Fork Climbs

Was wondering if their has been effective usage of fork climbs in match. I have seen multiple designs out of teams such as 359 1678 and 118. I know 1678 had utilized it once in their finals at Hueneme Port but haven’t seen much usage of this type of mechanism from other teams across the season. What are your thoughts on this mechanism and its usage and also has anybody seen a team be able to use it effectively.

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Just wait until district champs and worlds. Not all early season mechanisms are useful week 1 or 2.


Alliance 5’s captain 581 used their forklift climb to pull off a 1 point margin victory over alliance 6.

We saw 3360 use their forks I think only once at Finger Lakes during the playoff bracket.
FLR – Match 5


Alternative example, 581 fails climb in match 12, negating engage and the dock points for 8404 because 581 was supporting them (I think). Its high risk, high reward.

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I’m sure we will see more of them. We just prefer to hang our nose off the side which gets us down to taking up only about 24" of width on the station Qualification 52 - 2023 Northern Lights Regional - YouTube

359 uses theirs frequently to get the triple climb.

In general, triple climbs will become more important as the season goes on since this game has a theoretical score cap and we are already starting to see that get reached (2910 came with 1 piece of a full grid this weekend). Fork climbs, if exicuted well like 359, enable an easier triple climb, while also allowing them to score later into the match if needed since it takes less time to line up the forks then coordinating 3 robots on top of the charge station.


Team 6078 from Holt Michigan had a fork climb mechanism at the Lansing District week 2. They tried it several times and could not lift themselves completely off the carpet. When touching the carpet the fork climb then spoiled the dock for their buddy robot, and spoiled the engage for the alliance. They stopped using it later in the event.

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Yes, when testing , it turns out the charge stations were slightly taller than the one on the actual field (we were less than an inch off the ground in testing. We also underestimated most people’s ground clearance. Too much made our arms angle more which ultimately made us lower. (AndyMark swerves for example).

We added wedges to gain us the additional height but didnt get to use them. During quals after we tried the first time and our front bumper was touching, the next 5 matches we only had two robots on our alliance operational by end game so we didnt need to. We tried it once more on Saturday but ran out of time when the alliance didn’t get balanced with time left for us to get in there. We are hoping to employ it much more at Lakeview 2.

Here’s another image. If the arms are straight(er), we are off the ground. Lack of a belly pan or frame cross members would be an issue allowing our arms to go up into the bot instead of lifting.

Seems like Citrus, based on the videos I’ve seen, got around the issues you described by having significantly longer arms. The addition of wedges may help but it would suck if you ended up damaging your partners drive base.

@Michael_Corsetto maybe you can share some design wisdom here.


I’m not sure if 6078 can get their forks any longer; assuming their elevator is at max height, the forks are around the same length.

Edit: 1678 has theirs at an angle, kinda like a hypotenuse. 6078 has theirs like the longer side of a triangle but not hypotenuse.

Ours doesn’t damage other robots, and is so simple to build. I’m surprised it works as good as we had hoped with no major mods after the initial design.
It is long enough so that it allows a ft leeway either closer or farther from the edge of where we would like the supporting partner line up on the charge station to work effectively.

We ask teams to line up as best as possible on the edge of the charge station sticker (white sign) when initially going up on it.

Ours worked in every single match of the Ventura week 2 playoff matches. We can go as late as 5 secs to get lined up and of that, 1 sec to climb.


One thing to note, it also allows us to pick any size partners not worrying about their width. Unless one of us hung over the edge, it was not possible for 3 of us to fit nicely on the charge station in Ventura.


The length of our forks is actually pretty excessive. They’re within an inch of maxing out both height and frame perimeter in starting config.

Our real physics advantage comes from having our arm and intake travel with the forks. When we buddy climb, we’re only “lifting” the drive base and arm gearbox. Our whole robot is 110lbs with bumper/battery, so the parts being lifted are only ~80lbs. We also end up ~4” off the ground when fully climbed.

With some gear ratio and software tweaks, we hope our buddy climb will be more reliable at Sacramento. Fingers crossed.



Mods worked well!


1477 executed their first fork climb in competition with us yesterday at the FiT Houston event. It went off without a hitch.


Having come from a team of KOP, it’s so uncanny to see drivetrain wheels be so close to the frame perimeter.

Edit: after zooming into the image, makes sense. Drill out a hole for the wheel to get it as close to the edge.


The distance from the wheels to the frame perimeter is standard and is the same as for the more typical long configuration. The side plate length is the same as for the square configuration and we are using the associated hole locations and belts. The width is narrower than the standard long configuration but I forgot the measurements. We also tweaked the bumper dimensions and mounting location to make it easier to get on the Charging Station.


Ah i meant 1477’s, and likely with other swerve drives. It makes sense- you want to have a small footprint for the advantage, but that raises the COG, so you want your wheels to take as much area as possible.