Initial Robot Positioning

Robots are generally set up directly in front of their drivers for the start of the autonomous. If you ask your alliance members could you switch the positions of your robot? For example if you are the middle team in your alliance but your autonomous code works perfectly only if you are along the far left, could you ask to make the switch?

Also I’m looking at page 36 of the manual and it talks about placement order, is that just when the robots are brought out to the field?

This was done frequently last year. If you want to change your robot positioning, you need to let the Head Ref know during match setup. If you don’t, your driver station dictates where your robot goes for the match. As far as I know, the placement order is for when robots are brought to the field; hence the section about the Head Ref requiring alternate placement of all alliances’ robots when an alternate arrangement is approved.

If I’m missing something, please let me know. The wording of this had me a little confused.

See rule G01 for all the conditions that need to be met at the start of the match.

There is no requirement that robots start in front of their assigned stations.

The robots can start anywhere as long as they are touching the driver station wall, you need to coordinate with your alliance in queue for where you are putting your robot. Last year we only ran left or right auto and never middle even if we were middle driver station. You could even have two bots start within a few inches of each other as long as you know they will run their course right without interference.

Awesome thank you all!

– Greetings from Team 5557 BB-R8ERS

I can’t recall there ever being a restriction that your robot starts in front of your driver station (in at least 10 years). The alliance strategy dictates where you start. That’s part of the game planning.

The rule for order of robots being brought out applies if your placement strategy is dependent on the other alliance’s placement. In that case, there is a clause that allows a fixed, fair, and non-ambiguous solution. It is rarely (if ever) invoked.

The major problem in this game is that all teams wil have is collisions in auto unless they write far more code options for auto sequences this year. See, the FMS will deliver the sequence of code colors LLR, LRL RRL, and yet to be determined is if there are more examples than are actually shown in the white paper explaining it such as LLL or RRR…I’d certainly suggest that be 1 of the questions asked immediately by some student in the Q&A on Wednesday!

SO…the drivers station will receive the color sequence just before auto starts, and your writen code instructions will choose which of many chosen written auto programs your robot will carry out, but your robot will be rarely in the best position to carry them out without an alliance robot also taking a path that could lead to a collision or multiple collisions during the next 15 seconds. Adding delays amongst alliance partners will be a must in auto this year on the fly, and must be strategic decisions no matter the robot placement. You will need to discuss very early on who will have their robot move first, second or third, in each possible FMS choice made. THAT IS FOR EVERY MATCH PLAYED WEEK 1 THROUGH EINSTEIN, practice, qualifying, playoffs, etc.

If this isn’ the first strategic decision made, then I will easily predict many ruined auto sequences and collisions will result. AND VERY LITTLE AUTO SCORING, by all but a small hanful of great collaberators.

Add to that, even if robots miss one another, but the incorrect path is chosen, you could actually get the auto right, but deliver into in the wrong colored side of the scale or switch.

Since there is no drive teams hands on, on those auto code choices at the time FMS randomizes the order, all the strategy must be discussed long in advance among alliance partners, and i will suggest that the new Technicians position was specifically created to handle the issue among other things. TEAMS would do well to take full advantage of that additional drive team member(s), they should meet early on, like as soon as the match sheets are published and distributed to teams, decide in each published match who needs what delays entered, who needs to move first, second, third in each random FMS choice and plan accordingly. Then adjust the possible necessary auto code choices…then in queing, again confirm those choices for any last minute adjustments by drive teams when setting up and connecting the drivers stations.

THE SCENARIOS ARE MANY. The collisions will be many. The auto sequence code choices must be many for each team. EVEN THOSE JUST DRIVING STRAIGHT TO SIMPLY CROSS A LINE. It is going to take huge collaberation efforts just to avoid even the best robots. I can forsee many team members in other team members pits all year long helping them write or adjust code to simply avoid them hitting their own robots during auto. Maybe there is no coopertition physical field element, but there is the element added to the very beginning of the game.

The collisions will be many


I completely agree with that statement, and I think everyone else will as well. I’d like to have as little on-the-fly programming as necessary, so I may try to have a couple settings for path choices that may be able to occasionally work around other alliances’ auton. Although, I didn’t actually think about the robots “taking turns”; that is also another option. I was just thinking have a set of paths that would go closest to the switch, one that would swing out wide to follow the edge of the field, etc.

I would like to suggest one proposed standard:
All teams that are ONLY trying to cross the autoline, have a 10 sec delay before moving.

That’s a great idea; except that obviously, not everyone will see this. I love the idea, maybe to let other teams know before the queue? Then they can just add a delay to their code.

but don’t encourage untested code to be on the field with you.

Very true, but I’d hope if this came about most teams would have a system to change their code that works reliably: timers or measurements.

This year and the year before, for my FTC team, when we were setting up and choosing the autonomous, we had an option for putting a delay in, in increments of a single second. This would allow us to let our partner go do something, and once they are out of the way, we could go do our thing and shoot and park. This was built into the autonomous selector, so FRC teams could basically have a slider on the dashboard, and have the slider’s value be linked to a wait command.

I don’t know why that didn’t even come to mind. It’d be awesome for teams to have a delay built into their code, that can be changed from the smart dashboard. No changing code, no re-uploading. that’s a great idea!

The alliance gets to pick how their robots set up. The rule about placement is really only supposed to be invoked if an alliance’s strategy for initial placement is based on the opposing alliances strategy for initial placement. I think that the default last year of lining up in front of your own station was based more on post-autonomous strategy and sight lines than auto strategy.