Player station question...

I’ve looked and not found a rule against having lights (decorative or for feedback purposes) on your control board or in the player station. Is there a rule against that? It seems like there would be… kind of like a visual distraction rule, but I couldn’t find one. Please let me know if you know of a rule against that. Thanks

I do not believe any lights or anything that shows feedback from the robot is allowed in the players station, but if it is just for decoration, or like a lighted rocker switch as a controller for the robot, I believe it is ok…

Can someone verify this for me?

lights on your control panel for the drivers to use are ok. there isn’t a rule against other lights as long as, i think, they are powered only by the drivers station since there is no power plug at the station. Use GP when having displays of lights and stuff as not to distract other drivers and human players.
I also think that there is a limit on the amount of power that you can draw from the station also.

I don’t know if FIRST has changed the rules or not since 2001 but I remember that our control board that year had a project box with LEDs in it to tell us when the pump was enabled, running, and when there was full pressure in the system. It did pass inspection and was legal. You might want to search the FIRST Q&A and if you dont find anything, post a question.

We used lights all the time… to indicate the pressure in our tanks, what gear we were in, etc.

Just remember that whatever lights, buttons, joysticks, etc. MUST be powered by the OI. If you look in the rulebook, Section 5.3.8 has the rules on what may be included.


<R66> states that you can use portable computing devices to report feedback. Common sense would dictate, and is supported by the above mentioned experiences, that light feedback displays would be well within the rules. AC power of course is unavailable, but there is nothing within the rules that states feeback lights must be powered by the OI, and logic would indicate that outside portable power would be encouraged if the needs required it.

Of course, this assumes you’re creating an interface with the Dashboard port of the OI. Anything connected to joystick ports must be self powered (I don’t know how you would create a feedback system using the joystick ports, but it deserves mention). Also, nothing can be connected to the tether port when the competition port is in use.

I was looking all over for that section to quote in this thread and I could not find it until I realized that I had all of section 5 out of my binder for 2005. I felt all kinds of stupid on that one.

You can drive up to eight LEDs from the Operator Interface. Four from port 1 and four from port 3. The updatd OI reference on the IFI website gives you all of the details. These LEDs are controlled from your robot’s programming.

As for decorative lights (LEDs?). You would have to power them independently of the control station. Unless you want to use one of the eight abovementioned drivers.

So, just to clarify: If you want to have some decorative lights on your controls(battery powered), then it would be legal. So there is no rule about having something on your controls or behind the player station that could be distracting to other teams.

The answer is yes, you can have them on your board. But just try to remember GP when you make the decorative lights and such.

i just made a control box and was wondering if the OI has to be shown… because I put mine in a playstation 2 and i use the ps2 ports as our control