Autonav Challenge Times

Hey First Robot Challenge community, just asking, how have your times for the autonav challenges been? Our time(Team 4776) had a current best time of 12.72 with no penalties on the Autonav Slalom challenge

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Haven’t had time to run an actual trajectory. Sim doesn’t count right?

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Yeah, sim times are accepted

I’ll confess I haven’t actually simulated a challenge path, but I’ll try later today just to join the club.

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Here is a video of a 15.6 on the barrel race course. I think we can still shave some time, but it has been a fun few days of seeing if our drivers or programmers can get faster times.

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Have you already named him?

I was hoping someone might start a spreadsheet where teams could enter their best scores on the 10 challenges, to see how they compare to the competition.

Very nice. It’s cool to see other teams posting their videos. One suggestion for your recording… The time starts when the robot is enabled. We’ve been using the RSL to determine when that happens. When disabled it’s steady, and we take the first flash (actually when the light turns off for the first time) as the start of our timer. I noticed that the RSL isn’t visible at the start of your video. The judges might possibly ding you for that. You may want to either record from the other side of the robot, add a second RSL (which is legal) on the right side of your bot, or relocate your single RSL to the right side.

Or, are you using another way to start the timer when the bot is enabled? We considered some sort of automatic timer that gets a signal from the computer to start the timer and uses a finish line beam to stop it. We don’t know that we have the resources to implement that, though. We only have a small fraction of our students participating this year,

I have actually been thinking about the best way to accomplish getting accurate timing because I can see it being hard to be accurate to 0.1 s. We have a fixed camera that is at the other end that can see the length of whole field, but does not get as good of a view of the finish line. I will have to check, but it might have a view of the RSL. We might add an additional RSL if not as you suggested. The current timer was actually just me watching the video and recording my iPhone screen stopwatch. I started it listening to the drivers countdown and then watching for a bumper to cross the finish. Then I tried to sink the video and timer with some video editing software that I am a complete novice at so there are several places for error, but I think it is pretty close.

I have been thinking about trying to set up some sort of an auto timer system with a raspberry pi or arduino. It would not be too difficult to capture the end time by putting up a beam break at the finish line. I have been trying to think of the best way to start it. I was thinking possibly by putting a IR emitter on the robot and sending a start signal when it is enabled. Then I thought I might be overthinking this too much… Most teams will be just using a stopwatch and hoping for the best. If anyone has great ideas about a simple relatively inexpensive timing solution I’m all ears.

In last years iteration it was T-Rex, but the stubby arms that named him that have been removed for a different climbing mechanism. So I don’t know if it currently has a name.

For timing our robot, I added a timer command that runs using a parallel deadline group, start the timer in initialize and stop it in end using execute to update to Shuffleboard. Used System.currentTimeMillis/1000 for the time. By running in parallel with the Ramsete command it gives you a very accurate timer. I’ve posted a video below. Now, I wish there was a Shuffleboard widget that gave a larger display so you could see the time better in the video. Maybe I just need a tripod to stabilize.
Barrel Run timed attempt


Bounce path

Slalom path


Can’t watch the video right now but did you already drag the widget out to the full screen and the text size didn’t change?

Lol, I guess I didn’t play around with the widget enough as I was keeping other things in view, too. I’ll just give it it’s own tab next time.

I was able to get 4.18s (as reported by the code) in the bounce path WPILIB simulator with the example code with a max speed at 4m/s (instead of 3) and max angular as the default. Just copied over our PID class and our DriveToPoint function from our 2020 code.


12.3 on Slalom. I really need to move to a better angle to see the finish line, but I think the time is pretty accurate.

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I am really liking these videos :smile:

Great video. How did you superimpose the timer into your video?


I actually recorded my iphone screen as watched the robot video and started and stopped the timer as best I could. I then I cropped the areas away from the clock from my phone video and overlaid it onto the robot video using some video editing software.

It does appear that there might be easier/better methods.

See link.
How to Quickly Add a Countdown Timer to a Video (Free) (

I did use VSDC editor that was linked to edit my video, but I didn’t use its build in counter.

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Has anyone actually gotten VSDC to work? I just tried using it and it looks great but the “Early Finish” feature of the counter that I think is needed to use the counter appears to be bugged. It just always sets the counter to 0.