Ramp crashing down

Me again!

Anyway we’re wondering if it’s okay if we can … how can I put it… let gravity do the work with the ramp (aka crashing down)

does this violate any rules? I looked around and couldn’t find anything about it.

So yeah tell me if you know anything about it,


thats up to the inspectors/referees. as far as i can remember, the release of stored energy must be “safe”. So if your crashing is “safe” you should be fine.

Thats what i remember at any rate.

If crashing is a problem, you might consider using a gas spring to help dampen the travel.

The definition of “safe” is really up to the refs to determin. It’s all going to come down to what the refs think. Better to be safe then sorry.

You know, I hadn’t thought of that. One thing to consider is that the carpet probably dampens the motion a teeny bit; We decided to “let gravity do the work” on ours based on the fact that we thought they would survive the fall, but I hadn’t considered the refs’ point of view. How else besides gas springs have people been slowing the fall of their ramps? Anything especially low tech/lightweight?

Also, I haven’t been spending as much time as I’d like on cd the past few days and I know a lot of videos have gone up. If anybody knows of any videos showing ramps actually being deployed, I would give you exactly five brownie points for pointing me to the link. :wink:

This thread has one:


I don’t think theres anything specific in rule book about it.
In this kind of situation, lets just use Common Sense. If you think its safe and not harming anything on the field or even your own robot, you’re good to go.
But if you open your ramp and something is ‘shooting out’ (as a pin or clip), i’m not sure if thats going to be safe or not. :stuck_out_tongue:

You have to think the GDC knew there’d be some flopping ramps. That may be one reason why the opposing alliance has to clear your end. If they choose to stay, they get a penality - and maybe a smack in the bot. Talk about adding insult to injury!

We will make sure we know how our alliance partners plan to deploy, and will stay the heck out of the way when they do.

There should not be any personel on the field. So - I say we, “flop away” - it’ll be a blast to watch.

As long as it doesn’t damage anything/anyone, it should be fine.

Gas springs eh? Never thought of that. I was thinking something along the lines of a spring hinge. there really ought to be a rule on this written.

gah, why dose the wii put a “.us” at every period?

Yes - we need more rules! :rolleyes:

Our ramps are gunna be coming down fast as well, I just hope another robot is not underneath when it happens:D

Just think of it as following the same rules as “flopping” bots, only instead of an entire robot flopping, it’s just a mechanism. It may be painful to hear, but as long as you’re not breaking field elements (or opposing robots, or people), crashing mechanisms are ok. As long as you follow the rules under “Robot actions” (G33-41) you should be fine.

If its still a concern for your team, gas springs or other dampening mechanisms may and should be used.

Here is an inspector’s viewpoint on this. If the ramp will use only gravity and not damage the field it may be used. But it will invite some close inspection in the release mechanism. If the release is a “Hair Trigger” that could be actuated while transporting or setup, it may not pass inspection. Also, what is the effect of power loss on the release? Think about the safety of everyone that will be around the robot at a competition.

Excellent points… Teams may want to add “transport locks” to hold the ramp in place. This could be as simple as a rope tied around it.

I also encourage teams to add a little padding on the end of the ramp that will smack the ground to help prevent damage to the floor.

This question was addressed in this thread in the official FIRST Q&A System. Gravity-based deployment of ramps is permitted, as long as it is done in a safe manner and does not cause damage to the field. If you are using this type of system, print out a copy of the official Q&A answer and take it with you to the competition, just in case there is a question about it during inspection.


remember - the FIRST Q&A System is the only resource for official answers regarding the 2007 FRC competition. The Q&A is your friend. Use it. Learn it. Know it.