Can we improve the audience display

There are two huge issues with the current state of the audience display that seem to be taking a toll on the experience of people watching matches

Most importantly is that awkward race animation that shows who won before the scores. The biggest issue is the colors are too similar and since it’s new this year a lot of people didn’t know what was going on, which led to a ton of awkward cheers and applause before the score was posted. At our event halfway through we ran the animation hidden under the slideshow until the scores were posted than transitioned to it

Secondly is the score breakdown for the matches during the match (to the left and right of the current score indicators). I spent an entire competition trying to look at what those were and still couldn’t figure it out, and I’m someone who knows the game decently well. I feel like this needs to be reworked greatly so people can understand how points are being scored

I would like gear tracker circles around the rotors just like the ball tracking circles that exist around the boiler icon. Give the audience (and drive teams) a better understand that there’s actually something going on between the second and third rotor and not 60 seconds of nothing until a big score jump seemingly out of nowhere.

I agree a gear tracker would be cool, but it could also be impractical to use (ref side).

  • First of all, a ref has to see all the way around the airship to watch all the rotors, distracting them from more important things.
  • What would happen if a pilot paced a gear out of order? (But didn’t start that rotor out of order)
  • Also the fact that a team could place all the gears for rotors 2-4 and then not start them till the end. This would be chaotic to display.

Rotors are (supposed to be) scored automatically by the FMS. That said, I don’t think the FMS tracks individual gears.

You are correct. The sensor is$@on the last gear in the chain.$@the FMS knows nothing of gears apart from the 4 gears that start the 4 rotors.

There is literally no way to provide a gear count rather than a rotor count apart from looking at the$@airship.

Have refs track how many gears are in the airship? Doesn’t matter where they’re placed it’d just be nice to know how many are up there espically from a drive team perspective.

Your pilot doesn’t do that?

John.Benz pointed out that the ref(s) would need to see all around the airship. Which would cause them to miss stuff. You know, like somebody parking in your key for 6 seconds.

Whoa, watch your language there. /s

I think it would be a neat feature to have but it would distract the referees too much from their original position and have a negative impact on the rest of the game as a result.

Oh they do but but what good does the pilot knowing how many gears up there do if someone behind the glass wants to know?

So coach signals to pilot they want to know how many gears are up there, pilot has to notice the coach, pilot looks around and holds up number of fingers, coach that asked relays info to everyone else behind the glass? What if a different coach wants to know? They get the attention of the other coach to send out the signal for a status report? Seems like this could be a lot easier if you could just look up at the score board.

Keep in mind this is just an idea of something that would be nice to have. Would make the coach’s job easier if they didn’t have to count gears placed by everyone on their alliance or if they lost track.

Also, you don’t necessarily have to have eyes on every part of the airship. A ref sees a robot move to the airship so the ref would glance up real quick to see if the pilot pulls a gear up. The refs eyes should already be on the humans/airship checking for human fouls.

Agreed on the animation before the score reveal. It’s completely unnecessary and took away from the drama for me personally. And frankly it was annoying after seeing it a few times.

Have a fixed time to signal back if possible. Just a thought.

Also, you don’t necessarily have to have eyes on every part of the airship. A ref sees a robot move to the airship so the ref would glance up real quick to see if the pilot pulls a gear up. Somewhat similar to countin crosses last year.

Counting crosses–of all the things you could have mentioned…

Let me put it this way. Distracted refs = BAD. Having the ref do something outside their normal work scope means they’re distracted.

The best improvement would probably be a “user guide” announced by the GA/MC periodically throughout the day.

Refs missed defense crossings in 2016 and assists in 2014, some of the easier things to take note of in FRC games (and those were part of their jobs). I don’t think they would be able to keep track of number of gears in the airship
and do a good job at everything else they are supposed to keep an eye on. There are 3 extra students on each alliance this year, I think between them and the existing 3 drive coaches the alliance can keep track of number of gears in the airship.

It would be cool to know this info as a spectator, especially one not familiar with this game or FRC in general, but I would not put it on the refs to keep track of this info. A sensor could have been incorporated into the airship to detect when a gear in in place, but I think this part of the game is intended to be part of the challenge. That and there enough points of failure in this field already.

Not “a” sensor, another dozen or so sensors would be required. One for each gear position, including gear positions that could be used in the future.

Another solution to this problem I could see working is just have and LED strip or something light up under the run of gears the team is currently working on on their airship. It would show the spectator’s where the alliance is dedicating their attention and they could probably deduce what needs to happen from there. It also, makes the audience have to think a bit (count gears required) which makes it more memorable + exciting as it get’s other parts of your brain involved.

The field already know’s which rotors are active and just light’s up the next run of gears.

Now, that is significantly more work than just updating the display, but something the GDC could add to their book of tricks for future years.

*Additionally, if team’s continue to exploit the fact that you are not required to enable rotors as soon as the gears are in place, real time display of gears/rotors is meaningless. However, the LED’s would still be more audience friendly.

FIRST needs to figure this out. The game is nigh-unwatchable when it’s basically impossible to keep track of how many gears have been placed

My audience display laptop HATED the reveal video. I had to disable that feature for the screen to even display the results.

We’re aiming for instant scoring here, so having referees do this wouldn’t fit into that all that well - besides they are busy enough. FMS only counts the rotation of the last gear in the set, and has no way of tracking the other gears, so this wouldn’t be possible automatically. The level of complexity required to add that to the system would be prohibitive and add a lot of time to an already long setup.

FIRST team members: What we need are MORE electronics and sensors on the field!


I was personally referring to how the information is layed out, not requesting additional metrics (im on the field tech crew and i understand how much of a pain additional sensors are). To be more specific the scoring indicator for something is a giant picture of a tower with little dots all around it. I couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on there. Just Plaster a number on there with some indicator of what it’s for instead of doing an Infographic

This. I’m as upset as anyone that we can’t effectively track gears, but considering most events went ~3 hours late with the current complicated field, it is clearly not a good idea to add any other things that have the potential to break.

There are three ways to score this year: boiler, rotors, and climbs. Accordingly, there are three icons breaking down each alliance’s score: a boiler, with nine dots to represent the fractional pressure accumulated between points, a rotor, and a touchpad with light. Each has a number indicating the quantity for that respective type of scoring: kPa in the boiler, rotors started, and robots ready for takeoff. Beside the universal complaints my that you can’t tell when the next rotor is going to be started, I thought the scoreboard was very intuitive and spectator-friendly in an otherwise hard-to-watch game.