Is this change to the controllers legal?


I’ll flip it around… What makes you think it wouldn’t be?

My team has had rule problems in the past when we have gotten to comp so just making sure it would be legal and not in violation of R710.

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R710 doesn’t apply to the OPERATOR CONSOLE.

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I dont see any mention of joysticks, gamepads, driver input devices, or anything else resembling that in R710, so I’d say youre good for that one

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Ok thanks just trying to get a second opinion to make sure its legal.

The only issue I could see would be R904, but only if the shaft is more than 5 feet long.

While I don’t believe your solution to be illegal, what problem are you trying to solve?


I’ll flip it back the other way - why would you want to do this (vs using one joystick)?

Added: (Sorry @brennan-macaig, I missed your post on my first read; essentially the same question).


No worries - in either case, I believe this is a great example of The XY Problem.

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It’s like pic: Team 857, Kiwi control solution, but that at least had a reason.


The reason for it is that in the construction of our robot our main drive broke his elbow and is now only able to use one hand. As he is the only person on our team with actual driving experience this was our solution to still allow him to drive.


Can you clarify how this solution is enabling your driver to drive? Is your Operator assisting the Driver in controlling the robot, or does the linkage help your Driver to operate both sticks?

Sounds like the latter to me.

@gravesdavidm, have you looked at switching to an arcade drive control style? This can be controlled with a single joystick input


First of all it is the latter we have tested it and with tank drive on our robot it seems best to use this configuration rather than just one.

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I will add that it is refreshing to see a hardware team solving a problem instead of just throwing it over the fence to software. :smiley:

If it works better than your other options, go for it!

EDIT: Sorry, Fletch, meant to reply to the OP.


Just to clarify, “tank drive” has multiple meanings here.

  1. In the context of a drivetrain, it refers to 2 parallel sets of wheels with each side driven by a single gearbox and chain/belt connecting the wheels.
  2. In the context of user input, it refers to using 2 joysticks with each independently controlling one side of the drivetrain.

For the second definition, an alternative control scheme is called “arcade”, which involves using both axes of a single joystick and “mixing” the values to determine the outputs to each side of the drivetrain. In short, both input styles can control a tank-style drivetrain.

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The main rules for operator controls is that it fit the size constraints and that it wired to the operator station. So it can easily made in a rule compliant way as other have already said. You could probably do something a little more elegant, but do what works for your driver. Maybe a controller with a twist axis to rotate the robot. Sort of a variation of an arcade drive.

Two knuckleheaded questions.

  1. why not have the driver take a different role thay only needs one hand, and train someone else to drive? *
  2. how about using a gamepad controller: smaller and maybe can be used with a broken elbow?

*Gotta happen eventually.

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My initial surface thoughts were: the driver has years of experience with the two large joysticks, therefore stick with the original control scheme

But this isn’t the original control scheme. It feels like a hardware solution to one better tweaked in software, a software solution as straight forward as swapping controllers/ remapping buttons.

This makes me think:

  1. Either the software support is not there to make any changes and the hardware is the only way forward
  2. Other factors within the team don’t trust software to make any changes
  3. There is a significant time investment in the original control scheme, so much so that it is a sunk cost fallacy.
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