Controller Ideas??

I have seen many different types of controllers over my many years in FIRST. So, I have a couple questions to ask, what type of controller does your team prefer? How many different types of controllers have you went through as a team?

Pictures are welcomed and I wish the best of luck to every team come kickoff day and the rest of the season!!!:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Flightsticks or (wired) XBox 360 controllers are our go-tos. Both are immediately recognized as Joysticks by the computer and are therefore easily integrated into WPILib (can’t comment on LabVIEW).

The XBox 360 controller is pretty high up there in terms of handheld controllers. I’m curious to see if the new console developers improve drastically upon controllers next year or keep them relatively the same.

We like the Logitech PC gamepads (F310) more than the wired Xbox controllers. The Xbox controllers’ sticks do not return to zero as consistently.

(Conveniently, this makes a great excuse whenever I miss the net by a mile in FIFA 13 on Xbox Live.)

Some high quality joysticks would be nice. We’ve used Xbox 360 in the past, but the extra throw of a larger joystick gives you more intermediate speed control. This became apparent very quickly when trying to balance our practice bridge last year, so we switched to the Logitech Attack 3s. Not exactly great joysticks, and they caused our motors to keep running (very slowly, more of just a high pitched whine that didn’t make the bot go anywhere) a few times because the deadzone wasn’t big enough, but good enough when you’re too busy with other things.

I’ve only gotten to use the flight sticks once or twice, but they seemed like a very good candidate.

I should clarify, when I said flightsticks I was referring to primarily the Attack 3’s for the last few years.

Ok thanks everyone for the interesting controller set-ups. I know it is easy to modify a xbox 360 controller and a PS2 controller so i figured they would be up there. Just getting ideas on what is more applicable for the drive team consisting of high school students. haha

It’s a fairly simple matter to add whatever deadzone you want in the software.

The last two years our Drivers have used the Razer - Onza (Tournament Edition).

A couple cool features:

  • Adjustable Resistance Analog Sticks
  • Multi-Function Buttons

The Multi-Function Buttons add 2 additional trigger buttons. This allows for the Chassis driver to keep there thumbs on the joysticks at all times. But also gives them access to a total of 8 Buttons with out moving their thumbs (3 - Left Triggers, 3 Right Triggers, and the Joystick presses)

Q: How do the Multi-Function Buttons (MFB) work?

A: Each MFB has a corresponding Remap Button on the bottom of the controller. Holding the remap button down activates an LED showing which button is currently configured to the corresponding MFB. To assign a button hold down the remap button and press the desired button. The LED will switch to show that the desired button is configured. Left MFB can be configured to: A,B,X,Y, left bumper, left trigger, left analog stick button, back and start. Right MFB can be configured to: A,B,X,Y, right bumper, right trigger, right analog stick button, back and start.


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Its completely based on the drivers opinions and feel for things. I had a driver who was only able to do well with a game pad and another who preferred 2 joysticks for tank drive. The xbox 360 controller is pretty popular for manipulator, while 2 Logitech attack 3 joysticks were pretty popular for controlling the drive train or at least that’s how it was on my team. I found it was best to get the drivers to practice with both and ask them to pick which they preferred.