Good Control Ideas

For the Sacramento Regionals we devised a system that included a few unorthodox forms of control.

For the drive train we use a cheap video-game attack throttle and a steering wheel. This provides excellent control for the primary driver. For our team, our arm decided not to work midway through the regional so we decided to become a defensive bot. THESE ARE EXCELLENT CONTROLS FOR A DEFENSIVE BOT.

I would recomend an attempt at these controls for every team. They are way better than the tank drive with two joysticks.

Thanks for recommendation but for something like this it cannot really be determined which is best. It is a matter or opinion. I personally would rather have rocker switches over a steering wheel, I hate steering wheels on tanks. If the robot is built like a tank, the control interface should be like a tank.

And as for one joystick control, all I can say is “eewww” The real argument against it though is that one joystick control (and I assume a wheel would be the same) actually limits controlability.

Like, say you wanted to make one side run full speed forward while the other side does nothing. How do you do this with one joystick or wheel and throttle?

Two gearboxes, two joysticks.

Even better then two joysticks for tank drive is one joystick for tank drive.

But thats me. Everyone has their own view on it. The best interface is the one that the driver feels most natural with.

I still kinda of wonder about the steering wheel. It seems very clumsy, unless your bot uses automotive style steering.

-Andy A.

I wired up a little breakout box / y-cable that lets our driver select between 2- joystick drive, and 1 joystick drive with a flip of a toggle switch. Even lets them choose between the left and right joystick, in case we decided to use non-ambidextrious joysticks. (even though we didn’t…)

So now its not my problem, its the problem of whoever is driving. :smiley: Easy enough to program, and it was just a bit of a pain to make the box. Nothing too bad.

Our driver have a great say on the type of controls we use. Our OI is designed to be changed from two joysticks, to one joystick, to steering wheel and joystick throttle very quickly and with minimal programming changes.

I like your idea of adding a switch and code to change even quicker. Our coach and drivers change their mines by the hour.

personally I like to use something thats comfortable and will give me the most control of the robot hence a 4 joystick system.

To do this with one joystick drive put the joystick full to any of the angles.

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It depends on how you program it or set/position the joysticks. Normally, for a single joystick, you’d tilt the stick diagonally (like what CyberWolf said). For a throttle and joystick you’d turn the steering wheel to wherever it was programmed to only drive one side (I’m guessing about 1/2 the way to max turn).

I’ve used single, double joysticks, as well as a steering wheel and throttle. IMO, two joysticks are my favorite, I seem to have better reaction times and control with it. Team 254 uses a steering wheel and throttle to control their robot, they say its much easier to control a fast moving robot with a steering wheel and throttle vs. one/two joysticks.

WE made a miniture “model” of our arm to control the real arm with. The control arm was never used because the drivers like the joystick better. That control arm was our first semio-successful endeavor with closed loop control, but no one wants to use it.