Keyboard as driverstation

Has anyone used a keyboard as a controller on the driver station.

We need a lot of buttons until our arcade board is built and im looking for solutions

How many is “a lot”…? Theres a limit to the number of buttons sent per controller in a DS data packet

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what about software buttons on a smartdashboard?

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30ish. Would that be over the packet size?

These are boolean buttons id hope i could fot that in a single word

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Thats an option. Id probably rather temporarily use a keyboard if i can

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I believe the limit is 32 per joystick

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Gotcha. Driver station supports 4 joysticks though and id guess most teams dont use more than 1.

Sounds like theres not really a keyboard capability

building a custom driver station panel with generic physical buttons is a fun project if you have the time for it. There are also flight sim joysticks with at least 15 buttons on each so you could do that. Ive seen more than a few teams run more than 2 joysticks.

What leads you to think that? Most teams use at least 2, one gamepad for a driver and one gamepad for a manipulator. Some teams use 3, if they use two separate joysticks for the driver and one gamepad for the operator. Or, if they use a gamepad for the driver and operator plus some toggle switches and/or arcade style buttons on their operator console. Could easily get to 4 if they use two joysticks, a gamepad, and operator console inputs. I think of any option, only having one joystick input would be the least common.

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Where did you hear this? The driver station has 6 joystick slots.

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I wonder if you could use an Elgato StreamDeck, possibly with the Companion app.

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I just remebered wrong

per driver

Can you point to documentation that has this? Genuinely have no idea if this is documented somewhere.

It doesn’t say 6, but the screenshot of the DS shows 6 slots. Joysticks — FIRST Robotics Competition documentation

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I’ll let you open the issue. :slight_smile:

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Our team is working to prototype using a Streamdeck. Connecting it to the driver station and sending updates via Network Tables. There’s a python library for interfacing with the streamdeck and python library to communicate with network tables. We’re envisioning running a NT client on the driver station laptop independent of the NI driverstation software.

Bypassing the joystick interface means we can leverage updating the icon status on the streamdeck. It remains to be seen if we get it working and if it’s useful.

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The closest (and coolest) I have seen is a few years ago. 6763 used a guitar hero guitar. I bet you could use a midi pad to do a lot of things, but you may need a wrapper to get the commands to the driver station.

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I’d use less buttons! In my experience, control schemes that require a ton of buttons end up with the operator staring down at the board the whole time, and not at the robot.

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Here to say that 30 buttons is WAYYYYYY too much. That’s a lot of functions for your driver’s to remember and in the heat of the moment, they won’t.

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