Drive team question

Say a robot can intake, shoot high, drive (any drivetrain), and climb (any bar). What tasks would you want the driver taking and what tasks would you want the operator on?


Our driver almost exclusively drives and the operator does everything else. That isn’t always the most ideal situation, but is how we were structured this year.


It depends on who is skilled at what. In general, any tasks that require the drivetrain go to the driver. (driving, climbing, and aiming for us). Anything else (onboard ball management) falls to the operator. We allow both to operate the intake.

For us the driver drives the robot and controls the intake and operator controls everything else (ball tunnel, shooter, climbers). We found this to be the best because then the driver had better control when driving around the field like for example when I am driving the robot across the field and a ball of the other color gets in front of me I can spin the intake backwards to shove the ball away when driving.


We usually have the driver control the drivetrain only, and the operator does everything else. This is our default layout, and usually optimal. Our driver this year controlled the climber as well, because they weren’t driving when climbing and they will also have a better idea of when to start the climb sequence compared to the operator. It really does come down the the driver and operator’s preference though, so if they want something changed, have the programmers change it.

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Many would argue that if you can have a single driver control everything, that is ideal. Some teams are able to pull that off, but it generally takes a lot of automation to do so.

In general, if a on-field task requires close coordination with the driver, such as aiming to take a shot, then it would be best to give that task to the driver So that once the driver has lined up the shot, he can pull the trigger.

At some level, every task requires coordination. There is a limit to how many tasks you can give to the driver. So at some point you draw the line and give the remaining tasks to the operator. Often times it makes sense to give related tasks to either the driver or the operator, so this can factor into which tasks you give to the operator.

Generally speaking, you want as many things on the robot automated as possible. This drastically reduces the buttons needed, and if needed, you can do button combinations or progressive buttons to perform different tasks.

Our intake this year is modeled after the Everybot intake, and I have made it only require two buttons, intake and outtake. Intake button brings it down and rolls in and returns to the raised position when released, outtake rolls balls out, and if both buttons are pressed, it will go down and roll out, allowing us to better control opponent cargo.

Our climber also requires two buttons, but they work differently. One button will progress the climber to the next state, and the other is an undo button. There are 6 climber states, which usually would be placed on the operator to swap states, but since climbing is such a linear process, you can just use one button to go step by step, and an undo button if something messes up.

Also, using the drive joystick for multiple functions is ideal, because you don’t need to drive while climbing (We have one joystick control 3 separate subsystems at different climber states). So in total, we have one joystick and 4 buttons (out of 16) to control an Everybot intake and a traversal climber, this frees the operator to be a second pair of eyes for the driver, looking for the next pair of balls to run after.

Our team has the diver focus on the drive train and the operator focus on the shooter, index system, and climb systems. As the operator this year I had to learn how to work with our driver in cordinating his driving with my shooting. Our programmers had the genius idea to give control over the intake to both of us beacuse it also plays a roll in our indexing system. Me and the dirver worked out a system where he contorlled the intake on/off state, but I was responsible for rasing and lowering our intake arm. There are a lot of ways to make it work and it definitly depends on who is the driver and how they want to operate.

I drive the robot and control the intake. Our intake rollers turn on automatically. I control the intake because it’s one less thing for me or our drive coach to be telling the operator to do. I see the cargo as I drive around and use the intake accordingly.

Our operator only controls shooting until the climb. We’ve practiced enough that I can say “shoot two/one” while I’m almost lined up, and just as I finish lining up we begin shooting. The conveyor to our shooter and reloading the shooter is automated as well, so there’s even less for us to worry about.

We each have a button to reverse cargo out of the conveyor and intake, though he mostly leaves that to me since I have the intake controls.

The operator controls the entire climb. One button actuates the arms backwards, another forward, and there are buttons for extending and retracting the arms.

I would give an example of my team robot. The driver will drive the robot and the operator will intake and spin up the shooter and press the controller to shoot the cargo out

On my team the driver controls everything on the robot, and instead of a true operator our second only adjusts stuff on the computer as needed. Since we have a static hood with no aiming and automatic indexing the driver intakes, moves, shoots, and eventually climbs. The second will then use shuffleboard to do things like modify rpm values as needed, toggle our low/high goal shot, turn off the automatic indexing if something breaks, and watch the cam we have on the robot to help call out stuff related to intaking balls.

For our team, we usually split the controls between two drivers, one mainly controlling only the drivetrain and the other controlling every other subsystem. This year we did it a little differently, we also gave control of the shooter to the driver so that he is able to pre-rev the flywheels as we travel up to the hub tarmac to shoot.

Of course, before making any changes, the programmers made sure to touch base with the drive team to set the controls to their liking. The driver who controlled the drivetrain and shooter preferred the XBOX 360 controller, and the other driver who controlled everything else liked the Logitech controller. It was a win-win for all of us!

Our driver controls absolutely everything while our co-driver serves the role of a “drive coach” telling them where to go what balls to grab. Then the coach works as an alliance coach coordinating the alliance, yelling times, and scores/rp’s

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This year for our team I (the driver) have just about every control besides the climber. A lot of our robot is automated which takes out a whole layer of communication between the drive team out of the question. IMO you should give the driver as much as they can handle without hindering their ability to drive.

Exactly how our team works, having most things automated definitely helps with this.

We do the same thing. We originally had the driver only driving and intaking, but we found the communication overhead of when the driver stops to shoot and the operator actually doing the shoot to be detrimental, so we shifted the shooting controls to the driver too. The driver is the one running the show of where the robot goes, and they know when they want to shoot, so they should just have the button.

During teleop, all the operator does is control the climb and fix any situations that arise in the robot with override buttons, like a ball jam. They also spot balls for the driver. This has been working well.


that’s generally the same here. if there’s too many functions we may give driver one or two simple things like intake or something.

Our driver controls driving, aiming, and climbing. Our operator controls collecting/indexing, and shooting. Its worked so far

I can see what you mean by the driver and operator not knowing when exactly to shoot. But it hasn’t seemed to be an issue for us because I am lucky enough to have a operator who can basically read my mind at this point. But I can definitely see where that’s coming from and is a valid point.

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Our team has an adjustable hood using a motor so we found it is much easier for our driver to have control over drive, intake, shoot and climb. We automated aim with a limelight so our operator is mainly adjusting speed offsets on shooter of our shooting is not accurate. We found that one driver who controls most things can have faster cycle time.