Jump Climb

Just what it sounds like. Throw half your robot upward at high speed and drag the rest of it upward. To jump about 30" for a 150lb robot, you need to be able to store about 500 newton meters of energy. That’s about 300lbs of constant force springs at about 15" of displacement.

Numbers seem to be on the edge of plausibility.

My team is probably stupid enough to try it.

Besides the obvious safety concerns of storing that much energy in your bot during a match, what am I missing?

Someone probably wants to talk us out of it, don’t they?

To which I will respond this seemed like a good idea in 2018:


I am thankful you are not attending one of my events :slight_smile: I really do doubt teams can safely store and utilize enough energy to achieve a significant vertical displacement of the robot via this method.


No. As you said: this will inadvertently fall afoul of unsafe robot

Besides if you shoot springs down, this could easily create height issues with the bot.

Pleas don’t.


While 300lb CF springs with 15" of displacement is storing roughly 500 J of potential energy, that isn’t really the same as being able to convert all that energy instantaneously into the work of making a robot jump in the air.

My suggestion would be if you are dead set on this path to make your robot much lighter than 150 lbs. It’s not particularly hard to do this even with a ball scoring mechanism, and it will make this quite daunting task dramatically easier. But I’m skeptical this will work at all.


Not shooting anything down. Just up.

Agreed, 150lbs and 30" include safety margin.

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Just slam dunking the traversal is the coolest idea I’ve heard so far! I could see a tiny robot doing it well.


2014 robots had some massive springs. It might not be close to the energy needed but there is some historical precedence.

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Ah hahaha, yeah, we’ve got some folks curious about that too! Curious about the likelihood of actually catching the bar too. Misses would be brutal. I’m curious enough to want to try to build something like that in the off season. Likely won’t though. Just think it would be cool to see, if too dangerous and crazy for a competition.

I don’t really care if it’s legal or not. It’d be pretty cool.

Edit: It’d be cool, but probably not cool to do in a match


Honestly? I think the safety concerns that come with storing 500J of potential energy within your robot should be enough for you to shy away from going this route. Your springs (or whatever you throw into the air I guess) also need to be balanced across the CoG on the x and y axes to avoid imparting a torque on your robot, which is going to be quite a challenge to achieve. If you actually go this route, I bid you good luck!

Another example for context,

8lbs, 4" diameter spinning at 4000 RPM, that guy has 400 n-m(joules) of energy.

Someone might want to check my math.


Sounds like you’re in danger of violating G101, particularly example (a):


I would take this as an opportunity to help teach my students ways to show others they have full control of their designs and are in fact experts in their robot.

I think it would be a valuable life lesson here.

Think of the things I could teach to make sure this is safe, FEA, mathematical modeling, Physics, Prototyping and Experimentation, Safety Planning.


Would example “A” would also invalidate uncontrolled swinging on the bars? Thinking of the 254/1986 climbs of 2013.

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The physics and mathematical modeling does sound interesting … good luck if you end up trying this. I definitely want to see a video (:


That’s a good question … I’d assume it’s the referee’s discretion what qualifies as an unsafe uncontrollable amount of swinging (or jumping (: ).

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You can teach those to make sure it’s safe.

The catch is that you also need to teach how to interpret those results and present them to outsiders, in such a way that the outsiders also find your robot safe.

And you may also need to teach “Even if it’s safe by our standards, someone else may have stricter standards”.


A lot of teams have spinning flywheels that terrify me as well. Some of my team’s past flywheels included. I do wish FIRST and/or FRC-centric vendors would take steps to better control this energy.


If you want to push against the ground, those ground contacts will raise your bumper out of the bumper zone, unless you put your bumper at only 0.125" off the ground you can then raise the top to 7.5", a total of only 2.375" of stroke.

That makes the acceleration force crazy high.