Driver? or Drivers?

Hey Everyone I was just wondering if we need to have two drivers or if we could just have one? If we are required to have 4 people up there then could the other “driver” just sort of hang out?

It is legal to do so but you might as well have them do something; one of our “DRIVERS” drives the chassis and the other controls the mechanisms like an arm or shooter.

Sometimes two drivers makes it harder. Having one driver aim the robot while the other one shoots might be hard to coordinate without a lot of practice. If it doesn’t make sense to separate the functions for your robot, don’t do it. But you should still have 4 on your drive team. The second “driver” slot can help keep an eye on the whole field. They can warn of approaching robots, look for loose Frisbees, etc. You can use the slot to get rookie team members used to what kind of pressure they will face next year. You may have a member who can’t drive, but can line up the robot for autonomous perfectly each time. Or the programmer might need to be out there to see what the driver means when they say that it “just doesn’t work”. You can rotate people through so they can have the experience of being on the field. Both “drivers” are not required to have controllers in their hands and be driving the robot.

We’re trying to have preprogrammed motions (requires encoders and whatnot) for our robot. So we’ll have one driver for the chassis, and one as a switch operator to execute the programmed motions who also can do manual control of those parts.

We always separate the control responsibilities - one person drives, the second person controls the mechanisms. It requires attention and communication, but it’s worked out well so far. Having one person do everything has proven in the past to be very stressful.

However, given our design this year, there isn’t really much for the second person to do… we’re a 50 pt climb/dumper, and the entire process is supposed to be automated. We’ll just have to hit 1 button when we line up and sit back and watch!

We also have more sensors on the robot than we ever have in the past - 2 encoders, 3 potentiometers, and 4 limit switches. All to control 9 motors… given the amount of feedback we have, this thing had better be automated!

Just a note that having two ‘coaches’ (the second driver looking for frisbees or robots) can be just as confusing if not more so than having two drivers. Basically, the moral of the story is to do what works for your team with your robot in this game, this year. But try it first! Simulate it as best you can at your shop, and at the very least use your practice matches wisely. There are tons of great things you can do with those 4 people. The only relevant hard and fast rules that come to mind are:

  1. at least 3 pre-college students, all wearing buttons (without stickers)
  2. maximum 2 pre-college students may control the robot
  3. only 1 pre-college student may touch frisbees (may not be in set 2)
  4. if present, non pre-college person cannot control robot or touch frisbees, and must wear coach button (yellow sticker)

You should always have two drivers. The “lead” driver should control the actual robot, and the “Second” driver should run the controls. It just makes it easier for everyone. Specially with this years game.

There are a few situations where a single driver can be appropriate and better than two drivers, but a game where you have to control a potentially complex frisbee management system, shooter, and / or hanging mechanism likely isn’t one of them.

Always have 4 people on the drive team regardless, if you have to you can give some low level coaching duties (e.g. reading the clock) to the second “driver”.

Your second driver should be able to bench press a robot so you will have some one to lift it down from zone 3. Should be tall as well. :yikes:

While it may seem initially that the robot could be driven better by a single person (no need to sync movements with the other driver), in practice it does not work that way. At the actual competition the pressure put on the drive team is incredible and arguably comparable to any other sport at the state level. As a result, having many tasks assigned to a single person can go wrong very easily.

It may seem hard to coordinate action between the two drivers at first but with some practice two drivers quickly outperforms a single driver. Our drivers after minimal practice were able to coordinate extremely well.