pic: Team 1885 Climber



This year a mentor came into the shop with a couple of lexan discs and all-thread, asking what it would take to make something like our 2014 “dog gear” to entangle the rope for a climb.

One pivot, hours of prototypes, design and iterations later, we completed almost 80 climbs with the production climber, only missing one.

The envelope of capture is approximately 8" deep and 21" wide. In theory, we don’t even have to stop moving (but we will, for now).

Good luck to all teams!

This worked pretty well this weekend, missing 2 of 18 climb attempts. One was because the arms became bent laterally, therefore became stuck on the outer hourglass rather than the inner, allowing the knot slip through the arms. The other was due to a knot swinging up and into the small gap between the disc and the support rail.

All in all, both were preventable and we’ll look to do so in the future.

How are you guys so fast at climbing?

This is a very clever solution to the problem that I wish my students were able to see. Hopefully we can qualify for District Champs so they can ask a bunch of questions.

The surgical tubing makes the capture lightning-fast, so long as the driver doesn’t overshoot the rope. Then it’s just a custom gearbox with ratios from JVN’s spreadsheet. 2 Mini-CIMs through a ~33:1 reduction. It will be even faster for DCMP.

Could you describe a bit about how it works? I can’t see surgical tubing in the picture. Or maybe some videos?

2 Mini CIMs. That explains it. Thanks!

I presume the surgical tubing to help catch the rope are the green bits that look like hooks coming out of the side of the climber, they look pretty rope funnely

From what I can tell, the two green pieces are attached to the rotating purple hourglass in the middle via a single bolt on each (meaning they can rotate around those bolts). Surgical tubing is attached to each of the green pieces. The assembly is held in tension by the curved purple guide rails on each side. As the hourglass rotates, the green pieces are freed from the guide rails, and the surgical tubing causes them to snap inwards and snare the rope against the hourglass.

This is a brilliant example of design optimization, going well beyond where most teams stop. While climbing is a binary valued scoring attribute (you don’t get more points in any one match for climbing better than the opponent), finding ways to do it faster and (particularly) more reliably can be very rewarding. This design accomplishes both, in large part by solving the most challenging portion of the climb to execute quickly and repeatedly (rope acquisition).