Concerning controllers and the player zone

Could the control console theoretically be placed on the floor? I want to suggest to 2047’s programmers to allow our bot to read commands from a dance pad. We’re currently using an Xbox 360 controller, and according to our programmers they said that a dance pad wouldn’t be hard to work with.

I’m just worried about any possibly rules preventing the control console from being on the floor. As long as it’s within the taped off area, is it legal?

As far as I know, yes. Section 8 has the rules on this.

8.3.8 Operator Interface Rules
<R77> The team number settings on the Operator Interface must be set to the team number assigned to the team by FIRST.
<R78> The OPERATOR CONSOLE designed by the team must fit on the 60” wide by 12” deep shelf in the Alliance Station (excluding any items that are held or worn by the DRIVERS during the match).
<R79> Teams are permitted to connect a portable computing device (Laptop computer, PDAs, etc.) to the RS232 Output of the dashboard port of the Operator Interface for the purpose of displaying feedback from the ROBOT while participating in competition matches. Please note that AC power will not be available at the playing field so these devices will have
to run on internal batteries.
<R80> The Operator Interface must be positioned within the OPERATOR CONSOLE so that the indicator lights can be clearly seen during inspection and during operation in a match. The ports on the Operator Interface must be easily and quickly accessible. This will greatly facilitate analysis by field personnel in case of problems during the competition.
<R81> Teams cannot use Operator Interfaces from previous years’ competitions.
<R82> Nothing can be connected to the tether port of the Operator Interface during a match.
<R83> All equipment connected to the joystick ports of the Operator Interface must be powered solely through the power available through the port. External power sources of any type are not permitted on any equipment connected to the joystick ports. Portable computing
devices can not be connected to joystick input ports on the Operator Interface. Powerpassive devices (e.g. joysticks that draw their power solely through the Operator Interface joystick port) are permitted. The one exception to this rule is Innovation First Incorporated USB adapters (IFI Part Number USB-CHICKLET) may be used to connect USB devices to
the joystick ports of the Operator Interface. If used, this USB adapter must be powered with a 7.2V battery similar to the back-up battery. Teams can not use power from the competition port or any other source to power the USB adapter. The USB adapter must be positioned within the OPERATOR CONSOLE so that the indicator lights may be seen during inspection and operation in a match.
<R84> The competition cable at the Alliance Station must connect directly to the competition port on the Operator Interface. No intermediate connectors, cables, or “pigtails” are permitted.

I have heard that teams have used DDR pads in the past. However, this year they seem to be sticking pretty close to the rules - please be aware of the following rule:

<R78> The OPERATOR CONSOLE designed by the team must fit on the 60” wide by 12” deep shelf in the Alliance Station (excluding any items that are held or worn by the DRIVERS during the match).

I don’t believe putting the controller on the floor is allowed, unless you’re holding or wearing it.


Now what if you’ve got the dance pad connected to you via a rope around the waste? LMAO.

From the question/answer forums:


“For this year’s competition, our team wishes to use a “Dance Dance Revolution” pad with USB connectivity as its remote controller. The “DDR” pad is a 36” by 32" flat mat that is placed on the floor. There are different buttons that the user can step on in order to determine directions and various other actions. Will this be compliant with rule <R78> in the competition manual, or will we have to find something else?"


“The intent of Rule <R78> is that Operator Consoles that require support rest entirely on the provided shelf, and not hang on the Alliance Station Wall or other structural elements. A DDR control pad resting on the floor satisfies the intent of the rule, and would be permitted as long as the control pad remains entirely within the player station in the Alliance Zone (e.g. does not cross the Players Line and does not intrude into the player stations of the adjacent teams).”

If you do implement this controller, please let us know at which competition events you will be competing. We want to come and see this in action!"

I see! Thank you all for the information.
I was a little uncertain about the rule of it having to fit within the shelf, but I’ll recommend our programmers to go ahead with it if what lenergyrlah said is true.

It was all going to be for fun during a Thursday practice match, but I’d like to be able to actually implement it during a match if possible.

Thank you all for your feedback!

Implied in this answer (and considering the size of the pad) the adult coach may not operate (intentionally or accidently) anything that effects the robot during a match. The refs will be watching and have certain abilities that affect your robot and the alliance. Choose wisely.

If you’re thinking of a USB dance pad, I don’t think they’re supported by default by the Chicklet. You’d have to pay CTRE to add support for it, and you’d have to ship them your Chicklet and dance pad to do so. But, since you were required to ship your Chicklet to Atlanta with your robot, this probably isn’t an option. I suppose it’s possible that Mike would be offering the reprogramming services at the competition, but probably not.

Or you can avoid the chicklet, tear apart the controller on top of your DDR pad, use the buttons as Dig inputs to a joystick port with just a long 15-cable going into a joystick port. No extra programming required.

Just a thought.

I already have something that will adapt my PS2’s dancemat to the chicklet. I checked on my own accord during the build season, but I haven’t been very vocal about this idea until recently.

Al: Thank you for your concern, but I definitely would not take away any time or matches that were crucially important to the team’s rankings. If worst comes to worst, we can always use the dance mat in future public demonstrations that we have planned. Even if it does not breach the rules, I do want to be very cautious about implementing this sort of controller during the competitions.

You just never know the hand that fate will deal you. In Atlanta, every match is important. You will be only one of 80-100 teams in your division, a DQ or disable in just one match may be something very difficult to come back from. However, a demo controller during the off season would be a great learning platform and cool way to involve other students and schools.

thought it would help with other awards, I can imagine having to dance to control the robot would be very tough to do and possibly be a disadvantage to the team.
But I have to see it! What competitions are you going to be in?:smiley:

Definitely, I’ll keep that in mind. At the very least, it’ll allow the members of our team (such as myself) who have never dealt with programming to learn a trick or two.

Scalawag: The only competition left is the Championships :stuck_out_tongue: