Today at the Indiana District Plainfield event we saw team 1747 (Harrison Boiler Robotics) accidentally cause the highest score I’ve ever seen in any FRC game. After talking with them after the match they told me their gyroscope wasn’t functioning, causing their robot to over-turn during their scale autonomous and get the arms stuck on the scale. Shortly after, one of the referees disabled their robot to prevent further field damage, and they were stuck pinning the scale for the remainder of the match (causing a 25 point Technical Foul every 5 seconds).
The ref in this match was counting a bit slow. There should have been 24 tech fouls granted, since the robot fell on the switch at T=120. Instead, a little over half that. But in the end it doesn’t really matter
Was going to start a thread to address our experience and hopefully start a conversation about how to avoid similar situations in the future.
This weekend at the Plainfield district event we had the unfortunate experience of being in what turned into a very high scoring match. In our first quarterfinal match our robot experienced a momentary loss of communications near the beginning of our autonomous routine which resulted in unintended movement. The robot pressed down on the scale for a couple seconds, at which point the FTA instructed the head ref to disable our robot under the assumption that “further damage was likely to occur” in accordance with G19. At which point a G25 foul was assessed every 5 seconds for the remainder of the match, resulting in a total of 785 foul points and a final score of 255-1080.
This match was by far the most demoralizing and least inspiring match I’ve ever been involved with. As the coach, I had to watch as my drivers realized the robot had been disabled. I then continued to stand on the field and watch as the head referee counted tech fouls. This already long, soul-crushing two minutes was then made worse by the growing sound of the opposing alliance cheering and chanting “kill” as the score continued to climb to eventually break 1000 points. Historically speaking, when teams win based on rules, such as red cards, it is not considered GP to cheer. The last thing my drive team, in tears, needed to hear was screaming.
While the huge number of points awarded is demoralizing, it’s not the problem. I strongly believe the robot should not have been disabled. The paramount responsibility of every volunteer and mentor at an event is to provide the best experience to the teams. Disabling the robot did not serve to that goal. While they couldn’t know for sure that our elevator would not break the scale, I think it’s reasonable to assume that after a few seconds of pushing with constant force, another few would not be likely to cause failure.
I do not believe any member of the field crew made any purposeful mistakes in their interpretation or execution of the rules as written by FIRST. I’d like to direct this thread towards ways to prevent other teams from dealing with similar situations in the future. What changes can be made? Is there any way to standardize offenses that justify disabling?
Moral of the unfortunate story…"check your auto routine " not sure what teams expect if their auto routine , in any way compromises the scale scoring in auto/teleop? That seems to be the precursor to this loss. Ignoring the ridiculously lopsided score.
We ran the same auto that successfully scored two cubes in the scale multiple times in the last two events. The auto relies on sensors, when we lose communication the sensors don’t work…but yeah we’ll make an auto that doesnt hit the scale next time, good idea.
I think expecting the other alliance not to be chanting “kill”. It sucks, no match should get that many tech fouls. Maybe cap the tech fouls for scale at the maximum amount of points able to be received by the scale?
Either way in this case a little more GP is needed. After all they had already won.
In this case, as in any other, autonomous fails in some way. There are a lot of ways autonomous can fail, and this year’s game challenges and field design inevitably lead to these issues. I would say these situations would be hard, or impossible, to remedy by “checking their auto”.
Teams that decide to** "go for scale**’ in auto : (and neutral) in auto are inherently taking on **more risk **of failure without a hard lower physical switch stop. Thats entirely a team/alliance decision to accept more risk and of the higher potential failure or higher gain, and they should assess that added auto risk of their *own decisions.
I don’t blame the rules about any team with a wild auto without safeguards completely compromising* a primary scoring platform** IMO
What is a hard switch stop? Assuming you’re just referring to a switch at the end of the elevator to zero the elevator that’s not what the problem was. The elevator and the drive both lost track of where they were when the robot reconnected. We can explore adding a thing to stop running the auto when the robot randomly loses connection.
My team was the alliance captain, and while the whole situation kinda sucked as an unfortunate confluence of rules, I’d say that it was more ridiculous than anything. This in no way is meant to invalidate the feelings from 1747’s drive team – I also know what it’s like to watch your robot get disabled due to unintended behavior and watch while you lose a match.
As such, my team was among those cheering from the stands for passing 1000 points – not because we were happy we were going to lose, but because we felt it was pointless and no one would be judging our (the alliance’s) performance based on the occurrence. I did not hear any shouting of “kill” from the crowd.
I am proud of our alliance for coming back from that match to play a very close 2nd match, which unfortunately did not go our way, but was “clean” in comparison to the first match.
Our drive coach spoke with 1018’s drive coach (opposing alliance captain) after we were eliminated, and he was very clear that winning on a technicality wasn’t what he wanted either. We’re friends with most of the teams we face in the arena and they do have gracious professionalism.
I will agree that something like this shouldn’t be allowed to occur, where the rules force you into endless penalties without possibility of relief when something is out of a team’s control. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how the disabling rule and the scale holding rules can be successfully be reconciled to prevent this possibility while still maintaining their intended effects on game play and field preservation. I’m interested in hearing from the broader community regarding this, and hopefully FIRST will take the matter into consideration.
So you want them to check what? They have run the same code multiple times and had it work. What do you expect them to find? The code didn’t magically change. They said the sensors didn’t do their job. They can’t control that, much less “check their auto” and find that. Yes there is a higher risk when going for more points, but sometimes you need to take a risk if you want to win.
Hard switch stop is placing a cube on a low target not a high one in auto. Teams again that push “the ultimate boundaries” of the game need to inherently take on more risk of** complete failure** thats the way risk/reward works. Do not blame “the rules” as thats completely displaced blame IMO. Every team got those rules on 1/2/2018 so all were aware of them for a very long time through build.
Whats the price of taking out a primary scoring platform in auto?
A: Grave, as expected
See Challenger, may god rest their souls. This all happened in auto that is not critical to team/alliance sucess, its really a hard life lesson of risk/reward calculations. Good it happened in just a game.
Unfortunately I don’t think there is much of a way to avoid this type of situation. If the field crew judge that a robot is out of control and likely to cause damage to the field, robots, or a safety issue then they get disabled. And if you cause a scoring field element to become inoperable you pretty much have to be assigned penalties to lose the match. To avoid the racking up of tech fouls there could be a time limit (say 15 - 25 seconds) that enforces a red card for the whole alliance at that point and no additional penalties. FIRST has used red cards for scoring element interference before, we unfortunately had to issue one during a Quals match last year at AZ North.
The one thing that could have potentially avoided this situation is if the FMS had the ability to disable a robot from its autonomous mode but not completely E-stop it, so that the team has the ability to control it still when teleop begins. But that is asking the field crew to judge the severity of a safety problem as to which disable type they use.
I imagine there are a few ways to make the match competitive and playable. One would be to stop scale scoring (or assign penalties to offset scale scoring exactly) for the rest of the match after assigning an initial penalty and disabling the interfering robot. With the interfering alliance down 1 robot and the scale out of contention, the match could still be won either way but the interfering alliance is at a disadvantage. Of course, this should only be done to mitigate the effect of accidental interference and can only apply when the issue is not egregious or strategic (this isn’t out of place since several rules look for the same criteria).
Another way would be to call a field fault and replay the match with either an interfering alliance disadvantage or with the robot in question disabled for the replay.
Either way, it isn’t really fun for anyone when a match goes the way that one did (except maybe the sheer excitement of seeing a high scoreboard), so regardless of risk/reward, etc., I am all for seeing rule changes in this particular setting, or at least considering changes as valid/important.
Agreed on the risk-reward trade off. For 5010, we chose to use a reverse launch which kept our robot away from the scale and never over it in order to avoid hitting the scale in auto in any way.
However, we were getting fouls for not being over the null line! Scoring the scale from that side is REALLY tricky! There’s barely enough room to be legal for a launch without hitting the scale or risking being over it. It’s hard to be that precise in auto as well. If you go for the other side you’ve got a lot more room to be launching from, but you’re not in a position to easily get that second cube.
We’re going to try adapting our auto to get ourselves a tiny bit closer this week, probably after we’ve raised our lower-four-bar. Maybe we can also get second cube routines in place as well.
Note, The robot ordinarily is never over the scale plate. All of our scale autos are accomplished by scoring over the back for the robot for that specific reason. The robot was over the plate was due to uncontrolled rotation, which happened twice in the course of the event.
Reviewing logs of that match, we saw a brief spike where the robot disconnected from the field at the time of the malfunction. It’s not clear what the root cause is at this time, but there was a great deal of packet loss in the period of time immediately proceeding and following the loss of communication, which is suspect. We will be replacing our radio as soon as possible and testing aggressively to replicate the issue prior to the district event at Harrison this week.