hey guys… there was a lot of teams who had problems with autonmous last year… do you think that we will have autonomous for this coming season too… if we do how is that going to effect the whole competition…?

I definetly think that there will be autonomous for next year, but I don’t think it will be implemented in the same way. I’de look for it closer to the end of a match.

i didnt think of that… but it sounds cool… and exciting… probably will be more competitive this time since many of the teams realized that they didnt had a head start for not having an auton…

I stil think it’d be fun if they randomly turned on autonomous mode.

Fun because I don’t have to program it. :slight_smile:

I’m pretty sure auto modes going to stick around. Especially since the new controller still has an autonomous user mode in the default code. I am leaning more toward what’s been said before, that it will be closer to the end. Or, if it’s at the beginning, the time may be shortened. most robots completed theirs or messed up within the first 10 seconds. Yes, having it closer to the end of the match would be very challenging, but it’s not impossible. I think if the game is set up in a way that you could play it well autonomously at the end then it would be fine. Also, FIRST may *require * that robots return to their starting positions to run the automode, just like the pressure mats…
If so, you may see robots that attempt to hold off other robots from competing in their automode. That would be a bit annoying if everyone just got in a big pushing match to keep each other away from starting, and nothing happened for the last 15 seconds :smiley:
Or, maybe they’ll be 2 “hotspots” on the field where robots must compete to get to them so their auto is activated. That would also cause a few problems. I think the biggest issue with an automode at the end is positioning. Deadreckoning robots would be useless unless they could be lined up in the proper position. Sensory-driven automodes will more than likely be too slow to accomplish anything in 15 seconds. That’s the biggest block. Come up with a system in the game where robots will want to let the other team get into automode, and be lined up.
Or, it may just trigger and you can start anywhere in the field.
But the more I think about it, more things just keep “adding” up negatively in my mind. They may just keep it at the beggining like last year. I mean, that was the point of automode. Just about every “strategist” knows that gaining the upper hand first in a match can win it, and to do that you had to function autonomously. They’ll probably keep it at the beginning. Human-Player mode, however, may shift back to the in-game style. That would give a little chunk back to user drive time.

20 second auto mode, at the beging.

Then a 5 second inflatable clown period.


please! no more mention of clowns! shudders

i do believe that the auton mode is going to stick around, where it is in the match however is kind of hard to determine. it will most likely not be in the middle though. the problem with running auton at the end is the idea that things are so much harder to plan for your advantage. and how upsetting would it be if you’re autonomous ruined your score and ended up benefitting the other team?

We could go into “pong” mode and just start bouncing randomly off the walls, other robots, or obstacles.
It may not help but it sure could make it interesting to watch.

I’m thinking for auto this year they might do something along the lines of, if your robot can put big ball on top of tower in auto you get 20 points or if your robot can put said ball on top of the power in driver mode you get 10 points. Something like that would help encourage more teams to look into auto programming sooner in the season instead of making it at competition. It wasn’t that teams had a huge problem with it, just most teams left it till the very end when it could have been worked on a bit sooner. remembers waiting in line at nats to use the test field for auto code testing

I think most teams were trying to just have robots that would work under human control, they just didn’t have the time to code for auto because they didn’t have a robot to test with.

That said, the field section that is designed to be reacted to/with durring auto mode should be cheaper to build then last years ramp. Mayhaps something similar to the troughs from 2000 and having to remove the inflatable clowns from them?


Perhaps cherry inflatable clowns...

I would like to see an “optional” autonomous mode that you could switch to human controlled mode when you want to, and the longer you stayed in autonomous, the more points you get. This could possibly be done as a multiplier of either the total points scored or the points scored while in autonomous mode.

i think that since this is only the second year of auton mode, it will most probably be at the start because some teams may still be adjusting to it (like the teams whose robot did not operate for those 15 seconds last year). however i think that maybe 4 or 5 years down the road when auton has settled in with everyone, then it might be at the end of the match to make it more challenging …

Johnson, I love it! :smiley:

Optional would give every team a chance, even struggling first year teams. If they had some way to let the crowd know it was switched, that would look good from the audience, too.

I definately think that autonomous is here to stay. Yes, teams had difficulty with it, but that was the point. It’s not supposed to be easy. We win because we overcome a challenge. As for what it might be like this coming season, I have no clue. Maybe like everybody else said, something near the end, but that’d be a lot harder and we’d need sensors or something if we’re supposed to make it to a certain spot on the field. I mean, we can’t predict where we’ll be after a minute and a half, can we? Of course not. I just know I can’t wait. sigh last years suck but it’ll be so great! :slight_smile:

If autonomous is moved to the end of a match (or any time where the robot’s start position is unknown) I hope we get some sort of fixed objects to locate a position off of.

I think it would be interesting to have the first 5 or 10 seconds and the last 20 or 30 second be autonomous. The start of the game would be similar to this year. The robot knows where it is and how to get to some predetermined places on the field. Things can complicate this, but its generally not too difficult to dead reckon your way around (yes, even with bins stacked in your way :stuck_out_tongue: ). The end of the game would be more interesting. Some teams would attempt to move their robot into a known location (corner of the field maybe) so they could dead reckon the end-game- others would try and find their location and/or navigate the field. Maybe it would be possible to carry variables over into this end of game autonomous mode. A selector switch set mid-game could determine the robot’s behavior in the last few seconds.

I liked autonomous mode last year, looks even more fun this year with the new controller. I just hope FIRST presents a wider range of options in autonomous.

Last year: “go forward, turn (left or right), go forward, crash into things”.
This year: “<do stuff>, crash into things”.


i think i will just have to wait anther 5 weeks to get to know about the auton… :confused:

I would REALLY love to see optional auton mode. A few of us on our team have discussed it off and on, and it gives the rookies a chance to function without having really experienced programmers, and veteran teams a chance to go above and beyond and develop some really cool systems to help them work in autonomous mode for longer periods of time. The only problem I see is showing the audience which robots are in autonomous modes when, and some way of keeping track. Other than that, I see that as a definate possibility. :smiley:

A set autonomous mode at the beginning of the match is also perfectly viable too, as this is only the second year since autonomous mode has been introduced. At the end would definately be a big challenge for teams, since you wouldnt know exactly where and in what orientation your robot is in. Personally, I dont think that they would jump to autonomous mode at the end, but the beginnning is a definate possibility. Oh, wait, know what would be neat? a 10-15 sec mandatory autonomous mode at the beginning of the match, and then you can stay in autonomous mode for longer for extra points, or a multiplier of the points scored during the autonomous mode. The audience could tell who was in autonomous mode by some sort of highlighting of the team’s number on the scoreboard, and by who was still a few feet from the conrtols, just have both an emergency stop and an autonomous end button on the controls, instead of just an E-STOP button. I think this is definately feasable and would be REALLY cool to see implemented. :wink:

only 4 weeks until we find out!

i think that is a really good idea… a lot of teams can go beyond… and it will be easier for the rookies too… :slight_smile:

Brandon, you’re evil.

As a first-year C programmer, heading a team that’s just as inexperienced as I am, I’m hoping very much that the auton will be like it was last year - at the beginning of the match, and relatively easy to plan. Anything that makes things easier for us is a huge benefit. :slight_smile:

I personally would be very surprised to see it at any time other than the begining of the match. I think that trying to make autonomous mode at any other time, compounded with the new programming language this year, would make it more a level of difficulty above that of simply “challenging” for any but the most experienced teams.

While you need to have the game be challenging, you need to make some of the aspects be attainable by all teams. For instance, an autonomous program is challenging, but not impossible. New teams can do it, and veteran teams can do an EXCELLENT job of it.

On a side note, one way you could get around some sort of local positioning system would be to just end your robot in a specific position and orientation. However, I see a lot of room for foul play that could end up occuring by shoving teams robots around right before the end. The main problem with this would be that teams could potentially damaging their machines with much greater ease.

Just my two cents… thoughts?