Robot Status on Scoreboard

So I was thinking. Since the computer that generates the time/score that you see on the screen also contains all of the diagnostics of a robot, why can’t it show when a robot has bad comm during a match? I don’t know how many times that a robot will stop working and I starting thinking “Bad battery?” or “No comm?”. This is me being nosey, but I think something small and non-distracting would be cool for those of us that want to see what’s happening. We are all ready changing the colors of the teams from green to yellow, why can’t we do someting such as put a small battery or wave next to them to show that something is wrong.

While watching a live match you can tell that information already. The team light next to the team # on the player station starts to flash if signal is lost. (I suppose for a webcast it would depend on what camera view was being show to be able to tell)

You can also tell additional info from the robot signal light. For example, If there’s loss of power from a battery issue the RSL would be out. For that example, comm would be lost as well because there would be no power to the radio (game adaptor).

As for having that displayed on the score screen, I guess it could be possible to show when a robot loses comm, but because there are so many reasons why that could possibly be I’m not sure if that information would be too useful to an audience.

If you spend a bit of time with the FTA and field crew at the events you start to learn a good deal about how to figure out why a robot stops moving during a match.

I somewhat agree with the idea of posting communications issues to the scoreboard. It would be a great asset to scouting to be able to tell the difference between “That big hit happened to knock out the robot’s comms, freezing it on the field” and “That big hit broke their drive train. Probably not the most robust robot out there”. However, it still works out without it since I usually end up being able to tell the scouting team where the problem is just by the DS status lights and the RSL (I’ve become very skilled at identifying low batteries after our attempts at adding a ball magnet drained our battery 30 seconds into a match :frowning: ).

I think what would be more useful is if something was put out by FIRST that explained what all of the publicly visible status lights meant. At the moment, things like the team light is completely undocumented for the average FIRSTer. Of course, even the documentation that is there isn’t usually read (I’m one of 3 people on our team who know how to read the RSL, even though I’ve explained it to them many times :frowning: )

The Diagnostic screen on the Dashboard is your friend. Bring it up before your match starts. If your robot dies or acts erraticaly look it the “lights” and note which are red or blank, also note the battery voltage. From these you should be able to figure out what is going on.

I’m pretty sure that he’s thinking of the average team member who is watching and sees a robot that was moving suddenly stop moving. I’m pretty sure that someone watching (not driving) would like to know if it was a mechanical or electrical issue.

The average Joe might not care whether it was mechanical or electrical, or radio or battery. He’d probably care that the robot wasn’t working right, but maybe not why.

I think this is a great idea.

I think he meant for the general audience, not so much for the drivers (who I hope should know how to read the dashboard! :ahh: )

Unfortuently my senior year in first was the year of the blue DS. I have seen an example of the new system, but I have never used it. I’m talking (as stated above) for the average joe/freshmen scouters/webcast watchers/pit crew/etc. I know most of the light flashing patterns just from helping the FTA at IRI, but the FTA gets a nice diagnostic screen that I think would be cool to show to the audience (at least some of it).

I think it would just make more audience members blame FMS for their robot problems, rather than fixing their robot.
You know what would be more useful for scouters, would be publishing the list many FTAA’s keep that record what was found to be wrong with each robot. There are too many potential causes to give people even that FMS screen without knowledge of how it’s to be interpreted as only one piece of the puzzle. Sometimes the root cause isn’t confirmed until the wiring/code/mechanical systems are inspected after the match.

As it was, each of the events I worked had people coming out of the stands with “proof” that Blue station 2, or Red station 1 was obviously defective because they had a list of robots that had problems while they were in that station. Funny thing about bad statistics is they all thought a different station was at fault. I saw lots of posts here on CD using the same bad statistics to prove random theories.

At SBPLI our Lead Inspector got a copy of our robot failure list, so he could show people why their statistics were meaningless. They still didn’t believe him, but they had no “proof” to fall back on.

Mark I understand where you are coming from. The thing to remember is that the information I am talking about it technically all ready out there in front of everyone. Anyone who watches a few matches can put 2 and 2 together and figure out that a 100% working robot will have a solid red/blue light on above their controls, and one that is not 100% working or disabled will have a flashing light. Also when it comes to comm, battery, and mode, all robots have a light that will flash to signal it’s diagnostics. This is all information that is available during a match as it is, that is if you’re there. What if you are in the pits in Atlanta, or you are in college and can’t afford to go to an event so you watch a webcast? By presenting this information on the screen in a way that Joe Schmoe can’t figure out at first but any FIRSTer would know we can help provide more feedback to those who want to know.

Example of what it could be:
It’s hard to tell what this means, but RedB has a bad battery, BlueB has been disabled. Everyone else is good.

If not every FIRSTer knows what the RSL/field light system means (and the field light system side of that is easy to see and figure out), despite having the information posted a number of times in a number of places, then how do you expect them to figure out such a display, or read the documentation?

As for the display you’ve suggested, the lightning bolts beside the number bars in 2009 didn’t show up terribly well on the webcast, and they were somewhat easier to see than a red/yellow/green dot next to the number bar. (This is especially true if, to use the bar you’ve shown, something went haywire on RedC, which is already carrying a yellow card.) You need something separate and obvious to work with the webcast. Something like two circles, separated a few pixels, that turn red or yellow, would work a lot better.

I see where you’re coming from, but I still think the best bet is to better distribute the field light/RSL info, as those are typically easy to see and very accurate.

Consider this, though: A robot off-screen is broken, and depending on the camera operators, you may never see a good shot of the driver station or the RSL. It sounds far-fetched, but entirely possible. You’re not always going to see the robot/station signals on a webcast.

I think a HUD would be an awesome idea, as long as you can see it on at least a full-screen 640x480 resolution.

I can’t comment on your image because it’s filtered where I am.
I think where you’re coming from is you want some sort of operational status for all robots plastered somewhere on the broadcast screen.

I just think the FMS indicator by itself is the wrong thing to display and would mislead more than it informed. It’s most useful for being sure all robots are ready to begin a match. When it goes out during a match that just starts the field crew to working on figuring out what’s really wrong.
Maybe an RSL-type status is what you’re looking for - robot off (or rebooting), on, disabled, autonomous, teleop. Of course, the robot can still be broken even with a good RSL, and there are several states that only the robot (not FMS) knows of.
P.S. Bad battery is a difficult call because it usually only dips momentarily then rebounds. You can also flag slow responding code based on excessive packet delays.

The DS station (& RSL) lights are really small pieces of the puzzle to help the field crew diagnose robot/field operational problems. They can’t be used to pass judgement on why a robot is not moving. The inverse is not true, i.e., a solid light doesn’t mean a robot is 100% it just means the DS, cRIO and bridge are powered and communicating and all that Ethernet cable/wireless/AP/switches in-between.

A solid light above the Driver Station for instance can mean:

  • DS-to-robot Communication & basic electronics are working (good)
  • A non-moving robot with a solid DS light:[LIST]
  • drivers just waiting (good)
  • mechanical problem (bad)
  • code problem (bad)
  • electrical problem (bad)
  • driver controls non-functional (bad)
    *]drive team not moving to avoid penalty or potential mechanical damage (bad)
    [/LIST]Anything could be the cause of a non-solid light - Estop, mechanical, electrical, code.