Autonomous Strategy

I’m wondering what autonomous modes were actually useful during the regionals so far. If you could, please post what your autonomous does or is supposed to do, and a little about how you did it.

My team had a purely defensive robot, so our autonomous strategy was to go over to the opponent’s side and wreak as much havoc as possible, but not in any damaging way of course. We had several autonomous modes, and before each match we simply commented out the ones we didn’t want to do. One idea was to go to our opponents side and start pushing around vision tetras, disrupting other robots who used them to cap. Another was to move back and forth in front of the center goal, preventing others from getting to that. Unfortunately, most of our code “broke during shipping,” meaning it was just never tested, so we simply used a wheel encoder to move to our opponent’s side and stop.

From watching events, I found that teams that could pick up the tetra given to the alliance and cap it on one of the corners of their homerow had a nifty advantage (4 points… 3 from capping, 1 from the magnet one falling when the other is capped… and a goal owned) considering it is just dead reckoning. Then of course just a “lift arm up and down” strategy for teams that have little programming expertise to knock down the magnet tetra. Finally, of course, which I believe only 1 team was successful at doing this weekend (but I believe numbers will rise in the coming weeks) is the very nice capping the vision tetra in autonomous.

Our auton worked perfectly on the right side (knock down 1pt) but 494 had a better one so we gave them the right side in elimination. They carried a tetra, grabbed it, used it to knock down the 1pt tetra on the right, and raised it over the center goal, ready to cap it in < 2 seconds after auton ended. 191, on the left, knocked down the hanging tetra. So basically, we had an entire row within 2 second after auton ended.

Any video of a robot capping vision in auton anybody? Never happened in the whole Sacramento Regional I attended.

Team 401 has a very solid auto bot(worked every time). They would start with their tetra, and using their rotating arm, would cap one of the corner goals with it, which also caused the dangling tetra to be knocked down as well. A 4 pt. play at the beginning of EVERY match.

This did not happen in the first week of regionals. The only team that came close was 237 at Finger Lakes. They were able to drive to the vision tet, pick it up, drive to the goal, and put their grabber over the goal. They never actually released the tetra, though.

Hell yeah, :smiley:

I truly believe if we werent knocked out of the semi’s so quick, and we got to play another 2 games we would have done it. One game we went over to the tetra (it was placed in front of the center goal) picked it up, went to raise our arm but the tetra got snagged on the goal :(, that would have capped if it wasn’t snagged.

I think that most teams were aiming at the vision tetra capping, but some other teams had different approaches. Sparky 384 actually had their robot to go to the human loading zone which was a smart idea. Other robots just sat there…

157 almost managed to cap the center goal in autonomous with a vision tetra on Thursday. Also team 133 started with the original tetra and capped the center goal with the starting tetra about 75 percent of the time.

My team (246) was one of the only team that I saw who could reliably cap during auto. mode at BAE. We started with a tetra on the back of our arm and swung it over the top dropping the tetra onto either corner goal, scoring 4 points and capping a goal. I believe that team 40 and team 121 (to a lesser degree) adopted this strategy from us when they saw us at the mini-meet in Quincy (apologies all around if I’m taking credit where I shouldn’t be). We achieved this simply by placing one wheel against the bar and driving the other one forward until (according to our gyro) it had spun to be flush with the goal. Worked every time, at least enough to get the tetra onto the goal, if not fully capped.

I didn’t see anyone cap with a vision tetra at BAE, however a couple of teams (maybe it was only one…) were able to dead reckon their way toward the center goal and occasionally (if they were lucky) cap.

Most people either sat there, or drove to the middle of the field/loading zone, which was a good strategy if you couldn’t muster up anything else.

- Toby

I really don’t see why anyone would just sit there in autonomous mode. There’s so much you can do, and there’s so many people on CD willing to help you. Use other people’s code! that’s the whole reason they post it. They want to help you.

On that note, a simple and really effective autonomous mode is described in detail here.

There’s no reason every robot in FIRST can’t have a good autonomous mode. I think it would make the competition a lot more exciting. Right now most of the time spectators sit there bored for the first 15 seconds.

We can create a row by capping the center goal on our side, then knocking down the two hanging tetras all during autonomous. We can also cap the vision tetra during autonomous and place a tetra on the center goal of our side(all in 15seconds). This I am 100% sure we can do it, as long as we get a chance to perfect it. We can also cap maybe 2 tetras from the auto loader during autonomous. We can pretty much do whatever we want. If you challenge us to do something during autonomous at a competition, we will be able to do it… bring it on NJ, Buckeye and Nationals!!!

Go 1403!!!

At FLR we tried the camera through most of our qualifying matches which wasn’t really a good idea since it was so inconsistent (it drove to the tetra every time but the manipulator was generally off by a couple inches every time as well). On the Saturday we tried a new auto which went to the auto loading zone which worked out MUCH better, the turn just has to be sped up once we go to Waterloo and it’ll be good to go. If there aren’t any problems (and the robot can do it fast enough) I’ll likely put two of the automodes together and knock down a corner tetra then drive to a loading zone during auto.

Wow, i’m impressed. At GLR, the only team with a working vision system was team 66. We at 503 can take down the hanging tetra, but thats it.

Has anybody tried dead-reckoning to a center goal and hoping a vision tetra gets placed in front of them? I was going to write code for that in case our partners could handle the back goals and the starting tetra themselves, but it looks like we’re not going to LA, so I can’t try it.

Well, all through the practice matches we tried to get the vision system to work, but I needed more time (I got on the team about a week before we shipped out the robot, so I didn’t really have time to write and test anything before the competition :frowning: ).

Unfortunately starting with a tetra is out of the question for us because of our form factor, so we just go for knocking down the side goal. I was toying with a way to ensure that I got it on our hook and then putting it on top of the goal, but we didn’t have any proximity sensors or anything with us, so I wasn’t very sure that I could guarantee that the tetra would make it on top.

I think that the most foolproof plan is to start with a tetra if you can and cap a side goal knocking off the hanging tetra, and I saw at least two teams (Shelton, and Elm City Robo Squad) consistently do this at UTC.

Our autonomous was to turn to one of the outside goals from the spot next to it and cap the starting tetra on it. with this capping the hanging tetra would fall and give us 4 points. yes this isnt as good as some autonomous modes that were able to get 15 points by getting a row but then again all 3 teams had to do something. we were pretty good with it. the programming wasn’t perfect and neither was our aligning of the robot in the station. If we lined it up right we could score the points. There was a bit of leway with the alignment because of how we stack the tetras so we could put it in a general area (which was kinda small) and the tetra would fall into place.


We used a Gyroscope and a HallEffect Sensor to reliable cap a goal in our back row in autonmous mode and score 4 points with it. Our Code is theoretically able to move wherever we want to go on the field but our robot doesn’t have an arm to pick up so we kept doing that. Didn’t fail us once in competition and we might be able to raise the speed and get us into hu loading station afterwards for nationals we’ll see : ) …

Team 1610 at the VCU regional managed to track and pick up the vision tetra almost every time. A few times, they managed to hover the tetra over the goal. The only problem with them, if you can call it that, is the speed. Slow and steady did them well.

We tried the camera in match, but reverted to the emergency plan. We just extended the robot mechanism and got ready to play.

Ok… heres what happened at the Nasa/VCU regional.
The last night before we shipped we had MB(our robot)
getting closer and closer to capping the center goal
in automode. Mike or mentor-programmer had worked with the guys
for about 12 hours without a break and on the very last try
MB’s battery was low. MB found the tetra,lifted it ,found the goal
and went to the goal, but because the battery was low it dropped it wrong and broke our camera mount. This was close to midnight and we had to
get MB packed to ship. We did’nt have anymore time for it that night.

When they got to the regional the already had another mount
ready and put it on. I was;nt there thursday so i don’t know
how much time they had to recalibrate the camera.
Then friday came. We were in the very first match
(Gov. Warner stood next to MB during his speach).
MB started out,found the tetra,lifted it,found the center goal
and almost dropped it on it. If you see the video of the first
match you’ll see how close MB came to doing it. We were
all surprised how close it did come. Another problem that
we did’nt know at the time was with MB’s outer most
cylinder (the one that holds and drops the tetra).
We later changed it out,but MB never got that close again.

During Saturday they changed the automode as i think MB
was having trouble lining up. There was only one other time
MB came close again. We were impressed by how well 401 did and
we’ve decided to change the automode to have MB do something
else. The guys wrote and partly tested 7 or 8 different programs
for MB before we shipped and did more testing at the regional.
So when you see MB again it will be doing something different.

I still think MB, with enough time could be made to run the
center goal auto program well. We might change it back
after we get home for demonstrations.

                                  mr mummert-mentor