Hi CD Community,
While competing in EF-6 at Battlecry @ WPI we experienced a new failure for us. We lost communication between our control system laptop and the FMS. We regained connection for a short period of time before it dropped again. It was the first time we had experienced any glitchy behavior from that laptop and the only failure we had at the event. We were told by the event staff that the issue was with our Ethernet port. Seeing as no other robots had issues with that particular driver station, I think their diagnosis is correct. We also saw no issues after the match when we performed our systems check and saw no issues prior to the failure. For the subsequent match we borrowed a USB to Ethernet adapter from our alliance captain 4564, Orange Chaos and had no issues.
We have a few Ethernet extensions and a USB to Ethernet adapter on their way but this seems more like a band-aid than a real solution.
This series of events has created a few questions:
Is there a good way to test the mechanical and software connection between the laptop and the FMS during match setup?
Is there any way we or FIRST could implement redundancy in that communication pathway?
What actions does your team take to avoid situations like this and have you ever detected a fault before it occurred on the field?