Pilot Training and Tips Video Clips

This past week, we strapped a GoPro onto our Pilot to capture what went right and wrong in regards to Pilot gear and rope handling. As a first week event the pilots had to learn proper ways to pick up the gears and avoid losing them on lifts, so I put a video together showing examples of how and why things went wrong (or right).
I’m using this as a video to train other human player pilots, and thought these video examples would be helpful for pilots and coaches to see here on CD.

Depending on the phrasing that comes in today’s team update reflecting this topic, the example at 45 seconds may not be illegal. I saw instances of it on Saturday that were not called.

Will watch for updates following the rules change from last weekend. Even after the rules change that action was deemed illegal but it was not called in this case because the change was still confusing for refs and players. The pilot was told not to do that after the fact.

Thank you for putting this together. This will be a great resource for first-time pilots in week 2.

Did you notice that the majority of lift problems occurred with robots having passive lifters? Did you notice any of the same disadvantages when a gear was placed actively?

Yes, passive gear holders had to be the most careful by far. Robots would drive too far forward and the spring would bend into the backplate of a robot’s gear holder, making it impossible to pull up without risking the gear popping off the spring. Similarly, a robot would back away too early and knock the gear off, so a lot of pilot-driver coordination is required here.

Also, the barb on the end of the spring frequently fell off or turned to the side (or upside down), so the weight of the gear on the spring would result in the gear slipping off if the pilot wasn’t extremely careful. Pilots are allowed to readjust the barb on the spring when the lift has been pulled up to a correct orientation, so they should always be looking for this.

Pilots needs to ensure they operate the lift with a constant upwards velocity, and not bounce the lift around too much.

Team 1676 put a GoPro on our Pilot this past weekend as well at the Southwest Virginia District Event. You can find the videos at the bottom of this playlist if you’re interested in watching: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPUJJPXRAlEQJIk_yR2F0yodC09F7wa80

I watched a few of these. We were at the Northern Virginia event this weekend and our refs definitely would have given out yellow cards for the way your pilot was removing gears from the peg. I’m not saying it was unsafe or wrong (actually the way your pilot did it seemed very safe and easy), I just want consistent rulings. Hopefully they’ll have better guidance for refs for the upcoming events.

We were told by the head ref, as per the rule change announced in the 3/3/17 FRC Blog Post, “incidental and brief excursions outside the port required to manipulate the carriage assembly will not be penalized, though at no time may a pilot reach below the deck of the airship.” Our Pilot did receive 3 yellow cards this past weekend, but only one was for reaching below the deck of the airship while removing a gear from a peg in Qualification Match 55 (the other two were for reaching over the airship when deploying our rope in our first two Qualification Matches).

The student grabbed the gear not the carriage, so this will still be illegal.
But pilots need training on this new ruling.

Had my proto pilots watch this twice. Thanks.

Having read team update 16, I agree with you.

I just read Team Update 16. It looks like reaching outside the port to remove the gear from the peg is now explicitly forbidden. I’m glad they cleared this up. Maybe this week, refs won’t have to hand out yellow cards like candy.

S07. Keep your limbs safe at all times. During the MATCH, the PILOT
may neither
A. contact ROTORS,
B. contact DAVITS,
C. reach outside any port (except for incidental and brief excursions outside the port and above the deck, required to manipulate the carriage assembly), nor
D. contact any part of a deployed (i.e. any part of the ROPE is below the deck of the AIRSHIP) ROPE.

Reaching outside a port to retrieve a GEAR is a violation of S07-C, as
retrieving a GEAR is not manipulating the carriage assembly.

Reaching outside a port to untangle a pull handle or pull cord is not a
violation of S07-C, as those elements are part of the carriage assembly

I saw the same thing happening. The passive ones usually don’t put the gear far enough on the peg, so it ends up falling off. Some tams even have the pilots pull it up partway, them stop so the robot can drive forward and push it on farther. I have only seen this happen once or twice with active teams. My team has an active shooter, and solved the problem by putting a hole in the back of the gear holder, right where the peg goes, we can push it on far enough.

That sounds bad.