Using a grappling hook to climb the tower

Yeah… I was just wondering if anyone else was thinking of using a grappling hook to climb the towers on the field. Is this allowed by the rules? It would be lightweight in terms of what it takes to climb the tower and would only require one motor to drive the winch. the only snag we have run into is aiming the hook shooting mechanism so that it will wrap around the bar on the top of the tower.
Ian Heffron
Team 2811 Rules dude

you could always press your robot directly flush with the base of the tunnel, then launch it with some sort of pneumatic catapult device…
You could also add fins to the back to stabilize it…

only thing I can say is: if you do that, bring a stepladder in with you at the end of every match, unwinding it will be a pain…

It is definitely possible, but I am not sure what the “safety” of the device would be…
and what sort of damage that thing would do if you missed…(to the floor, and to other robots who might run over it)

Remember that you can’t extend higher than 7 1/2 ft, so if you shoot a grappling hook, it would probably go over that and you would get a penalty. Also, shooting a grappling hook would probably be considered unsafe and not allowed at competition. Instead of shooting the grappling hook, could you try making a small arm that safely extends upwards to get the hook hooked onto the beam?

Our team considered it but the point was raised that if you shot something, there is a good chance that it might hit the ball return bars and you’d get yourself a penalty. If you design it with the guarantee that you won’t hit anything but the top of the tower, then your legal I believe.

Can you throw it so you’ll never exceed 90 inches in height?

Thanks for the information.
I didn’t know that you got a penalty for hitting the ball return bars…
There is some special material, i don’t know what it is called, but it is a grippy material that is designed to be like gecko skin that you could use as the hook that isn’t a hook but just wraps around the bar twice and sticks to the bar.

Our team decided that a grappling hook was too hard to aim, to slow to reset after a miss, and potentially too dangerous to be an option. You might disagree but our primary concern was lifting ourselves from other robots, we want precise aiming so we can prevent our hook/claw from grabbing undesired parts of our ally.

Our team was also considering that option however if you decide to do that one of the cons to it would be that it would be hard to attach yourself to another robot if thats all you had for attaching. and it can also miss their robot and end up hitting maybe some of their wiring or something else giving you a penalty

you might try using something like the antennae on a controller to place a hook on the bar. It could be pretty compact but reach really high, and give you more control over where it went. The only problem is that it might not be very strong.

One of our concepts is to have a grappling hook on top of a scissor device. This would place the hook onto the bars and we would then use a winch to pull ourselves up. This method gives us accuracy and a fast reset.


No offense, but I think some of you are over-thinking this one. Shooting methods are way too complex, and theres no guarantee that it will work every time. Some of the newer members/teams might not know this, but this is not the first time robots have had to hang. In 2004, the end game was reaching up and lifting the robot off the ground by pulling on a 10’ high pole. The way my team did it was we had a telescoping pole that reached up and attached a grappling hook to the bar. then the hook was attached to a cable which winched the robot up, sepperate from the pole. See here for our robot hanging
I hope this can be of some help to everyone, and good luck with design and construction!

heh, we had the same thought here at Team 3022. What we currently are doing with out hook system, is a simple car antenna that we purchased. We just put the hook on the end of the antenna, let it rise up, and drive forward to hook the antenna on. Afterwards, we retract the antenna (to protect the antenna), detach it from the hook, and wind up the winch.

Good Idea. Was it hard to change the motor in the car antenna to a KOP motor?