Flag Solutions...

I see problems with all the types of team distinguishing methods so far. I am not going to restate what has been said, so instead of bashing their ideas why don’t we try to help the GDC out a little bit. Seriously considering we participate in a robotics competition i think its fair to say that we are a smart group of people. We overcome much bigger problems than team identification in six weeks. Now we have several months to figure some kind of solution.

So stop complaining and come up with real solutions, and I am sure the GDC will gladly take our suggestions.

Personally i would like to see something more technological considering its a robotics competition, but at this point lets not hold back and come up with some killer Ideas FIRST Students are known for! :cool:

Let’s collect a few here:

Colored bumper patches were suggested.
I suggested taking this year’s diagnostic light and making red and blue versions that are easy in, easy out–it’s easily bright enough. (Previous LEDs weren’t.)
Keep the flag and secure it better.

I bet there are some more somewhere.

I’m not so sure about bumper patches. The flags are hard enough to see as a ref when things are moving fast and you’re trying to watch all that you can. It would be a good deal harder to have to look down at bumpers. Also, there are a number of teams that decide not to use bumpers, or make their own (though personally I think they are a great thing).

I would agree with a thoroughly tested light that could be used as both a debugging tool and a status indicator, but if we were to go back to small lights they will need to be a bit more robust, and somewhat brighter, than old ones. This year’s lights were certainly able to take a hit (I saw a number of them fly off and end up on the field, but none of them ever broke) unlike the previous years’ LEDs, or the even older dome lights. I do like IFI’s steps towards a useful on-field debugging system though. You can check radio transmissions all you like, but seeing that a light is not on, or not acting properly, (so long as it works in the first place) is a very good indicator that something is not right.

Insert the flagstick into a one-hole stopper (see pic) and push this firmly into the standard flagholder. The flag is far less likely to be launched as we have seen on too many occasions.



Have teams ship two robots: One painted red and one painted blue. :stuck_out_tongue:

The only problem I see with the flags is the fact that they fall out. The previous suggestion of using a rubber stopper or something of that sort would work except for the fact that we have yellow flags now. Both have to be able to fit.

Maybe, instead of something like that, the standard flag holder could be changed to include short peices of surgical tubing attached (with screws or zipties?) in such a manner where both flags will fit, and they will be somewhat secured.

Actually this has been done – by collaborating teams. See 968 and 254.

thats crazy… Crazy Awesome!

OK everybody Partner up next season is going to be very different!

how about a treaded adapter

What would be really cool is if you did the Red/Blue with cold cathodes! And had them dance in a pattern! That would be cool. Then for the yellow, use this year’s diagnostic light. Seems good to me!

EDIT: I guess that would mess next year’s game up then.

I posted this in the other thread

I vote to go back to the LED’s. I think in the past we just had the wrong LED’s

These are the ones to go with


These are the new LED’s Police agency’s are starting to use.

SUPER BRIGHT, Alot of agencies around me use them and brag you can see them a mile away.

Kinda of expensive, but have dropped alot since they were mass produced about 3 years ago.

Here is a video to show you how bright they are


[edit] just noticed these are the self contained ones, they also have wired ones[/edit]

Thats the kind of thing i am talking about! Just got to be careful of vision sensors i think.

i like non luminescent like flags or bumpers
it could get hard to drive the robot with all that bright light on the robot

Personally, I would like to go back to the police lights that were on 2002 bots… that’s just me. :smiley:

Too many bad memories of shattered plastic all over the field… :eek:

I know everyone is saying use these LEDs these are bright, wait no use these these are brighter. But like I have said before I don’t think it is too important to have a bright LED. Think about it if you have an LED that has a 30 degree viewing angle and a diffused LED which one will you beable to see from any point you stand around it? the diffused you can see from more then 1/2 a sphere around it. All I am saying is don’t jump the gun. Besides what is simpler and cheaper, because supposed they muke us make our own but give us instructions.


Do something similar to this year…

White status lights with red and blue interchangeable plastic covers. Team color indication, Robot status indication, one package.

…Problem solved. Now somebody design it. :wink:

What about instead of the Orange Diagnostic light, make it have a clear dome, add those super bright LEDs and then you basically have a Diagnostic light that is set to the team color… and for the people saying “Oh, well if the robot loses the connection to IFI, it doesn’t know what color it is” then instead of letting the RC control the light color, have a SPDT switch to set the color of the light. I personally do not like the flags as it does not say “Hey I’m on the Red alliance!!! Woo!!!” but it says “I’m red…” LEDs stand out much more than a flag, and if FIRST gets the high powered LEDs, then we should definitely use them.

If we go back to the rotating lights or start to use super bright LEDs that can be seen from a mile away (assuming we don’t blind someone in the process) then won’t they affect the vision systems?

I don’t have too much experience working with the CMUcam and my team hasn’t been able to get the thing to work for the past 3 years, so someone correct me if I’m wrong. If one of these lights shines into a camera won’t it basically wash everything else out and therefore cause the camera to loose a lock on a target?

Why not use A FIRST Robotics favorite… ducktape and zip ties :cool: I’m sure we can come up with something incorperating both of those haha

This brings up an interesting point as well. Instead of messing up the vision system, next year it may open up a whole new can of worms and the robots have to work together in autonomous to complete a certain task and the robots find their partners by the lights and then communicate using IR or something.