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


As the students here say…

“can, small kine”


This sounds a lot like the 2016 thread stating that non high goal robots will not be competitive. It was that year our low goal only robot won 1 district event as alliance captain, was finalist at another as alliance captain. Both of these alliances had NO high goal capability. Then we went on to win our District Championship, were tenth seed in our division at worlds and made it to semi finals.

The moral of the story is, be careful what you say is a not viable strategy or needs to be carried because you are just asking to be proven wrong


The problem with ramp bots is not that they can’t work. It is that 1) in order for them to work you have to rely on your alliance partners to be willing and able to make them work, which is always sketchy, even under ideal circumstances, and 2) there is no point bonus for having another robot drive over you that you can’t get by going there yourself. Except in the rare corner case of having two perfectly sized robots climb your ramp to the top. This relies on so many things going right that are out of your control that I expect to see it happen maybe once all season. Why not just build a robot that can reliably climb on its own?


Just watched the Tiki video. This is a case where there is no real drawback; a solo climb if no able partner, a double if a partner pulls it off. Well done to your team!


We are a ramp bot and during practice matches the refs ruled that because our ramps are touching the carpet, the robot is supported by the carpet and not HAB1. Checked first Q&A and the rule was clarified a month ago but never issued in a team update.


If your robot is touching the carpet, then it’s not:

only supported by surfaces of the HAB PLATFORM at or above that Level, ALLIANCE WALL, and/or another ROBOT which has climbed to that HAB Level or higher"

as is required for requirement 2 of climbing according to the description in §5.3.

The rule was clarified according to the question in the Q&A, but doesn’t need to be changed. Therefore it doesn’t need to be put in the Team Updates. It’s up to you to keep up to date on the Q&A rulings as well as the Team Updates. Some important “rulings” will be made there, and if you don’t follow them you run the risk of having some part of your robot ruled illegal.


It could also be illegal by bumper rules as the bumper has to be 5" tall and the bumper zone is up to 7". The platform is 3", thus bumpers are not possible.


I suggest you re-read R25. The bumper zone is in relation to a robot standing normally on a flat floor. So if the robot is sitting on the platform, the bumper zone is measured relative to the top of the platform, not the carpet.


We do keep up with all updates. As a matter of fact we checked all scoring requirements. The ruling on Q&A was made two weeks before bag and tag. We had passed our design freeze and double and triple checked all of the rules and Q&A rules regarding scoring. The wording on the rule, team update, and blue box information led all of us to believe that unambiguous meant that it was obvious that we were only supported and that it didn’t need more clarification. Especially after the top Q&A question regarding being outside the vertical projection of the HAB zone did not violate 5.3.

Regardless, the ruling that touching the carpet is support is counterintuitive to the wording of 5.3 and team update 3. It is unambiguous that we are “supported” the HAB platform and not the carpet because the ramps are hinged at the frame perimeter.


If your ramps are touching the carpet, then part of the robot is supported by the carpet; the ramps are part of your robot.


In FIRST supported means touching because they can not prove otherwise.


If the floor disappeared, would any part of the robot move at all? If so, then the robot is at least partially supported by the floor. That’s how it’s been ruled in previous seasons and I’m not surprised that it’s being ruled the same way again this season.

I don’t want to sound mean or unsympathetic. It sucks that you guys designed a mechanism only to later find that something you didn’t think was a problem makes your mechanism illegal. But the bottom line is that the rule has been basically the same since kickoff, and there was a clarifying Q&A two weeks before bag & tag.


Maybe look into adding a rope and a small winch to lift the end of the ramp? You only need to get it ~1 inch off the carpet, and then you should be OK (but carefully read the rules; I can’t see your robot).


Thanks for all the suggestions. We are gonna add a small winch with some paracord and pull up an inch at endgame.

You’re right, it really did suck.


To which question are you referring? The closest thing I found is

According to rule G23: “A robot being considered completely within the HAB ZONE is determined by the robot’s bumpers being between the wall and the HAB ZONE” In this case, if the robot strategically opens a ramp and if this ramp’s edge is over the HAB LINE; does this violate the G23 rule? And can robots be carried on these ramps?
As you have quoted, G23 assesses whether a ROBOT is “completely within” the HAB ZONE based on the position of the BUMPERS, the position of other ROBOT elements is irrelevant. A ROBOT that is completely within its HAB ZONE per G23 would also be at least partially in its HAB ZONE per G14 and thus could legally support a partner ROBOT.

This makes it legal for your ramp bot to support your partner (e.g. to climb up to L3); it does not address the question of whether either will count as a climb.


Did they award the climbing bot lev3 points or did they negate both you and the climbing bot total?


Just ours, so no rank point.


@drphiltron Just a suggestion, but after the climbing bot gets to the top, just rotate your robot 90 degrees so the ramp is supported by the platform. But, make sure you put some sort of padding on the bottom edge of the ramp as to not scratch the playing field or lvl 1 platform when doing so.


I agree that (assuming you are no longer supporting your partner after reaching the L3 platform), all you need to do is lift your ramp clear of the carpet to get the RP, and further agree with @TheFlash that you could do this by rotation. However, I would recommend teflon, delrin, or similar with a beveled edge rather than “padding” as the carpet contact material to make this happen.


Another thought for you, rather than a winch and motor, would it be possible to use a bungee cord or other static spring that would hold the ramp an inch up or so? This would be low enough a robot would force it down by driving on it, but it would spring back up when clear, with out the need for an operator to lift it. Depending on you design it may or may not work of course, and ensuring the ramp is high enough it’s obviously off the carpet is a good idea since if a ref assumes it’s touching, even when it’s not there’s nothing to do about it.

Good luck, I really hope you get a solution figured out!