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Unread 03-10-2018, 10:32 PM
AlexF AlexF is offline
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Robot lags only when it's on the field

Hi there,

I'm from team 991, and we just finished competing at the AZ North Regional. All throughout the competition, we had issues where our bot would lag or lose communications during our matches. It led to us not being able to move for periods of time, or not being able to turn. This problem only happened when we were connected to the field, so on the practice field when we were connected to the bot with a cable, everything worked perfectly.

We tried switching out various electrical components, including the radio, roborio, and power distribution board, but none of that helped. We also talked with the CSAs at the competition to figure out a fix, but they couldn't find any solution. Has anyone had similar problems or any solutions?

Thanks
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Unread 03-10-2018, 10:44 PM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Do you have a camera? We had a similar issue when our camera was using up all of our bandwidth.
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Unread 03-10-2018, 10:53 PM
AlexF AlexF is offline
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

We had a camera, but we took it off to try to fix this problem, and it didn’t help. Also, I probably should have mentioned this initially, but the robot worked fine wirelessly during the build season, only when we configured the radio for competition did it start giving us issues.

Thanks for the input!
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Unread 03-11-2018, 09:52 AM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

We had an issue in practice where we would die after autonomous then work if a robot hit us the rest of the match.

The problem was traced to our auto routine in certain situations still running after 15 seconds trying to complete our cube/switch auto it never got the quit signal and was running not allowing teleop control...until hit which somehow broke that endless loop.

Once that was fixed we never died after
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Unread 03-11-2018, 11:01 AM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Did you show this issue to your local CSAs? They’re really the people qualified to help you solve the problem, and they can actually see what’s going on as opposed to asking the internet where we can only guess. If you’re going to another regional this season, I would tell the CSAs there as soon as you get inspected so they can help make sure it doesn’t come come back.
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Unread 03-12-2018, 07:52 PM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Where is your radio mounted on your robot? We had a robot at Orlando suffer massive lag and comms problems because the radio was buried deep in their robot near their drivetrain. They suffered huge packet loss, and when they moved the radio, their performance immediately improved.
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Unread 03-12-2018, 08:01 PM
AlexF AlexF is offline
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Our radio was buried at first, but we then put it right on the side of the bot, with nothing covering it, hoping that would fix the problem, but it kept happening. Thanks for the input though!
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Unread 03-12-2018, 08:11 PM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

You could post the DS match logs for the matches you had trouble in if you want help interpreting them. Not photos please, the actual logs themselves.
You can zip them and put them somewhere we can get to them, then give us the link.
I think you have too few CD posts to be able to attach them directly here.
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Unread 03-12-2018, 09:32 PM
Dan Waxman Dan Waxman is offline
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Are you printing anything to console? If you're printing a lot it can definitely take up a lot of bandwidth and time (IOs are expensive).
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Unread 03-13-2018, 07:15 AM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

When you ran in the pits and practice field, did you plug your driver station into the radio, or directly into the roborio?
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Unread 03-13-2018, 01:03 PM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Hey everyone! I'm the lead programmer on the team and I can answer some of the questions about the issues we've been having.

We were talking with and getting help from one specfic CSA who really wanted to get our issue solved, but couldn't. Because of the nature of our issue, we could only really test solutions during our official matches. We replaced/cleaned almost every electronics part from the robo rio, to the pdp, to the radio, to the pdp's fuses, to the ethernet cord. The local CSA even took pictures of our logs and posted them to a slack channel. (I would guess some sort of CSA channel?)

Yes, we connected directly to the robo rio through usb to usb a.

I ended up writing a print loop just to print out the current/voltage and like 3 other values for each of our 4 drivetrain motors to try and debug our issues, but this wasn't the case at the beginning of the tournament and it didn't seem to cause any more issues.

The robo rio's cpu was a safe and constant 40ish %, while the laptop's CPU was always around 50-60% (after it finished loading). Otherwise the logs didn't show too much that was weird other than the latency and packet loss that would be expected. I can grab the actual logfile during our meeting tomorrow as well.

The CSA ended on finding a bad/inconsistent connection on 2 of the drivetrain motors, so we just connected them directly to the talons instead of using connectors. We weren't able to test if this was the case since we didn't have any matches.

The whole tournament was me slamming my head into this issue with anything I could think of so any ideas you have would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Unread 03-13-2018, 01:48 PM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKrakauer18 View Post
Yes, we connected directly to the robo rio through usb to usb a.
If your issue was lag and lost communications on the field, I would strongly recommend duplicating those conditions as much as possible. Since you can't use wifi at events, that means going through ethernet into the radio. Using USB, as you did, is a completely different communications path and could avoid issues.

Did you use the orange POE injector from the KoP? I know there have been some reports of issues, although I don't know how many... CSA's and FTA's have had teams bypass the injector with a separate ethernet cord in some cases. I know in at least one case, a team started to encounter huge trip times on the field. They replaced the orange injector with a 3rd party injector and had no more issues the rest of the event. Granted, that's correlation, not causation... Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing "look over there".
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Unread 03-13-2018, 03:58 PM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Stratis View Post
If your issue was lag and lost communications on the field, I would strongly recommend duplicating those conditions as much as possible. Since you can't use wifi at events, that means going through ethernet into the radio. Using USB, as you did, is a completely different communications path and could avoid issues.[/url]
Even better would be to get the CSA to bring you to the practice field (they can let you jump the line) and have you connect via wifi through the practice field radios. If the problem goes away on the practice field, the problem is internal to the radio and you need to replace it. If not, you can go piece by piece to find where the faulty connection is.
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Unread 04-06-2018, 04:20 PM
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Re: Robot lags only when it's on the field

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKrakauer18 View Post

I ended up writing a print loop just to print out the current/voltage and like 3 other values for each of our 4 drivetrain motors to try and debug our issues, but this wasn't the case at the beginning of the tournament and it didn't seem to cause any more issues.
In short: It might be a programmimg problem just like what happened with my team

My team did almost the same thing and had the same problem.We were using pdp subroutines to print current/voltage values from our pdp's channels. But a FTA said that these CAN subroutines take around 10 ms to run entirely and the roboRio's main code(if you are programming in LabView , that would be the Robot Main.Vi) must run each 1 ms, which wasn't the case cause of our PDP measures.With all the code that was put on the main loop the fpga system couldn't complete the main loop in 1 milisecond so it would lose connection everytime on the field.

To solve this we just moved all that code to the TimedTasks.Vi in a while loop that runs for each 10 ms.

I hope this helps
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