Driver's Controls

Whats does your team use to control the drive? one joy stick, 2 sticks, tank, steering wheel?

two joystick tank drive system…with a third joystick for JJ…hes our mini-bot

We have one joystick that controls our four wheel drive bot. Another switch panel covers everything else (wing deploy, anchors, teather…)

  1. 2 joysticks for our tank drive system. thumb and triggers are used to contol the arms

2)One joystick to release the ramp for the mini-bot(trigger), control the turret for the mini-bot(x-axis), and drive the mini-bot(y axis)

3)One little green button we use at the beginning of each match to drive our arms to a preset position.

1 stick to control the big bot
2 sticks buttons for our grippers
1 big red button for secret weapon


1 joystick tank drive for steering and a hoopla of switches used to control our hook, dampeners, and (coming soon) go home devices.

Hehe, ready? =)

To drive our robot, we have one joystick, and one dial hooked up to a pot. The dial is used to change the orientation of our wheels by matching its pot to the pot hooked up to the steering chain on our robot. The wheels (all four of them) stay parallel to each other, thus if the dial is turned 90 degrees to the left, all the wheels would be pointing left in relation to the frame of our robot. The Joystick is mainly used for throttle, although here comes the fun part:

I programmed the power output to the wheels to respond just like a tank drive would. This allows us to easily change the orientation of our frame, which would not have been controllable otherwise. Now, if you truly understand how all that works, you would have noticed that once the wheels turn past 45 degrees in orientation, a simple left turn tank style would do nothing because the wheels would start canceling out. This is because what used to be the left side of the robot, is now actually the front or rear. To correct this, I simply swapped two of the corner outputs once the pot read that it was turned passed 45 degrees (and swap them again if it was passed 135 degrees). This corrects the problem quite nicely, and lets me have a fun time driving the thing =)

So basically… we have 360 degrees of movement, and we can ‘crab’ from side to side (or diagonal to diagonal) like a goalie strafing to protect the ‘goal’, mua ha ha. We call this complicated system of technical hoopla, Swerve Drive… how many degrees does your robot handle? :cool:

we have 2 joy sticks to drive and a control box. i’ll let tim explain the “DOUBLE SECRETE OVER-RIDE BUTTON” if he wants to…

*Originally posted by fast frank *
**we have 2 joy sticks to drive and a control box. i’ll let tim explain the “DOUBLE SECRETE OVER-RIDE BUTTON” if he wants to… **

Well I’m the control box guy so I guess I’ll explain the control box:D

Most of our functions or automated. We have a switch for Ball Load posistion. It brings the basket to right underneath the lip of the playerstation to load the 10 balls, then we have a base position, which is the most stable possition while still being able to grab onto a goal. Once we attach to a goal (semi-automated, but automatic in the mechanical sense of the word, not programmed) we then have the “Dump” posistion, which is very appropraite because it send the basket up the next 4 feet and out so it can dump balls. One more button press and the balls are dumped.

In case of other needed movements we have override buttons. If you hit the override button for the Basket functions it turns the LOAD posistion button into the controler for the basket tilt in/out
and the DUMP button goes to control the actual Height (extension) of the basket/arm.

BUT we thought that “What if one of the limit switches is malfuntioning, THE ROBOT WON"T WORK!!” so we Installed the INFAMOUS “DOUBLE SECRET OVERRIDE MODE!”

The simple override still listens to limit switches so you can’t send things out of the extent. HOWEVER the DOUBLE SECRET OVERRIDE LISTENS TO NO LIMIT SWITCHES!!! NONE!! and the little LED’s that tell you whether you are in Manual(override) or Automatic mode BLINK!! THEY BLINK!!! IT IS SOOOO COOOOL!!!
Come by our Pit at the NATS for a Demonstration of our ■■■■■■■ Control system!!!
YEAH!!! 271!!!

the main driver has one stick for drive and a small switch box for the goal clamp and brake.

The second driver has a switch box that controls the hopper dump and rollers. The rollers acutally are an art to control. Not only do they have to be triggered at the right time as the bot is driven near a ball, but their speed must be adjusted. As more balls are in the hopper, it takes more power from the rollers to displace the collected balls with the ball being collected. So, as we drive down the side line the rollers must have their speed dialed up (with a pot) and constantly adjusted to keep balls going into the hopper, but not so fast that they bounce out of it. It’s a real balencing act.

Thats about it. I would like to hear from two stick teams why they use two joy sticks. According to our programer, the change in the program needed to use one stick is pretty simple. So why use two? Do the drivers just prefer it? I can’t stand two stick driving…

-Andy A.

We originally had one joystick steering, and a little control box with a switch for high/low gear, a switch for fwd/rev driving, a switch to turn on the fiberglass roller, a pot to control the speed of the roller, a switch for the Sickle of Death, and a switch for the side arms.

But, a few minutes before our first practice run at J&J, the drivers told me to change it to two joystick steering, so that’s what it is now. Later in the competition, our limit switches that detect high/low gear malfunctioned, and the robot, thinking that it was in neutral, started turning to the left (that’s what I’ve programmed it to do when it’s in neutral). So I converted the roller switch to a shift-override switch.

Well, we made a pretty simple control system.

2 joysticks, mostly out of MY (i love being a programmer/driver) preference. i feel that with 2 joysticks, i get a lot more control over the robot, even if it is a bit harder to drive. so, on one side, we have the two joysticks.

one the otherside, we have 5 switches. one of the switchs got screwed up when i soddered them (i think i burnt it out), but that doesn’t matter, cause we only use four. Switch one controls our “Super-Dooper-Kick-Butt Treads”. by flipping the toggle down, it sends a signal to pop out two pistons, which deploys the treads. switch two controls a third piston on the back, which does absolutly nothing. switch three makes the robot’s orientation switch. basically, front becomes back, back becomes front. useful incase we want to start backwards, or if you just get confused when driving in reverse :p. switch four will manually override the compressor. we thought it sucked up too much juice, so if we needed more power, we flipped it off. of course, we never bothered to program a LED to say when there was full air, but that’s a minor difficulty :D. if the treads need to go down, you hit that switch :p.

that’s pretty much our control system. nothing fancy, in fact, it really kinda sucks (it’s too heavy). but i designed it so i’m happy with it. it also gets the job done, so i’m not complaining. if you feel like seeing it, drop by, although it’s nothing special.

2 joysticks to control our 2-wheeled drive system, and buttons that are on the joysticks. Just the button & trigger. One driver for the whole thing, very, very easy to drive…

For some people, two joysticks are a lot more comfortable then one joystick. If our robot was a pure tank drive, I would have programmed it for two joysticks cause that would also have to be my number one choice… but like I said, if we want to go somewhere we just ‘crab’ :smiley:

*Originally posted by purplehaze357 *
**two joystick tank drive system…with a third joystick for JJ…hes our mini-bot **

Since people are talking about their other controls I figured I would add to purplehaze’s repsonse. Our robot has two independently controlled arms, that can extend and retract, rotate forward and back 25 degrees. Each have a claw at the end to grab or release the goal.

The operator has complete control of each arms’ functions. We use a pot to pot control for the arms rotations. Momentary buttons to control the extension and retraction. A momentary button allows the operator to toggle the claw open or close. The best switch on the control box is the smart mode switch, which allows the arms to grab the goals automatically. The operator can override certain functions while in smart mode.

We also have a switch for the transmission(Hi to Lo). And another switch to activate JJ. The last switch is a reset button to put the bot back into its starting position. That is 10 digital inputs and 2 analogs inputs going through the box alone. We built the box and code well before the bot was finished. We tested and debugged in about 2 days of actual time with the robot.

Let’s see…

standard two joystick tank drive…
left joystick trigger - fire front grabber
right joystick trigger - fire rear grabber
right joystick top - hold to reverse controls

Then we have a box… 2 rocker switches, one for each grabber mechanism… up = grab goal (auto), down = release goal (auto)

Then we have 2 switches for manually releasing a goal, these override everything in case the limit switches are malfunctioning… (ego dunno why they would tho, I rigged most of them myself /ego)

The automatic functions allow it to grab faster, but they’re not really needed. Just icing on the cake.

We have two joysticks and some buttons. Works well, easy to use.

Our control box last year was a total mess, so this year I decided to work hard at making a good looking one. One joystick does the driving (if anything I don’t want to have to wire a Y cable like last year which is what we would have to do if we wanted 2 joystick) and a switch box does all the rest. Made that out of a transparent blue and white material - looks really cool. For functions, we have 2 two position switches for front and rear latches (which are passive latches, aka, one position is to release, the other is to stay latched or be in the correct position to latch). Three position momentary switches do our elevator, shock absorber manual controlls, and collector height. A regular three position controlls which end of the robot is the ‘front’ with the middle position being neutral - great while working on the robot and you don’t want it to move but still have functionality. Single push button does our dropdown (all automated) and another puts our ball collector at approximately the correct height (pots aren’t perfect :-/ ). Finally, one last three position switch does our collector wheel and a two position red on/off switch is a sensor override.

~Tom Fairchild~, who was proud to use all the binary variables in the code w/o using a Y cable.

Control System for Pegasus 4.0

Our driver gets 1 wonderful Joystick to drive around in slow speed tank steer, pull the trigger to go to full 100% speed tank steer. Press the top button to engage ‘Sidestep’ which is our version of swerving such that the robot follows the joystick keeping its orientation when the top button is pressed. We added a Pot that selects Joysticks 1-4 and shows the joystick calibration on 4 LED’s in a diamond pattern which is handy and works right before the start while the robot is still disabled. The manipulator is 2 more joysticks one to move the goal grabber in-out and release, the other to suck/shoot balls and raise/lower the boom. Calibration turns out to be really important once you pass the 10 ft/sec limit.

tank steering with 2 joys (trigger for front grippers), joy for the mouse, box for amp, spear, and side grabber also HUD glasses,
simple but effective :slight_smile: