Is Hanging Worth It?

My team is debating what functionality we should put in our robot, and we are deciding between being able to hang or being able to score power cells into the top power port. We are planning to spin no matter what. What do you think? What would be best for points? What would be the best for ranking points?


Do you expect to be able to score 30+ balls in a match, or be on alliances that can every time? The CONTROL PANEL isint able to be used for points until 29 balls are scored in the correct order.


Well, climbing is better unless you will score at least 25 more points during the match from high goal shooter than with a low goal one. That means you would need to score at least 25 balls in the high goal (1 point more than low goal), or at least 13 balls in the bonus goal (2 points more than low goal) during a match to equal the points gained from a climber.

I would prioritize things this way, right now:

  1. Put balls in low goal, quickly
  2. Hang
  3. Put balls into high goal, but only if you can do it almost as quickly as in the low goal
  4. Spin the pizza

Ditto, though for second pick teams, color wheel might be priority 3.




you will regret having a wheel spinning mechanism you never use so don’t build it in the first place if you are strapped


I will caution against “spinning no matter what”. Climbing is definitely the more important task to focus on. In terms of cycle time, it’s faster in points per second than scoring power cells, and climbing does not require you to put in 49 power cells (as an alliance) to even score any points.


Hanging is VERY important


Definitely climbing is worth it. It gets you more ranking points, which can make or break your team moving up. However, if by the first three weeks you don’t have a great climb system, try specializing in something else. Many teams will focus on climb and not on the shooter, so if you have a phenomenal shooter, you may be picked for an alliance by a team that specializes in their climb but is so-so in their shooter (be sure that you at least have a so-so climb, though).

Try shooting for the high goals as well. There is some reflective tape on the top goals, so with a light sensor and some programming, you could make the arm align directly with the hoop and get perfect shots in the inner port easily. However, this is all dependent on your team’s ability to make a good shooter in time during build season, so if the cycle time with the lower goal would be significantly better, then by all means do that.

As for the color wheel, you could have the bot spin the wheel autonomously with a color sensor. What our team is considering is having some manual feedback, so the color sensor sends a signal to the driver station so that the drivers can have a backup plan in case the auto fails, in addition to having a way to test the color sensor.

Best of luck! If you don’t know about Robot in 3 Days (FRC teams that build bots in 3 days), I’d suggest looking into that. I haven’t checked that out, but it seems helpful!


Climbing is, in all likelihood, the most important ability for any mobile robot that can only do one other thing.

Running five cycles of one-point dumps, or two and a half cycles of two-point shots, or getting any three-point shots at all outside of blind luck will be beyond the capability of most teams.

Twenty-nine scored power cells will (in quals) be rarer than not scoring twenty-nine cells.

Want 25 points?
Want the easier way to get an extra RP?

Then grab that switch and pull yourself off the ground.

I’d go so far as to say that if all you can do is climb and get in the way, you’ll be better than almost any robot that can’t climb.


In 2017, at our week 1 event, we had an above average shooter (very accurate but not fast) and an average speed but 95+% reliable climbing solution (including custom rope). Our gear cycling ability (passive) was below average. We won the district event as the top alliance captain. The reliable climbing made it happen. The shooting helped but the climbing was the difference (especially because gear cycling was not yet well-refined by other teams). We’ve never had a better event performance.

I’m not sure the relative value of climbing this year is quite what it was in 2017, but it is still high value, and the end game extra ranking point will be the easier of the 2 extra ranking points to get. I recommend trying to be able to climb reliably by your first event. If you get your climb to be very, very reliable, it might lead to very good fortune competitively.


We’re predicting that by and large, every single robot picked for elimination will need to have a working climber. So if you want a chance for elims, you need it.

1 Like
  1. Drive well

I would say you need to prioritize what your team can do well with the resources you have. If you think you can make a shooter that can have a 95% accuracy and a climber that only has a 75% accuracy, I would go with the shooter. Or vice-versa. Try to be realistic about what your team is capable of set that is a goal and then once you’ve successfully reached goal try to iterate beyond it. You can also set a priority list in order to allocate resources. Such as, setting your priority list as climber,shooter, then spinner, and you can attempt to do all three. As long as the resources of one do not take away from, or impede the progress of, the resources on something higher on the list. While understanding that the ones on the lower end of the list may not end up getting finished.

Everything can be worth it in the right circumstances. However, and more important, everything can be not worth it in others.

Let’s say your priority list is shooting, climbing, then the WOF(Wheel of Fortune).
If you finish a shooter by week 4, and it works well, then possible go for a simple climber that can be built while programming and drive team are using the robot.
If the shooter is done week 6, ya got a problem.

Teams will mess this up. Why? Because they will get a basic shooter finished by week 4, but not actually make sure it’s dialed into what it needs to be. Thus, they will have a poor shooter and an elevator, rather than a good shooter.

Teams look at the top tier and say, “Wow, they do everything great.” So they work to be like them. Unfortunately, as you become stronger, you only get to choose one, and teams often choose to do “everything” instead of doing “great”.


In my opinion, don’t skip out on it. I feel that a lot of robots early in the season won’t be able to climb but if you want to play the game late in the season, climbing robots are going to make it. I’d highly suggest getting those points, and giving your alliance a higher change of an RP.

This is very true as well. Pay attention to this post.
Good luck

Implied with the “quickly” part of “Put balls in low goal, quickly”

but yeah, it needs to be stated explicitly

Drive well == a combination of hardware and SOFTWARE that allows the robot to achieve this + drive practice.

The basic drop center KOP drive train and base drive software will NOT achieve this. Note, I am not saying the KOP drive base is bad. I am a huge fan and our current team uses it almost untweaked. I am saying you need to put it together correctly and consider design issues like amount of drop and wheel type/track to get reasonable performance. For example long skinny robots with large pneumatic wheels have er um issues. The bigger callout is the basic tank drive with voltage control software makes for very poor low speed handling.

Even if you build it right and tweak the software to get decent (smooth low speed and high speed) control you absolutely need driver practice. Driver practice is probably more important that the actual as built robot. A good driver can do amazing things with a crappy handling robot (I know we have build a bunch of them). The inverse is not really true.

Hanging is better for ranking points. It depends on how effective your shooter is for what gives you more points. Just because you have a shooter that’s quick, doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful. When I was talking with @EricKline yesterday, he told me that when our team did rebound rumble, our way of shooting was based off of trial and error basically since we didn’t have an effective scoring method. We’d make like one shot by missing two shots in trying to figure out how much power we should give our motors for. I disagree with my team’s decision to make a shooter, but I will help my team with whatever my team needs since I know I do not make the decisions for the team.