2010 5th Gear FRC Match Simulator


On Chief Delphi, let’s use this thread to discuss the 2009 FRC season’s version of the 5th Gear FRC match simulator.

The FIRST Forum for discussing 5th Gear is here FIRST’s 5th Gear Forum

As was the case last year, the simulator will be released during the 2nd half of the build season.

Send us you comments and suggestions now, and stay tuned.

PS: Thank you Lockheed Martin for your generous support!

PPS: A little truth in advertising… I and my colleagues on the core 5th Gear team are Lockheed Martin (LM) employees. We started 5th Gear as volunteers (outside of our LM jobs) and we still do much of the development as volunteers; but with Lockheed Martin’s strong support we are getting a lot more done and can get it done a lot quicker. In particular, the exhibits at regional tournaments and the Championship are made possible mostly because of Lockheed Martin’s support.

Stop by and see us at those regionals this year! Or, if your local regional isn’t planning to to have a exhibit/tournament, think about volunteering to put one on as a gift to everyone at the event.

How do you use 5th Gear FRC Match Simulator? What does it do and what benefits does it have for the teams?

5th Gear FRC Match Simulator is a 3D simulator of the “most common” robot types for that year’s competition as determined by the developers. It has the advantage of seeing the basic dynamics of the game, not really for designing a robot (as it is released half-way through build season). It will give you a rough idea of how the game might play out, as well as how much you can accomplish in 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

To use 5th Gear, you set up a SERVER and up to 6 CLIENTS. Servers and clients can be run on the same computer, as long as you have the hardware resources to support it (requires a fast enough processor, enough RAM, and a fairly good graphics card). Basically, the server plays the role of the Field Control System, and the clients play the roles of the individual robots. The viewpoint of each screen can be adjusted for different angles and perspectives, and I think the buttons you use to drive can also be reconfigured, and you might be able to control it by joysticks, I don’t remember.

5th Gear is a fairly basic representation of an FRC match, but it can be a valuable tool when training drivers. If you don’t have the luxury of having a drive train to practice on between ship day and competition, this is probably one of the best ways to get people used to the competition before they compete, and I highly recommend it.

Well said - That is a good description.

Also, last season, WPI was kind enough to supply a page on their Think Tank site where you could download 5th Gear (and you can still (now) pull down last year’s Lunacy simulation). When we release this season’s version we will tell you where/how to download it.

The 5th Gear page in the WPI Think Tank is here: 5th Gear Lunacy. Once you get into the Think Tank site, I recommend browsing around a bit. There is a lot of good info there from the clever folks at WPI and from elsewhere.

The main CD thread for the 2009 (Lunacy) 5th Gear is here: 2009 (Lunacy) 5th Gear thread In that thread you can find links to some YouTube videos and other info.

By searching Chief Delphi using “5th Gear” you can find other discussions and can find links to some other simulators with varying degrees of realism and/or slick graphics. However, I think 5th Gear is the only one that gives you 6-player, 3D, decent rules fidelity, and decent physics realism in a single integrated package.


Sounds intriguing.

5th Gear’s Breakaway is available for download!

Thanks WPI for supplying the download server again!

Thanks Lockheed Martin for your continued sponsorship!

Thanks FIRST for your continued support!

Thanks Team 1986 (Team Titanium) for the field model!

I suggest updating each of these before installing the actual 5th Gear executable.
Your Microsoft DirectX (DirectX 9.27.1734 non-Web Installation)
Your Microsoft .Net (.Net 3.5](http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=333325FD-AE52-4E35-B531-508D977D32A6&displaylang=en))
Your Nvidia PhysX (PhysX 9.09.1112)

Report any problems here (Thanks FIRST): FIRST 5th Gear FORUM

Suggest improvements, discuss uses, brag about high scores, post pictures or links to videos, etc. in the FIRST 5th Gear forum (above) or here on CD.

The core CD thread is this thread.

Download 5th Gear from this page in WPI’s Think Tank site: 5th Gear download site


Awesome! I’ll miss Overdrive, but Breakaway should tide me over until it gets readded. Overdrive’s really good for solitaire play (90 with Speedy, 180 with Catapult).
Note: You have to uninstall 5th Gear 1.1 to make it work, so you only get Breakaway OR Overdrive / Lunacy.

Current high score of 18 with the Kicker and 10 with the Tunneler 1v0. The Tunneler feels sloppy, and the Goalie… I dunno. The robots would be more balanced IMO if the Tunneler had a holonomic drive.

Any plans for hanging?

Awesome job on the Breakaway version of 5th Gear! I love the Pacman easter egg.

I tried it solo.

It’s an amazing feat of physics simulation of the game.

I was able to drive into a goal but not out of it. Will the real goals act as Venus fly traps to teams that try to snow plow a ball into the goal?

Do you think the GDC designed the slippery floor in the goal with chains and embracing foam with the capture of small bots in mind? :slight_smile:

Would shoving another bot into a venus fly trap while trying to push a ball in there be considered overly aggressive? Or to use an American football analogy, would it be considered like a fullback running through a cornerback near the goal line in order to score a touchdown?

The goals could be sort of become like the fire pits on Battlebots…

The only thing I noticed that I did not like about the physics of the game was that if you hit the wall while running almost parallel with it, it stopped you immediately instead of just slowing you down and allowing you to turn the rest of the way parallel to the wall.

i’m sure that if you have enough power in your drive train, you could get out

If you drive into a goal, you should warp back on the field.

http://vimeo.com/9111662 - Video of a 17 point run I did. Working for 20.

I see this when I follow the link I see “Do you have permission to watch this video? If you do please first log in to Vimeo to watch this video.” Can you turn off the privacy?

Thanks so much! But save a few adjectives for when we are able to improve the physics :wink: - We are still climbing that learning curve and things should get better.

I think that both driving into a goal on purpose and pushing someone else into one will certainly be frowned upon (read up on the penalties in the rules).

However, I very much like the questions. They show me that someone used the simulator for a short while and already started discovering gameplay situations that they hadn’t given much thought previously, and that they (you) started planning/revising corresponding strategies.

Among other uses, we hope that the simulation becomes a strategy and driver training tool that all teams can use before their first matches. If we can make it good enough, even teams that operate on a shoestring in the boonies can come to their first regional practice matches almost as well prepared as teams that have practice fields and nearby opponents to spar with before shipping their bots.

We aren’t there yet, but as my wife tells me, it’s good to have goals. :slight_smile:

We will investigate - Also, see above, we still have plenty of room to refine our use of PhysX.

Pacman Easter egg? - Maybe one of my colleagues slipped that in - I haven’t found it yet. Give me a hint.


Fixed privacy settings.

I too am wondering about Pac Man.

That was well played - You might have gotten 18 if one of your shots on goal hadn’t hit another ball.

I’m thinking that we might need to make it a little harder to grab the balls, and a little easier to lose control of them when you are turning.

Thoughts? We don’t want to train players to expect benefits that won’t exist in the real world.

Also - You mentioned a ball return glitch - Can you describe it for us?


I think different amounts of control between the different possessing robots (if one of them could hang it would be an interesting tradeoff) would be cool. Maybe a little less possessiveness, but those ball handlers are surprisingly good in real life if well designed.

Or let me hit 20 before you change it :stuck_out_tongue:

You mentioned a ball return glitch - Can you describe it for us?

I can do one better. 18 point run - http://vimeo.com/9114707

Until it goes live, just rapidly hit Shift when 2 or more balls are in queue and watch what happens to the balls.

I’m just totally stoked to actually get to play it.:smiley:

I finally made 20 points: http://vimeo.com/9115291

Last video for now. I think this is sufficient proof I have no life.

LOL - Glad we could help :slight_smile:

I’m sorry if this is an extremely easily answered question, but I honestly have no idea how to get this thing to work. When I open up fifth gear, I start my server, and then when I show up, I see no robots. I read the document on installation instructions and stuff, but it still doesn’t say how to actually go about picking a robot/playing around…

I also have that problem, also whats a server people are on?