The Return of the Ramp Bots

Now that the Levitation powerup makes one alliance not climbing viable for match points and ranking points (with FACING THE BOSS), a robot needs to be only 12 in off of the ground to be considered climbing, and that bar is so small, do any of you predict robots with ramps like in 2007? Is anyone planning on making your robot like this? I’m curious to see what current consensus is on the viability of bots with ramps on them that other bots can ascend using.

It doesn’t even need to be 12 inches off the ground, only the bumpers need to be 12 inches off the ground, theoretically possible if the robot is 10 inches off the ground.

I would agree, the fairly fixed robot size limits help enable this. I think a double ramp bot + capability to deliver cubes to the exchange is a very viable strategy.

The more I think about it, the more I think Power Up has, in subtle ways, more high-level drastically different viable design approaches and strategies than most FIRST games in recent memory. The relative freedom of approach to a lot of tasks reminds me of some older games.

One thing to note if you plan to pursue this: In 2007, ramp bots were very explicitly a part of the game, and teams built their drivetrains expecting to have to navigate unknown partner ramps. This year, teams probably won’t be expecting it quite so much. Be public about your plans, and design your ramps to be as friendly as possible to the conventional “flat field” drivetrains most teams will likely be building.

How are robots sitting on another robot that isn’t in the air fully supported by the scale? A robot’s bumpers need to be more than 12" off the ground, and it must be fully supported by the scale (or transitively).

I don’t think a ramp-bot satisfies this requirement, and no one on the alliance would get the points (except for the levitate, if applicable).

The definition of scale in section 3.3 on page 17 includes the platforms.

That was one of the things I was curious about when making this post. According to the manual (specifically 3.3) the platforms are a part of the scale. Although it’s a bit of a technicality, the robot is supported by those platforms and is, therefore, supported by the scale. Not sure if FIRST would allow this though.


I doubt that will survive Q&A, but we’ll see.

In my opinion, G05 suggests that this strategy was intentionally allowed.

If somebody asks for clarification on this and gets an answer, please post the Q&A link here. :slight_smile:

Will do.

Completely agree.


However, I strongly disagree with Joe G. This is NOT a “Flat Field”. There are 4x 2cm tall bumps dividing the central part of the field into quarters, and there’s a pair of big ol’ platforms. Any team designing for a flat field is going to be hurtin’…

I do think this should be a Q&A, to confirm this was intentionally left open.

The double ramps are interesting but extremely tricky given that the frame perimeter extension is only 16", while it was infinite in the Home Zone in 2007 when it was last commonly used.

I really wish SCALE would have been defined in the glossary.

It’s defined in section 3.3: “The SCALE features an arm, RUNGS, PLATES, OUTRIGGERS, PLATFORMS, and TOWER.” Of special note is that the platforms are included in the list of components which comprise the scale.

Oh I agree, and I agree with your warning in the other thread. I just think that realistically, enough teams are going to treat these things as close to “flat field” as possible, and not deviate very far from the standard design choices used with flat fields, and almost definitely no further than is necessary to climb the platform. I also expect plenty of teams to meet an unpleasant surprise when they notice these bumps.

My point is, “design to be able to climb a pretty unknown ramp” was an explicit drivetrain design requirement for the vast majority of teams in 2007. This year, since this kind of design is not specifically a part of the game but may still be a good idea, I expect teams taking this into account and designing to be forgiving of extra aggressively sloped ramps to be in a minority, especially since there is probably a lot of overlap between teams that will have the foresight to see the ramp-bots coming, and teams that will be able to build competent climbing systems of their own.

If you are on your platform during the endgame, you can expand to any size, per rule G05

I’ve foolishly pitched ramp bots for years after our '07 near miss/debacle. And now that we could drop that '07 robot into a game with a few modifications and do rather well, I don’t have a team. Clearly I need to find impressionable young minds to sell on this idea…

G05. Don’t overextend yourself. ROBOTS may not extend more than 16 in (41 cm). beyond their FRAME PERIMETER (see Figure 8-1). This rule doesn’t apply to a ROBOT fully within its PLATFORM ZONE during the ENDGAME.

We can extend during endgame, so double platform can work.

The 16" restriction is lifted for the endgame.

What do you think ‘transitively’ means? To me this is pretty explicit that a robot supported above the 12" bumper limit by a robot supported by the rung above the 12" bumper limit is good to go.