Second driver?

What will the second driver be doing on the drive team? I was turret operator last year, and partner was driver. But how will it work this year. I can foresee one driving, and for faster scoring, that same one kicking/shooting/misc. but what could the second driver do? Maybe keep an eye on pressure if possible and if you’re O.K. to shoot and if everything’s running correctly.(Translation in Star Trek: Coach-Yellow Shirt(captain) Driver-Red Shirt(Engineer) Technical-Blue Shirt(Scientist)) Any suggestions, comments, ideas? That would be great. Thanks.

I love that idea of a camera operator. The only problem is someone misplaced our camera in the abyss which is our cabinet… I’m going to spend some time in there after I (hopefully) finish rough programming the bot. How are you controlling it? just panning left and right with a servo controlled by a simple controller?

left right and up and down. vision targets and to see the ball as well.

We were just reviewing this today and I, as the drive coach, told the programmers were going to have our driver controlling the movement of the robot and the roller. All other functions go to our secondary driver, including our kickers pressure, firing, reset, and camera lock on features, as well as all end game specific operations. In almost everygame you don’t always need a second driver, but by incorporating the other driver as much as you can you can help spread out the work load, so that the driver has the ability to focus on other features of the gameplay. Although the good things with having little for the secondary driver to do is that you can essentially add another drive coach to the field, but this one can touch the controls.

As a previous driver of my teams robot last year, I wouldn’t want control of the ball handing and kicking mechanisms. The driver needs to be fully aware of their surroundings and their teammates positions at all times during the match, and in my opinion being in control of the ball is too much to worry about. I would much rather have the operator in full control of any ball handing, kicking, and additional mechanisms so that I can focus on the progression of the game and be a step ahead of everyone else.

Hmmm… that’s a good idea. But as it is right now, i have less than 5 days until I leave for Guatemala on a mission trip with my church for all of break and I need to get all the programming done with the bot by then or else someone is going to have to dig through it all the while learning how to program in Java. So any other ideas? Someone had mentioned once the idea of having the second person being in charge of the arm but then they would only really be doing something in the last what, 20 seconds of the match.

Plus it gives an extra student a position of responsibility which is important and they also get to if something goes wrong in with the bot. Its also always good to have an extra pair of eyes.

Quite possibly, this second driver could be the main driver’s relief. Being right there you learn all the tricks of the game and while being driver isn’t the most stressless job in the world, it might also be good to have a relief driver who won’t fail miserably.

I suggest to talk with your drivers and ask them what they want, get the driver and operator together and talk with them about how they want to share the responsibilities, because everyone has their personal opinion. I can see how one driver would prefer to be in control of a ball handing device because it has to be controlled relative to the drive system and positioning of the the robot, but I can also understand a driver that prefers giving all secondary controls to the operator.

In my mind, the drive team should operate as one person.

I suggest to talk with your drivers and ask them what they want,
The thing is, is that this year we are holding “try-outs” for our drive team so that we can have the best drivers and hp doing their job. So I’m gonna have to get together with the main reliable teammates with highest probability of drive team so that we can discuss what the drivers roles will be.

That would work too, getting together the entire probable drive team and discussing playing style could also lend itself to being a strategy meeting, which I feel everyone on the team should be involved with.

A word of advice on this would be “get it done now”. This happened to us last year and through trying to be fair and trying to find the right person for the job we ended up having our drivers picked after the robot was shipped. We built a second base to practice with, but this is an unacceptable action on our part. You need to give your drivers full time to practice and get comfortable with the robot. In one afternoon practicing with the robot and a test on the rules you can clearly see who the final candidates should be. Even if you don’t pick the very best person for driver you can make them the best if you give them the practice they need. Also it’s more of an incentive to re-read through the rules over and over for drivers once they are certain they will be driving.

You almost always need a second driver. Looking back at past control panels as early as 2001, there would be no way for there to be a single driver. Think of 2005 or 2007. How could someone driving the robot with two joysticks possibly have the ability to call up macro positions or sequences? It is one thing to make the driver handle the suck roller, but quite another to have them handle the whole robot. The only exceptions I see are… none, for our robots.

As for the topic of this thread, the Killer Bees generally have the driver drive and the operator handle everything else. The driver has two joysticks for drive, and buttons for gear shifting and sometimes chassis inversion. The operator always has a custom control box and sometimes a joystick, handling everything else. The best way to make the drivers happy is to make their job easy using automation. That way anyone can drive the robot with little practice, and the practice the comp team gets allows them to get really good at driving.

In a nutshell, that’s what we do too. The driver concentrates on moving the robot around, and the operator takes care of whatever else the robot does. In 2008, the operator controlled the arm and the elevator, and in 2009 they controlled everything regarding ball intake, conveyor movement, and shooting. It’s up to the coach to make sure that both operators are on the same wavelength and that they work as a team.

I can’t see many robots in FIRST history that would even work as effectively with a single driver. A few power dumpers in 2009, corner dumpers with constant intakes in 2006, pure rampbots in 07…

A second driver on a robot without a manipulator could be a second coach, doing the stuff like reading the clock aloud that’s normally assigned to the real coach. That way the coach can focus on strategy and collaboration exclusively.

That being said, even if all you have is a base and a kicker, a second driver is probably better. Do it.

On a side note, I just realized you’re from my team. Drop me a PM.