Jumping the Gun on Teleop

This video brought up something that has been bugging me for a while. There seems to be a significant difference in the first movement of all of the bots on the field. The referees as they are positioned are never in a place to catch violations of drivers jumping the gun. Since this seems to never be called it leads to teams holding their controllers when the bell rings while other teams that know and follow the rules are several seconds slower.

One solution would be to actually police the current rule and have 1 referee positioned at the starting line. I don’t think this would compromise anything as on field fouls are rare at this point and there will still be one ref on each side. Personally, I think this “solution” creates more opportunities for fouls and judgement calls that I don’t like but would be better than the unregulated situation we have now.

My recommendation would be to allow students to approach the controls before the end of autonomous. This would mean they are ready to play as soon as their controls become enabled. I don’t think there is much/any risk of cheating here due to the way the FMS software works.

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There is also the solution FTC uses (Have a 5-second pause between auto and teleop so students can grab their controllers).


I’m not sure I see what you are referring to in this video. While it would appear that there is one or two robots in this match that appear to start moving 2-3 seconds after the rest do, I can’t see any evidence of a team “jumping the gun” so to speak.

The only team we can even really see clearly reaching for their controls is 2910, and their driver very clearly reaches for the controls after the buzzer sounds, signifying the end of the autonomous period. Looking even closer, I can notice the middle driver station on the other side of the field reaching for their controls almost simultaneously with 2910.


I’m seeing some difference in robots getting moving, but I can’t see the timer that indicates when exactly these periods begin. Here’s how I’m viewing the transition into Teleop.



These rules tell me that as soon as 15 seconds is over, those controllers are fair game. If I’m watching the clock, regardless of whenever the buzzer goes off, my students should be allowed to reach across that line without repercussion as the above rules imply.


The above rulings (particularly section d.) would imply that field sound is also not inherently part of the requirements of play and should not be the end all, be all indicator of when to touch the controls. I’m personally going to be playing by the timer nor do I judge teams for fighting for every second they can get.


Is the wireless communication between the driver and coach legal? …Although, it may be for the video recording. Nonetheless, is its use on the field allowed?

I believe the speed at which the robot moves at the beginning of the match is all based upon the drivers reaction time. Every robot on the field is enabled into “teleop” mode as soon as the teleop portion begins. There is a delay between autonomous and teleop (was longer than normal at chezy champs) which is when I would grab the controller when I was driver. As soon as the clock would hit zero in auton I would quickly grab the controls and hold down the joystick to what direction I wanted to go so that the robot would be quick and have a “jump” on everyone else. “The first phase of each MATCH is called Autonomous (AUTO) and consists of the first fifteen (0:15) seconds. During AUTO, ROBOTS operate without any DRIVE TEAM control or input.” This is how auton is defined, in the rule book. based off that as long as the drivers don’t grab the controllers during the defined 15 seconds in autonomous there shouldn’t be penalized.


The devices on the belts of the two individuals in the video are microphones used in the recording of the video by First Updates Now. I do not believe the audio from the microphones was played into the ear of either the driver or drive coach, but instead was just directed to the camcorder for the video.


I’m assuming you are referring to the mic that can be seen on 2910’s drive coach and driver. My understating is that these are there soley for FUN to record the audio behind the glass. These aren’t 2-way radios for the team to communicate with, just a recording device. My guess is that FUN had special permission from the head ref or someone of similar authority to both use these mics during the match, along with have their camera person standing in the driver station with them.

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I am not trying to say that anyone in this video did anything illegal, I don’t think we can determine that. What I am saying is that there is:

  1. Nobody refereeing this rule and that is a problem.
  2. Many teams are unclear when they can actually cross the line and are late doing it.
  3. Why is this even a thing that drivers need to race up to their controllers?

If that is your question, I would highly recommend editing your initial post to not reference the video you have.

Note, emphasis mine here.

The way your initial post reads, it sounds like this is exactly what you’re saying (clearly not your intentions as you have noted, I’m just letting you know how the post read to myself and others).

Just about every reply to this thread so far is running under the assumption that you’re implying something illegal/wrong was performed in the linked video.

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What would you do to make this more clear, given that the definition is already in the manual? Teams are already responsible for knowing/following what’s written there.


This is something that I’ve wondered for years. I don’t think it’s a safety thing*; I’d argue it creates an unsafe environment**. Even if drivers are jamming the sticks all the way forward, the robots won’t respond until they’re released to Teleop mode, right?
Is this anything more than Adding To The Spectacle***?

*Perhaps if a robot unexpectedly slams into the alliance station wall during autonomous, that could create some sort of situation

**I’ve seen drive teams trip and stumble over their own feet as well as others as they race to the sticks

***Not that there’s anything wrong with that


I think you are reading intent into my post that wasn’t there. The video serves to show how different robots get started at different times as my second sentence indicates.

Above I suggested removing this problem all together. Assuming that can’t or won’t be done I think the sounds and the delay between modes are both causes for student confusion.

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The very original reason was because teams couldn’t seem to grasp that “auto is for the robots” and were trying to figure out ways to control the bots in auto. This was back a bit, but I recall seeing quotes from @dlavery back in the 2003 timeframe to that effect. The idea was to back everybody up so it would be obvious that someone was reaching.

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Tangentially related, but I hate having to look across the field for the timer, especially if there are robots and field objects in the way.

Give each driver station a tablet-sized display in the corner of the glass that shows game data like time and game objectives completed. I wanna know how many balls I have left for the ranking point, or what the real time score is displaying. Why is it that at some regionals I have easy audience display view from my driver station and others I don’t? Why is it at some events one alliance color has a good view and the other one doesn’t? Screens at every stations solves this disparity.


This is very doable today (and much easier than it would have been in 2003)–I’ll leave the details as an exercise to the reader. The rule is important to retain for that reason. However, I think it would likely be an improvement to minimize the “race to grab controllers”, e.g. by having a few seconds of delay between auto and teleop.


Could this be accomplished at a discount by providing a feed that can be viewed on each team’s Driver Station laptop? I believe some of the information has been available in some years?


We train our drivers to go for the controls the moment the 15 second autonomous counter reaches 0. This results in getting the controls while the buzzer is buzzing. We are not even listening for the buzzer to be honest. This is our understanding of the rules.

One kind of interesting thing that we noticed is that with Cheesy Arena there is more of a delay before Teleop starts. After grabbing the controller, our driver would have to wait what felt like a full second before the robot started moving. This results in a lot of robots starting to move all at once.

With the FIRST FMS robots enable in Teleop faster which results in an even larger difference between when robots begin to move in Teleop.


I had a good talk with @EricH at tidal tumble about this. The same conclusion was drawn, everyone is good to go at the end of auto (which is t15, not the end of the sound). The disabled period feels like plenty of time to step forward and pick up the remotes, assuming you step forward at the earliest possible time, I think the game sounds could use some careful reworking to clear this up for drivers, maybe moving the bells to the end of auto and rolling the disabled period smoothly into teleop with no game sounds.


I like this. I personally would add an additional monitor to my driverstation to display this information because the laptop is usually between the two drivers and I don’t want to get in their way, so while there may be some disparity between teams there, I think having the information generally accessible would be a huge improvement to the drive team experience.