The Potential for Partially Passive Climbers

Thanks to the tippy bar, there are some interesting ways teams can equip themselves to climb without actually having to lift themselves.

One way that I thought of is to make a hook that extends slightly above the height of the bar at its lowest point. You could then have your fully climbing alliance partner push the bar up to let you hook on, and then they would climb to lift up both robots and balance the switch.

Assisting a team in making this kind of mechanism at a competition, without violating cheesecake rules, could be relatively easy. See the FC RI3D climbing hook as inspriation for a pop up hook, especially in combination with either a servo or a pancake piston (instead of the motor actuated system they have).

Any thoughts as to the viability of this strategy and the legality of assisting teams in building this device as competition?

EDIT: This strategy lowers the bar for climbing, literally and metaphorically.


I’m not sure (most) climbers would be able to push the bar up.

They should be able to if they can reach the bar’s highest elevation. It shouldn’t take much to lift up the bar.

Though, the accuracy of the drivers may come into play and “one time up one time down” climbers definitely would have some trouble making this work.

Yeah, I was thinking like a hook, would be really hard to align directly beneath the bar, unless you specifically designed it for that purpose.

A large flat piece of polycarb/aluminum plate taped to the top of your hook should do the trick, but that does depend a lot on your hook design…

Why not just use a giant stroke piston with a hulk fist glued to it?

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True lol, but I wouldn’t think a lot of teams would do the polycarb unless they had an elims alliance partner who had a passive climb. It’s just weight for something I don’t think a lot of teams would do. But the passive climb is a good idea, if you could somehow have most of your alliance partners have the polycarb thing.

It is almost like the GDC was thinking of that! :slight_smile:

As for the legality of adding this to an alliance partner’s robot, I1 defines a “MAJOR MECHANISM” as “a group of COMPONENTS and/or MECHANISMS assembled together to address at least one (1) game challenge: robot movement, game piece control, field element manipulation, or performance of a scorable task.”

Although this hook is a simple mechanism, it meets the definition of a MAJOR MECHANISM and “MAJOR MECHANISMS must be built by the FIRST Robotics Competition team.” and should follow the spirit of the rule as laid out in the blue box, “Neither I1 nor the language in its Blue Box define specific thresholds for how much of a MAJOR MECHANISM must be the result of the team’s effort. I1 expects and requires the team’s honest assessment of whether they built the MAJOR MECHANISMS of their ROBOT.
Attempts to exploit loopholes in the definition of MAJOR MECHANISM in order to bypass this requirement are not in the spirit of I1 or the FIRST Robotics Competition. Examples of exploitation include:
a. assembling pieces of a MAJOR MECHANISM provided by another team
b. receiving a mostly complete MAJOR MECHANISM from another team and providing a small piece”

So the exact border line falls into a grey area, a grey area that gets very dark grey if the part suddenly appears 20 minutes after the alliance selection process.

A leading team could approach this in a couple of ways… they could have a handout describing how to build a hook, could share this handout with teams on Thursday or Friday, and let teams know that they have plenty of COTS stock for those who wish to build their own hook. They could also let teams know that having a hook like that would be something they will be looking for during the alliance selection process, should they be an alliance captain. That would give teams time to add the hook to their robot and test it during practice and/or qualifying, and the leading team would clearly be seen as “helping everyone to build their own scoring mechanisms” rather than “building parts for an alliance partner”.

This isn’t so much a “legality” issue… if a team insists that they built a part for their robot during lunch time on Saturday, I’d have a hard time proving them wrong (but it would trip my BS detectors)… but if they did it on Thursday, or over the course of the day on Friday… particularly with a bit of guidance from a senior team, well that’s what ‘helping’ is all about. This is more of a GP issue than a strict ‘rules’ issue.


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I agree wholeheartedly. The “give every team the stock and instructions” approach is something I am considering.

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