Thoughts on using hook and loop tape (velcro) for hatches

Thinking about using velcro/piston mechanism for picking up and delivering hatches. This will allow us to pick hatches off the ground. In your opinion, is this a good or a bad design idea? Why would/wouldn’t you use it?

One of my worries is that the Velcro on the picking mechanism works too good and you may have an issue releasing the hatch cover once you have it on the hatch.


Velcro on the hatchets will tear down and show wear throughout the season creating an inconsisity in your performance that is out of year reach.


Opinions don’t really matter. What matters is prototype testing.

Consider what might happen if you miss the hatch and hit the carpet instead. Would you be in violation of any rules?


Also consider if you would be able to remove it from the carpet easily. Keep in mind ALL field elements are attached to the carpet with velcro, and they withstand rigorous game play every year without moving. It’s quite possible that, in addition to a rule violation you could be essentially disabling your robot for the rest of the match.

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Are you competing in a week 1 event, if so this may work. If you’re competing at all later in the season do not expect the loop on the hatch panels to be brand new. I would always expect the loop to be in the worst state possible and not depend on that variable to manipulate the game pieces.

I hear where you are coming from, but if we can’t expect the Velcro to hold up over build season, how can we expect to score Hatch Panels at all since logically if the Velcro degrades on them then they would no longer stick to the hatches on the Rocket/Cargo Ships?

In general I think Velcro is a viable strategy for picking up Hatch Panel, but I would heavily recommend using it in combination with pnuematics or a vacuum or something to help grip/hold.

Look to the '99 season for references… velcro was used then to on the floppy dougnuts, and there was the same concern then. There were several teams (71 coming to mind had a very impressive system that year) that used the velcro. If I remember correctly, they had to replace the hook side from time to time because of fuzz that it picked up, but the floppies were really never a problem.

And the other way to look at it, that velcro is necessary for the game pieces to stick to the rocket/cargo ship, and cargo can’t be scored if the velcro won’t hold. I bet the second those things start failing they’ll be replaced.

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I think you should try a prototype but don’t forget that:
-There are brushes on the loading station so you’d have to grab it vertically
-You should find a reliable way to make sure you’ll have a way to release it
-The tape on the hatch itself might wear off
-You’d have to change the velcro after every match.

One way you could do this by using hook tape is by pulling off half of the hooks, halving the power of the hook tape. Then, you would probably still be able to pick up the hatches, but they would be considerably weaker than the hook tape on the cargo ship or rockets.

@Dave_Hurt Except in 1999 we were not using hook nor loop tape on the floppy itself. The floppy was made from a polyester/spandex blend that hook sided tape would “connect” to, also there were not the number of interactions then per floppy as we will have quantity of interactions per hatch panel this year at each event.

I hate to say it but as I recall there were black rings around the OD of the floppy, and on the “donut hole”. And if I’m not mistaken those rings were… Velcro. And there was velcro on the base of at least one robot I’m aware of. I wish I knew where I managed to find this picture (probably TechnoKats History Project) but it should show what I’m talking about.

yup, @EricH is right, the black ring on the outer edge of the floppy and the center of it were all loop side of velcro. I still like that game, it’s funny to look back at pictures and see how different things were back then :slight_smile:

Whoops, talk about a brain fart. Guess I should have double checked. :astonished:

We were actually thinking about doing this with pneumatic pistons to push the pistons off of velcro. We haven’t tested this yet, so we have no idea whether this would work yet.

My team prototyped a bunch of hatch mechanisms and decided on a pneumatic/velcro combination like this. It works really well.

One of the ri3d teams, Team Capital. Made up of people from teams 225 TechFire and 2590 Nemesis used velcro has their hatch floor intake. However based on their practice and use of it, they predicted they would have to replace the velcro every couple of matches. And I assume they mean in order for it to be fully consistent, which you definitely want. So I would not recommend using velcro for your intake.