Hanging By Grappling Hook

Okay, so I just came across this video, which near the beginning shows a robot shooting a grappling hook over the side of the ladder, and pulling the robot up by the string running from it. It’s pretty awesome so I thought I’d let you all see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sATFAEhSiqA
Skip to ~0:30 if you have no patience. :wink:


This was a really interesting experience for our team (which was in the first half of the video if you look closely) since we had come up with a similar design at the beggining of the season, which we scraped after it failed miserably at our first competition. When we alked to the Skulls team, they said we had inspired them to build that design, except instead of using our homemade winch system, they used the one VEX came out with. The video was also a bit embarrasing though, since we won that match out of the sheer luck of having a good alliance partner since that was when our motors began to critically overheat, rendering us barely movable, leading to us and 575 losing at semifinals to the winning alliance. :o

Is that not unsafe operation? Although a multitude of dangerous things can happen on the field, this seems to be a bit risky. I understand that if the robot is built correctly, the parts have a very low chance of breaking. But imagine if the string came off. I really wouldn’t want to get hit by a flying metal grappling hook. But kudos to the team for managing it. I’m sure we all thought of this idea, but this is the first time that I’m seeing it implemented.

Exactly my thoughts. This is one of those times when you go “Wow, I thought of that… they actually did it.”, as we all probably did when Green Egg made their robot that could actually put the goals into the ladder, and could do it well.


I second that. Flying metal is a creepy thought. I remember hearing rumors at Pan Pacific, that another team had the grappling hook climb as well. At inspection, they deemed it unsafe.

It was a sight to see. It’s nice to see people making a common dream into a reality. :slight_smile:

It was really cool. I was also very impressed because I knew first-hand how much trial and error they had to have gone through since there are so many variables. When my team tried it we never even got it to launch over the ladder, in fact most of the times it launched with the autonomous twitch. One time we almost got disqualified too because it very nearly hit a driver. Altogether, I was happy to see someone succeed were we had failed. It made me feel the ‘magic’ of engineering, where you take a design and build on it and where amazing things are possible if you try hard enough in making them work.

just saying the robot was never offical low hanging, or hanging at all. I under stand its a cool design and all but its pretty inefficient. But definatly with a bit of adjustments this could be a pretty epic hang. :cool:

Yeah, I agree that it needs some work. But still I find simply that they were able to get the grappling hook launched and hooked on the ladder impressive. :smiley:


If I remember right, they actually managed to climb to a high hang it in at least of their matches.

Is this even legal? I can see how this might come up as a safety hazard.

Seeing as I have a hanging robot myself, I love seeing other teams robots hanging device designs as well as seeing them succede, so conradulations to that team. I’ve also begun to notice that team’s whose initial plans for their robot was to just hang have the must unique mechanisms that accomplish it.

Why would you hang by a grappling hook when you could attach that hook to the manipulator your robot is already raising into the air several inches?

The first answer I have to that is “Because we can.” I’ve seen winches in Vex as long as we’ve had string, but never anything like this, and if I was to say it left me anything less than inspired, I’d be flat out lying. This is such a cool mechanism guys, thanks for sharing it with us. I hope this mechanism makes it to worlds in some form, I’d love to see it in person.