Communicating with Feeder

Any ideas for helping the feeder pick a shape? I imagine communication with the analyst across the field would be quite difficult.

How about an indicator on the robot that lights up Red, White, or Blue? Anyone have any experience with some sort of LED indicator (specifically in LabVIEW?)

I had this idea while eating “inspirationBell” (Seriously, whenever I eat Taco Bell I get into philosophical/inventive convos or thoughts…)

2 ideas I got-

3 seperate LED clusters, (in shape of triangle,square,circle) controlled by 3 seperate spikes.

2 LEDs, allowing for 4 different “commands”.
(Both off, one on one off, one off one on, both on)

Not sure if they make these, but a LED, where if given regular polarity (Set the Spike forward) one color, and if given reverse polarity, it is a different color. (Set relay reverse.) No color = off, or circle, for example.

I would assume just the driver communicating with the feeder. Seems the lowest tech way to do it.

Hard to do from across the field.

I will personally bake cookies for any team that utilizes semaphore to communicate with their feeder.

For those of you unfamiliar with semaphore, I would recommend checking out Monty Python’s semaphore Wuthering Heights.

I highly suggest reading the manual thoroughly or you will have a very difficult and ultimately disappointing season.

The feeders for an alliance are located across the field from the drivers.

Two options, run the circuits off of the digital sidecar if you have low milliamp requirements for your LEDs

Other option (I am not entirely sure if custom circuits on spikes are legal) but they are LEDs aka Light Emitting Diodes with Diodes being the key word

If you run - to anode and + to cathode it doesn’t light up, so you have one wire come off the positive side of the spike, branch into two wires, one is connected to an anode of an LED the other to a cathode of another LED, continue connecting LEDs in the same direction (±anode cathode-anode cathode-anode cathode-) and the opposite direction. Run the spike one way it turns on one set, the other way it turns on the other set.

While you generally have to apply high voltage reverse polarity to damage an LED, some are damaged more easily than others, in which case buy an actual diode that can handle the higher voltage reverse polarity and stuff that in there to avoid burning out your LEDs

Isn’t there a rule prohibiting coaches/human players/drivers from bringing stuff up to the driver station area? :rolleyes:

Well you could use stuff like that. But I would imagine if you get a good feeder they would be able to kind of realize which ones you would need. Just my little thought. (especially as the season progressed)

roughly 20 members of 461 went to Taco Bell to discuss the game tonight. I know what you mean, dude :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Also I’m not too familiar with driver station rules, but would a drive coach be able to hold up a sign signifying red white or blue to the human player across the field?

I believe they can.

EDIT: After looking it up, it seems they can only be hurt if passed with a large enough voltage…

And dShad- A good human player MIGHT know what it looks like you need, but they won’t be up to date with the coaches needs/other human player.

This was my original thought as well. If you can get your feeder to know the game and your team’s strategy as well as your coach (or analyst), then you should be good for the most part.

There will still be times that you want to stray slightly from the plan though, so it would be good to have some sort of system set up. LEDs might be a little overkill though.

Not easily. LEDs are diodes, which are designed to control the direction of the flow of electricity. More specifically, they only allow current to flow in one direction.

EDIT: Oops, double post. My apologies.

A little more looking into it it appears as long as you don’t exceed the breakdown voltage (which is the voltage you have to reach before you can start to conduct in reverse), it shouldn’t get damaged. Something to dig out the spec sheets for.

There is a point called the breakdown voltage where you can conduct backwards. It will vary from LED to LED

Thank you for telling me that… IDK my idea goes down the tube

Big LCD screens on the robot that display a color


This website has some useful info…

Of particular interest might be the “Tri-Color” LED section…

Well, the Analyst would have a set of free hands… :stuck_out_tongue:

EDIT: <T25> seems to prohibit flags for this purpose, but maybe they could just do the signals without the flags?
EDIT2: <T26> seems to indicate flags or similar devices would be allowed, depending on the interpretation of said devices not communicating with anything or anyone outside of the arena

I like the idea of robot LEDs to indicate which tube you need. You could even use a FIRST Logo sticker and insert the colored LEDs into the logo.

Before suggesting ways to communicate between the Alliance Station and the Feeder Station, please read Section 5.5.7 Special Equipment Rules of the Manual ::rtm:: It is one of those sections that people rarely read and then they have to be told not to wear Bluetooth headsets in the Arena.

The bi-color ones intrigued me however they are a few bucks a piece on digikey compared to tri-color being about a buck a piece.

A consideration with the tri-colour is how the fact you have the common cathode that would somehow have to switch sides if you wanted to run it off a spike switching direction.

Additionally blue and red LEDs run at different voltages so you have to factor in resistors and how to potentially run it off a single spike. The nice part about two sets using the diode breakdown voltage is you can use a single spike and a little breadboard rather than potentially two spikes.

I suppose you could hook up one color to the positive on the spike, one to the negative and the cathode to the negative on the power distribution board.(provided there isn’t a rule against this, because it wouldn’t be protected by a circuit breaker as those are only on the red blocks) You could also have it merge in with the spikes negative which may violate rule R43) below.

Use a laptop to flash the color fullscreen