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Rope Climbing Device

  1. May 3, 2013 #1
    Recently I entered a competition to join a club. The task is to make a "thing" that climbs a rope. The rope is about 1/2 a centimeter thick and it is graded on design, speed, and overall in general. I was wondering what might be a good design for this project and what materials I should use? It must climb up 2 meters.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2013 #2


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    Toothed pinch rollers mounted on a toy car.
    Do the club members know that you're cheating by asking us for help?
  4. May 3, 2013 #3


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    Welcome to the PF.

    You need to show some effort on questions like this before we can offer much tutorial help. What are your thoughts so far?
  5. May 3, 2013 #4


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    Ooops! I didn't realize that this was a homework situation. Sorry.
  6. May 4, 2013 #5
    if you give us a design we can suggest ways to improve it but we cant do all the work for you.
  7. May 4, 2013 #6

    Sorry about that, I completely forgot to include my design so far. Also, I am not cheating according to the club rules, I also want this to be a learning experience so I'm not asking for somebody to tell me everything. My design so far is having to small gears on either side of the rope pinch down and a motor forces them upward. This design is similar to a can opener in such that it has to gears that pinch together. My only problem is that the motors I have though about using are somewhat heavy comparatively and I was wondering if there would be an alternative I could use.
  8. May 4, 2013 #7
    How about wound-up springs? You know exactly how many times each roller is going to have to go around so why not drive each one with a spring wound up that many turns (+ 1 or 2 more just in case)?
  9. May 4, 2013 #8

    I had never really took that into consideration, but that sounds like a great idea. Im just curious as to where you would buy "wind-up springs"?
  10. May 4, 2013 #9
    Here's another thought... Gears biting into the rope will have a tendency to walk off the side of the rope. If you attempt to keep the rope centered with guides I suspect you will just jam the rope between the guides and the gears. Consider using pulleys with semi-circular grooves around the outside.
  11. May 4, 2013 #10


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    That's why I suggested pinch rollers; this is what they're designed for.
  12. May 5, 2013 #11


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    An alternative: Rubber bands that are wound around the axles of the pulleys, that pinch the rope.
  13. May 5, 2013 #12


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    Do the contest rules say anything about the climber needing to carry its energy source? Don't want to see you get disqualified for using springs or rubber bands that you have to wind up by hand.
  14. May 5, 2013 #13

    The rules say that you must have the device carry its power source (i.e.: batteries) What I means is that you cant have a long cord with the batteries on a table below, they must be on the machine.
  15. May 7, 2013 #14


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    Any size constraints? Can you make a device that's 2.1m tall that climbs up itself or just grabs on at 2.1m up and turns itself upside down :-)
  16. May 7, 2013 #15
    Use a screw like design. A female threaded cylinder that fits around the rope at the bottom, and screw your way up the rope! You'll have to creatively attach your motor and turn the device but I bet you could figure that out.

    Another option I can think of off hand is a rack and pinion like device. Two alternating rack and pinions with a pincher arm you tighten at the end. Motor turns the pinion which pushes the rack upwards. Once at the peak a the pincher arm clamps around the rope you are climbing like a crab claw, the motor then changes direction and pulls the device up by climbing the now anchored rack. The other rack is attached to the motor as well, but timed opposite. This way as you are extending one rack, you are climbing the other rack... you would mostly just have to figure out how to close the pincher at the top of the rack!

    Anyway, that's my $.02
  17. May 7, 2013 #16


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    How about a helium balloon connected to the rope by a sliding stand-off pole?
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