To ramp, or not to ramp?

When I first saw the game this year, I was sure we would have to design around getting up the ramp to be competitive. After all, getting three robots up would get you 25 points (9 high-goal shots!). But the more I think about it, it’s really doesn’t work out this way strategically.

During the final round, if you are good shooter, you’ll want to be firing on your goal (right behind the enemy ramp) right up until the buzzer. It seems as though not going for the ramp would give you considerably more time to score, and it seems as though it wouldn’t be too hard to position yourself as to block one of the opposing robots from getting on the ramp while scoring.

The more I think about it, the ramp, much like the lower goals, are rather easy to block, and were probably included in the game to provide rookie scoring options.

That’s the way I see it… my team went with the goal of at least being able to get up if need be, but personally I think that it may be more profitable to keep shooting.

I think that the following are two distinctly different questions;

  1. Should a team get up on the ramp?
  2. Should a team be able to get up on the ramp?

We decided early on that we wanted to be able to climb the ramp. How often will we use that capability? That remains to be seen.

Matt B.
Team Phoenix

Hasnt anyone else thought of the possibility of shooting into your goal from the ramp?
I sure hope we won’t be the only ones… :wink:

The only problem with this is you’re shooting from the OTHER alliance’s ramp, so you have to run all the way back at the end. It could help reduce the shooting, but you can’t fire until the buzzer this way.

What i think he means is shooting from your platform (the one you score on for you alliance) to your hoop, which is completely across the field.

If this is right then i do believe it would be rather impossible. Since you can only shoot the ball at 12m/s or ~39ft/sec

who said anything about the ball going through the air? bounce shots?
and i htink theres another option of being able to force up another robot. that will bring points too. if some teams will have no capability of going up, maybe another robot can “spot” them

Well, from this thread, it appears that bounce shots won’t be much of an option. Specifically, note the sentence that says “When a ball drops to the floor, only about 10% of its original height is recovered.” You’d have to be throwing a ball at the floor at a lot more than 12 m/s to get it to bounce eight feet high, if only 10% of the height is recovered!

I agree that this year, there may be teams who are only capable of helping push other robots up the ramp, or being pushed up themselves. However, I don’t think this is something that particularly has to be designed for, as to push a robot up the ramp really all you need to be able to do is move. In addition, being able to push robots up probably isn’t as helpful as being able to ramp yourself, because if you can only push robots up, and assuming there is another robot on your alliance that needs help being pushed up, you are likely to get a maximum of two robots on your alliance platform, whereas if you could ramp yourself then you could push the other robot up, then move onto the ramp yourself, giving you the possibility of getting… 15 more points, I believe it is?

The way I see it is that if you build a safe margin of points in the first three periods of the game (hint, hint: win autonomous and enjoy the subsequent advantages ;)), you’ll be able to defend with all your three robots, maintaining the point advantage, and you’ll be right next to your ramp, while your opponents will have to cross the entire field in the last few seconds of the match.
I believe that situation will be fairly common (so does Car Nack) and those easy 25 points will be very appreciated.

You’d want to be able to shoot every single ball you’re carrying long before the final period is done – with enough time to get back. If you can reload rapidly enough in that time to add on 5 extra shots, perhaps it’s at least OK to do it. But then again if you shoot at all then go back…
Ramping is good because you can always do it. You can’t always shoot (no ammo)

Keep in mind that denying 25 points to your opponent is just as good as scoring 25 yourself…


I don’t know about that. I’m betting that the “horde and wait” strategy will be the most common winning strategy.


As far as running out of ammo goes: This game is heavily reliant on human player/driver coordination. It’s like playing fetch with a dog… you have to practice throwing them and having the robot run them down quickly (assuming your robot gets them off the floor, if you top load you better have a @#@#@#@# accurate human player).

This game will be decided almost entirely by auto mode when the competition really heats up.

There are several factors involved in decided whether or not the ramp is a valuable asset during your match.
First off, do you still have balls loaded to shoot?
Secondly lets once again look at the points involved.
-Each ball through the center goal scores 3 points.
-Each ball through the corner goal scores 1 point.
-1 robot on the ramp is 5 points
-2 robots on the ramp is 10 points
-3 robots is 25 points
-4 robots is 25 points (and a guaranteed of 15 ramp points denied to the opposing alliance)=40 possible points
-5 robots is 25 points (and a guaranteed of 20 ramp points denied to the opposing side)=45 possible points
-6 robots is 25 positive points (and a guaranteed of 25 points denied to the oppossing side)=50 possible points.

Now the defensive points dont mean anything if the 25 points you score don’t give you the lead anyway, or the points they score outweigh the 25 points you score. And also obvioulsy size is a huge factor (the most robots I bet anyone will ever see on the ramp is 4, and that will be VERY rare).
The balls are a scoring resource that is replenished (the rate of replenishment is hinged upon your robot design and/or human player skill and the opponents willingness to re-introduce the balls into play). The ramp points are not, you get them once at the end of the match.
If you are down by more than 25 points, the ramp is not an effective option unless you’re “throwing in the towel” and just going for RP (and if your down by a 40 point margin or something, or you are being completely denied balls to shoot, that may be a fully acceptable action to take).
Next, examine the actions of your opponent. If they have defensive positioning and are not allowing you to take accurate shots at the goal, why bother? Additionally, if you have defensive positioning, why sacrifice it?
Now, if you have defensive positioning, and they go for their ramp, why not go for yours and effectively nuetralize any offensive ramp points they score (provided your in the lead)?

My last point will be this -> TIME.
Assuming you travel @ 10 fps, and your shooting from in front of their ramp, there are 40 feet to travel before hitting the foot of your ramp. Factoring in getting up the ramp and acceleration it will should take rougly 6 or 7 seconds to get onto your ramp from that position un-obstructed.
If there are 2 other robots on your ramp, your robot would essentially be worth 15 points. That is 5 balls in the center goal. You have a little over a second to fire each ball to normalize the points (assuming you already have the 5 balls loaded and ready). This also means you CANNOT miss a shot.

In short, it’s a situational decision that must be made on the fly at the end of the match. How much these situations will arise and the best way to deal with each of them, I will leave to your individual teams to decide (I have my own opinions that are well, my own :wink: ).

our robot = FAST!

our technique is using a whole new transmission and go really fast twards the ramp…

ramp + Fast robot = FLYING ROBOT…

:slight_smile: i’d hate to be the team under the high goal. robot goes through plexy :slight_smile:

  • JERY!!!

remember at the kickoff they stated 3 or more robots on the ramp will score 25 points,but they didn’t specify who’s robot. so if your red you can push one of the blue robots up the ramp and keep them up there. i don’t believe there is anything against this.HA HA!

You are correct. In fact the pinning rule expliclty allows pinning on the allaince platform. Here is the pinning rule:

Pinning - While on the carpeted field surface, a ROBOT cannot pin (inhibit the movement of another ROBOT while in contact with a field element or border) for more than 10 seconds. This rule does not apply if either ROBOT is entirely on an ALLIANCE PLATFORM…[/quote]

We thought of that about thirty seconds after seeing the goal that was set up at our kickoff. Maybe no one else noticed! Shhhhh…

With the allowed speed FIRST is giving you, which is like 26.8 mph then
this might be hard to fire from your ramp to your goal!!!
I dont know but this is just an opinion!!!

And to get a ball from your ramp to your goal will deffinately need more speed than is allowed!!!

I agree with Cassie. I think it would be extremely unlikely that you would be able to shoot from your alliance platform to your opponents goal without violating the muzzle velocity rule. Granted, you could attempt to put a spin on the ball and change the aerodynamics but I think it’s unlikely that you will reach 54 feet given the 35 foot reference. For example, the allowed muzzle velocity is 39.4 ft/s, assuming no funny aerodynamics you would have to shoot the ball at about 62 ft/s to hit the goal from the alliance platform.