Rope Climber has been built for the rtlToronto Lego Robotics Event – Rope Climbing.  In a nutshell – build a robot that can find and climb a rope.  Sounds easy right?  Not!  In the tradition of rtlToronto, there are some interesting rules to make this more challenging.  First off – the robot must fit within a 8x8x8 square on start.  The trick – the rope is hanging 12 inches off the ground.  The robot must “grow” to catch the rope.  The robot must also start 36 inches from the rope.  This requires it to be able to drive and find the rope.  The 8 inch requirement also is important to consider once the robot reaches the top.  In order to win, the robot must be above a marker placed on the rope.  This marker will be 12 inches from the top.  This robot extends to 14 inches, so it must also “contract” when it detects it is at the top.

(sketch courtesy of Calum Tsang – rtlToronto)

Here is my take. In order to make a winning robot, the following must be considered:
:: speed – it must be able to drive to, find and climb the rope the fastest to win.
:: grip – to climb effectively, the robot must have good grip on the rope.
:: weight – the lighter it is, the faster it climbs.
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Rope Climber in its extended position.  This will allow it to catch the rope when driving forward and begin the climbing phase.

This picture illustrates the mechanism that grabs the rope.  Powered by two motors geared down enought to allow it to lift the robot.  The gear at the center is used to guide the rope to the pull wheels.  The pull wheels are each driven by a motor geared down.  This entire mechanism has been built to flex when the rope is pulled through the wheels.

This shows Rope Climber half way through extending the grabber unit.  Because of its weight, this takes some time.  it is driven by a worm drive to 24T to 8T to the turntables.

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A back view of Rope Climber.  Showing the robot in its starting position.  It fits into the 8x8x8 (well almost) cube.

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