this is team 1601 from new york our team had a question when the hook goes around the pole does it have to completely close and lock on, or can it be open.
yes it can be open. don’t worry about it.
Look at the rules? What does it say? As Captain Banana pointed out, it can be open. This is because the rules say nothing about “how” you have to get onto the pole. You don’t even have to use a hook, or the pole for that matter!!!
But even though it can be open, if the hook slips off the bar, your robot’s going to fall and possibly be damaged, as well as any robots that are hanging off of it. So even though it’s probably easier to make an open hook, rather than a moving hook, there are some tradeoffs.
It does have to be removable without powering up your robot. Something to keep in mind.
depending on how you are going to use your hook, e.g. manually latching it or firing it like a projectile, you could get a lock that opens on way, but doesn’t let go if you push the other way. If you still intend to use your open hook design, be sure that it can hold your robot, and that your robot won’t fly around as it is pulled upwards.