Grappling hook

Would it be legal to tie a string to hook and launch it over the 40" bar then use a winch to pull up the robot. I know there is a rule about detaching but would the tether rope get around this rule?

Just something silly my team wanted to try:)

If this was legal, I would be very surprised.

Like most games that require hanging, I feel this would be illegal. Why? Because it would be purposely detaching, using an arm to put the grapple up there first then winching it in would be legal however.

  • Andrew

It probably depends upon how much of an entanglement issue your device makes.

You have to get it up there somehow, so the more solid that can be the better. A cherry picker or fire truck double or triple arm that is flimsy is probably not an entanglement issue. But that may use more motors than you would like.

Catapulting a grappling hook only on a string may be considered entanglement.

The other trick to overcome is getting it to stay up once power is out. The ratchet is a darn good method.

1530 used a grappling hook in RoundUp to pull themselves up the ladder. They passed inspections without a problem at the tournaments in my area. My guess is that if they had missed when launching the grappling hook and interfered with another robot that they would have been disqualified for entanglement.

I would expect that a well designed grappling hook/launcher would again pass inspection. Just be aware of the potential problems if something goes wrong.


I can’t imagine this being called illegal based on detachment. Entanglement, however, is another story.

i guess you can argue that your “hook” wont launch unless you are at your hanging bar with no opposing robots in the way
therefore it is simply not possible to entangle
and that you understand that any “accidents” = auto DQ for entanglement

So say it was legal, how would you launch it?, What are the odds of it grappling on instead of going somewhere else?, and Would the string hold because, seeing a 10 pound robot hit the floor from 40" high could be devastating to the field.

But, if someone were to develop I good reliable system, kudos to you but I personally would recommend a couple of linear sliders powered by rubber bands and a winch on top to pull up, if you had room.

But for now I think the major problem with this linear slide system would be accidental launch which could affect playability.

Besides that, it is a good idea to launch and definitely something the judges would LOVE!

Good luck!

I think this is the rule you would have to most worry about breaking:

Since the hanging towers are right next to the edge of the field (unlike the ladder in Round Up) I think you might have trouble launching a hook into the air without presenting a safety hazard.

This is not an official Q&A response, but if your robot showed up at a tournament I was running, I would ask the referees to closely watch this kind of robot for safety issues.

The Game Committee might feel differently, however, and if you want an official response, you should use the Q&A forum.

Other than safety hazards, I dont see any major issues with this. My only suggestion is with accuracy. If you only need to get the hook up once, what about a rubberband powered arm, for a one time lift? This would be safer, more accurate, and would require just as few motors.

Accuracy is a non issue. It just has to over the bar, then as you feel it in it hooks and pulls. My main concern is that it takes up a motor, which is why we will probably be using our arm to hang.

It takes a motor?

Your winch motor.

hmm… Maybe. I still see something that will work without motors.

or your drive motors.

Now your thinking with porta… I mean shifters :wink:

I don’t know about you guys, but we are planning on staying away from pistons entirely this year. It’s just such a heavy system in the context of vex toss up. We’re going after a super light robot capable of hanging with its lift.

You could… put the tanks on your lift!