PDA's in the player station?

Are you allowed to have a PDA used as a real time scoring device in the player station?

I don’t know about PDAs, but I know you can use a laptop (because of the dashboard). I’d assume a PDA would fall under the dashboard rule.

Robot Rules document, page 16, section 3.3.3 - Dashboard Port:

“Teams are permitted to connect a portable computing device (Laptop computer, PDAs, etc.) to the RS232 Output of the Dashboard Port of the Operator Interface for the purpose of displaying feedback from the robot while competing in FIRST Robotics Competition matches.”

So a PDA is allowed at the driver station, but it seems to get a little fuzzy regarding using it for score computation. To me, the above rule implies that you are only supposed to use it as a display. I am inclined to believe that actively using the PDA for scoring is illegal, but this would be a good question for the FIRST Forums.

ok, two questions now…
Can we have a laptop AND a pda hooked up at the same time?
And also, the rules say that we can use some device to display feedback from the robot. Since it does not say that we can’t use it for scoring, does that mean we can do so?

*Originally posted by crispyc *
Can we have a laptop AND a pda hooked up at the same time?

You should have FIRST clarify this by asking on the FIRST Forum boards if you plan on doing this.

**And also, the rules say that we can use some device to display feedback from the robot. Since it does not say that we can’t use it for scoring, does that mean we can do so? **

There are many things that the rules don’t specifically forbid that would still be illegal. One thing I know for certain when it comes to FIRST and rules: you can’t assume anything. If you try you will (at best) get inconsistent results at various events. If someone tries to tell you it’s not allowed, It’s much easier to disagree with them if you have a copy of the rule or clarification in your hand. Remember, many referees don’t live and breathe FIRST and don’t necessarily know every detail of the rules. Also it seems many will attempt to “guess” the correct answer when confronted with a rule that they’re not familiar with. This is where a copy of the rules and updates can be very handy.

I’m looking for these FIRST Forums… but can’t find them. That probably sounds stupid, but I have never been to them. Are they on usfirst.org? If possible, could someone post a link for me?

http://jive.ilearning.com/index.jsp

The address is in all the updates, too.

Last year, Team #992 used a PDA for scoring in the player station (this was the job of the adult mentor). We never had anyone even comment on its legality.

If i were you, I would ask the head referee the first day of the event. Some referees enforce different rules and, if you ask them, it shows them that you don’t intend to break the rules if there is a rule against it.

If anyone from team #992 reads this post, i was wondering if you happend to use your pda in regular season, or post season, where that sort of thing might not have been frowned upon.

“OH YEAH??” “OH YEAH!!”

We used it during the regular season.