Ramp bots probably won’t work and here’s why

Building a purely ramp-oriented bot will not be a viable strategy this year. A lot of discussions have mentioned that it’s possible to build a ramp bot, however this simply isn’t viable. In this game, where every point matters, taking up the space required to have a ramp won’t be worth it. The only way a ramp bot would even make it past districts would be because it got carried the entire way. Even if the ramp worked perfectly, there simply isn’t enough room on the bot to perform another task reasonably well. Although having a ramp is entirely possible, and maybe another mechanism could be added, the bot would have to be extremely short for the ramp to reach both the platform and tier 3.


What if you build a ramp-bot with a system that can pick up both balls and hatches? Would that be worth it?


I would avoid saying that things are impossible. Just because you haven’t thought of it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.


I predict there will be at least 1 team that comes up with a design that incorporates both a ramp and low hatch and/or cargo scoring, executes it successfully, and wins an event as a valuable member of their alliance.


Yeah I agree. Think of last year that had robots that could do the switch/scale/climb and lift 1 or 2 bots with them. I think it’s entirely possible this year for people to figure out similar solutions

the robot can extend 30 inches outside of the frame perimeter, right? That’s almost enough for a whole other robot to fit, depending on shape and bumpers. I think it’d be plausible to store a ramp vertically on the side of a robot during the match, and have it fold down to the side of the bot at the end of the match for an alliance partner to drive up. The hab level 1 and 3 are wide enough for about two robots to fit. We saw this last year, seemed to work well, and now the ramp will stay on the ground the whole time. This would leave plenty of space for other mechanisms.

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I actually think they might be more effective than you think, at least in terms of ranking (in early weeks).

If you (as a ramp bot) can practically guarantee 15pts in HAB climb, then you’ll get at least 1RP every match. With good luck in quals, you could probably rank higher than a team attempting to complete the Rocket (can’t complete in early weeks). You could probably rank in the top 25% or higher as just a rampbot.

However, this will only be true for the first few weeks. Once teams start completing Rockets and climbing to LV3 on their own there will be no more use for your robot.

I would highly recommend that if you choose to be a rampbot, you should have the bare minimum ability to place hatch panels on the first level, with the ability to improve that system over time.

you are 100% correct about not being able to build a ramp bot that can do alot of other things but building a ramp bot that can get to level 3 and score low hatches and balls is a good stratagy.


I disagree with you assumption that being a ramp-bot virtually guarantees you an RP. Lots of people assumed last year that if you could lift another teams robot, you were virtually guaranteed an RP. But any number of things could happen. You break down, your alliance members break down, you get busy and don’t have time, they get busy and don’t have time, defense, they misalignment trying to get on, you misaligned… you get the point. I would predict that robots with a ramp bot capability last year would only climb with a buddy 25% of the time. I would not be surprised if it is similar this year.

However, having the ability to get on the level 3 yourself certainly takes a lot of those variables out of the question, and giving you better odds of securing that rp.


So as long as the ramp bot is in regionals, it’s OK?

Before we jump to won’ts, shouldn’ts, shoulds, etc., we should design, prototype, and evaluate. Then we’ll have “does” or “doesn’t”.


I agree that being a ramp for partners to climb up will not grant an RP 100% of the time. I’d be surprised if it would work more than 50% of the time. Driving up a ramp is much more difficult than it would ever seem. But my assumption was the best-case scenario for a rampbot in quals, and that the team would put all their effort into making a ramp that even the most top-heavy team could climb.

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Oh. Okay.


I think that any idea that is mainly based on another robot will not be viable as unless you have a lot of time to test and figure it out, it will be hard for someone to climb on you. There were alot of scale bots with ramps that did not get anywhere as they extended to far out of their resource zone.

Using 1 very competitive team from a long gone competition and using it as evidence that most teams trying to do a ramp bot for a much higher climb will be successful doesn’t make a whole lot of sense IMO


It is too early to say anything “won’t work” and that is a fact. Creativity is just awesome like that.

While I agree there are logistically better, faster, and lighter weight methods to perform a lvl 3 climb I am fully expecting that some teams will find success being a ramp robot with a multipurpose high goal intake. 30 inches outside the perimeter is nothing to scoff at.

You haven’t really provided a “here’s why”, you just said “it won’t work” a couple of different ways. You have correctly identified a couple of the challenges with building a ramp robot, but I would caution against the bold and somewhat arrogant assumptions you are making about the design challenge being impossible and the robots being doomed to not work in any circumstance. It sort of comes across as asserting that you have a complete and full knowledge of all FRC design concepts.


That’s not the point he was trying to make at all. He is showing a video indicating how some of the tradeoffs of a ramp robot identified in the OP can be engineered around. Obviously it is not a drop-in ready solution for a game released more than 10 years later, but it is still an engineering marvel that demonstrates how perceived design barriers may not be unbreakable after all…


If a robot’s roof IS the main span of the ramp, it can be:

  • Located completely within the HAB zone and sloped ~25 degrees to reach L3, or
  • Located with its bumpers completely in HAB and sloped ~16 degrees to reach L3.

That first one sounds aggressive and risky, but the second seems pretty reasonable to find someone who will drive up you onto the platform.

Those were based on a robot in a vertical orientation, ramps going over the bumpers. If you lay the robot on its side, you can find even lower pitches to achieve a ramp to L2.

I agree that someone will make this work, most likely for a low goal robot.

25% is definitely lowballing it

2012 Swamp Thing would like a word with you.