NJ Regional: IR Legality

At the NJ Regional today there were many good robots, however I did take notice to a team that seemed to drive their Robot using a custom made IR transmitter. I understand that this game was desgined for a ROBO Coach to make decisions for the robot based on ball position, position on the field, etc. But is a robot allowed to be entirely controlled by the Robo Coach during autnomous? It seems that this team stretched the rules to accomodate themselves and give them 15 extra seconds behind the controls of the robot. Any other thoughts on this?

The rules covering Robocoach interactions are covered under <R65>. Please read it carefully, and then post again if you still have questions.

I believe that its legal to make your own IR transmitter. If the distinct functions are left, right, faster, and slower, it would be possible to drive your robot.

Yeah you can mod your IR receiver. We juggled around the idea of adding 2 more IR eyes or taking off the eye and connecting it and the bored to a cable so we can get it up higher w/o putting the bored at risk of getting hit.

Thats our backup mode… as far as we could understand it is a legal operation as long as they are not holding down any buttons for sustained periods of time.

Upon further review, it still do feel they are in violation of rule 65.

Bullet #8: “use a maximum of four different inputs from the ROBOCOACH (e.g. use four differentbuttons) during any single MATCH”

Bullet #9: communicate no more than four messages, states or conditions to the ROBOT (please refer to Rule <R69> and Rule <G01> for additional information) during any single MATCH.

My interpretation of this rule is that you may push any combination of buttons a maximum of 4 times total. Thus meaning you may push one button four times, four buttons one time each, or any combination thereof but not to exceed a total of four button pushes.

With the aforementioned constraints, I feel it is impossible for a team to do what they did legally…score 28 points

I think you have a different interpretation of the rules than the rest of us do…the rule does say you can only use 4 different commands, but it says nothing about not being able to repeat a command.

If that was the case, why would it be posted in the rules in two bullets in a row, bullets 8 and 9. Please refer to my earlier post for more information regarding this matter.

This is contrary to most answers by the GDC in the Q&A as well as what I have seen as the reading of the majority of CD users.

You may have 4 buttons that perform the same action each time they are pressed. You may press them any number of times at any point during the full 2:15 of the match. You may not hold them down in order to send multiple signals or obtain a different functionality.

The rule limits how many different commands you can use, not how many times you can use each command. I think this is what you are confused about.

Although I can understand why you interpret it the way you do…it does make sense. Still, it seems to me that there would be a very specific prohibition of repeating any command if your interpretation were actually what the GDC had in mind.

I came up with a way to get both balls of, with only pressing 2 buttons. Unfortunatly I didnt have time to work on it though. Hopefully I get some time Thursday at Wisconsin.

This is an incorrect interpretation.



Would commands like this be legal?

A: Turn Left
B: Go Straight and increase speed 5%
C: Turn Right
D: Go Straight and decrease speed 5%

Note: The straight command would be from 0-250 with 125 being in the middle of reverse and forward so that if you decreased speed enough, you would end up going in reverse. You really end up with four commands, forward, reverse, left or right. I am just not sure about the legality of the incremental increases/decreases in speed. On the other hand, increasing straight speed by +5% is a single command and decreasing straight speed by -5% is also a single command. Each time you push the “B” button speed increases by 5% and each time you push the “D” button speed decreases by 5%.

If this is not legal, would having:

B: Go straight at x% speed forward
D: Go straight at x% speed reverse

A and C would be in the direction and speed previously set by B or D

From what I saw in Hybrid today, it appears that some teams are using this type of setup.

A and C are definitely legal, provided that they are not dependent on time of button press.

B and D are a little harder. It looks](http://forums.usfirst.org/showthread.php?t=8370) like they are legal, but you might want to have them “at a given speed (> or < current speed)” instead of “at a given percentage of speed”.

To clarify. I am not a programer by any means. They talk about speed as some kind of multiplier and percent of power, turbo mode etc. As our robot stands right now we only have the foward motion at a set speed, whatever way they set it, I know it is not full speed (18fps) which you could not rely on IR to control very well. You just push whatever button and the robot goes straight at a constant speed. And they have a button to stop all motion, just in case. From what I saw today, it looks like some teams have a reverse and I know our programers talked about adding it and that they wanted to keep stop, probably wisely, as the fourth option instead of reverse. It also looks like teams are changing the speed of the forward motion.

What team are you talking about…because we scored 28 points in hybrid (3 lines, 2 balls knocked down), and we certainly don’t drive the robot fully. Basically, the robot is already preprogrammed to do a desired route around the field with input from the gyro and optical encoders, the job of the robocoach is only to “nudge” the robot left or right depending on where the balls are. We spent significant time working on and developing the remote and the code t make it just righht. If you are at the NJ Regional we have a Design & Manufacturing Notebook where it goes into more detail.

P.S. Sorry if i sounded a bit mad…

we have 4 commands on our custom IR transmitter. They are

  1. Raise our lower mast section for 4 seconds, then retract
  2. Set a timer to 0 and Drive forward for two seconds, then stop
  3. Set a timer to 0 and Turn left for two seconds, then stop
  4. Set a timer to 0 and Turn right for two seconds, then stop

Pressing the buttons repeatedly result in the same function, thus we can mash the buttons for continuous driving. In addition, we can have multiple functions functioning simultaneously because of timers (IE we can raise the arm up and go foward)