwing the discs - any mechanism that applied force to the disks (other than the drivetrain) when releasing them was looked at carefully and should have been demonstrated at max height.

With R4, it’s easy to ask teams to move intakes out, or arms through their full range of motion to ensure they don’t go too far - if they do, they are typically disabled so they team can play in a legal configuration while they find a fix. Climbing systems… that could be more difficult to realize it’s an issue.

Since there’s an R rule to accompany the G rule, it’s an issue both on the field and in inspection.

If the mechanical or software limits that kept it legal during the inspection fails to work properly or physically breaks during a match, it is still a violation and the Refs will penalize the team and it doesn’t matter that it passed a thorough inspection.


Everyone is reading and learning and some may interpret rules different. That is what this forum is for - to help each other - not to criticize. GP please!!!

1 Like

There’s a difference between criticism and urging someone to read the manual thoroughly so they avoid making design and strategy decisions that may earn them red cards or penalties.


I mean if someone goes through with the climb but gets Red Carded, 1 RP is better than 0. Now of course I would warn them not to do it, but we all know how some teams treat warnings.

You won’t get the bonus RP if you’re red-carded.

1 Like

There are always going to be folks that miss stuff and also those that fail to understand subtle points. However, many questions are getting posted that the answer to is a simple cut and paste form the manual.

You need to know the simple stuff like weight, FP, extensions, max high, restrictions, exclusions. You have to read the manual enough times to be 100% sure that you get it BEFORE you start designing. Otherwise you are risking experiencing the joys of becoming rules compliant by having to do something like shrink your ROBOT by 1/2" which really really sucks. I have helped teams do that. It makes everyone sad (the team, their mentors, the refs, bystanders who end up helping). Don’t be that team.

I agree there are some odd things in the manual, there are every year. However G18 is not one of those. They even drew a bunch of pretty pictures to explain exactly what they mean. If you read the manual you would either understand this or be confused about it. If the later, the question would be “what does G18 mean?”.

Any where there is a picture with good (green check mark) and bad (red x) examples you had better understand the reason behind it.

The two guiding principles of any rookie team should be KISS and RTFM.

1 Like

New team shirts this year haha

Thanks Patrick, we just realized this last night as well and altered our design

1 Like

I demand attribution! :smiley: