:ahh: My team attended the Great Lakes Regional today just for scouting purposes and we were amazed at the lack of autonomous modes during the qualifying rounds. Is anyone else surprised? I thought that autonomous mode was going to be a big part of this year’s game. :confused:

nope…i observed 3 regionals last weekend and the same thing at all three…auto-mode has not been a factor as of yet but as the weeks go on more and more teams will have it because of the fact that you can keep your controls…

I’m going to the Pittsburg regional this weekend. I’ll bring back a report… :wink:

I was surprised just at the number of posts here that indicate that teams aren’t using autonomous.

at the NJ regional i saw a good amount teams used autonomous but there wasnt much variety between the different autonomous. there were just slight variations in the different modes

Same at the Pacific NW regional.

I saw three auto. modes:

  1. Trigger your own ball.
  2. Trigger their ball.
  3. Push your goal under their ball drop (we came up with this!)

But plenty of teams had autonomous modes.

We had too many other problems that we had to work out to worry about autonomous mode. Mayhaps it had something to do with the fact that on Thursday the FIRST field arena software didn’t work, but first practice match it did nothing in auto mode, then after that, it just went in circles. Because the arena software wasn’t working, the big red kill button didn’t work. We were turning in place and smashing into the playerstation wall, and ended up breaking things. We ended up just disabling autonomous for the rest of the regional while we got all the mechanical things working great.

We ended up on the third place alliance without one, perhaps we’ll get it working at Annapolis and bring home a banner. :smiley:


Well, back from the Pittsburg regional. Maybe a fourth of the teams there made any attempt at automous mode, and only one did anything useful reliably. I was rather surprised. :slight_smile:

We were quite surprised as well at the lack of autonomous mode. We were one of the very few who could knock off the ball every time at UCF (one of the reasons we got the GM award). Maybe now that teams have more downtime before their regionals/nationals they will be putting in better auton code. Can’t wait for nats!

We had a few autonomous programs written coming into the NJ regional and we had about 10 or 12 total (when you include left and right modes for certain programs). Regardless, we didnt run a single one because we hadnt gotten a chance to test them. We ran one or two in the practice rounds, but they werent tweaked to work yet and we didnt want to risk the robot running up a wall like it did in the practice round, so we had to disable in the real matches. We should have at least a few of the modes properly tweaked for Annapolis.

It really isn’t that surprising because you really can’t do that much in Auton and it is not as important last year. There were not many 5pt ball handling robots at GLR so releasing the balls was not an advantage, but more of an obstacle. You also don’t really want to hang in auton. So the only thing a team that doesn’t pick up 5pt balls can do in auton that would be of any advantage is grabbing the goal and returning with it. It is however, important if you hope to handle balls or be paired with someone who can.

Overall, I think the matches would be better without the auton period because this regional made it clear to me that it doesn’t add much to the game. It simply makes teams scramble to complete their other objectives.

I disagree. Autonomous mode adds a whole new dimension to the game.

A) It makes the programming more advanced.
B) It lets the teams who do put time into it have a greater variety of strategies.
C) When you see a bot do something cool in autonomous mode, it is simply great.

I completely agree with you Bduggan04… auton is not as important was it was last year. running in autonomous mode could even be bad, with all of the possible penalties that could occur. at this point there hasnt been an amazing auton that i’ve seen, but i’m sure by the nationals a few will stand out. who knows, it may be one of these teams that go all the way!

I also found there was a lack of autonomous functions at the Arizona Regional this weekend. I think most teams just put their priorities in other systems, as the 15 second auton time didnt really have any necessity. The balls would drop later anyway.

In the case of our team we could get the robot to line-track, but our two-sensor system was just too inaccurate to function well enough so we didnt use it. Our one try resulted in hitting the wall at high speed and flipping over. :confused: In my opinion, the Teams that WERE able to succesfully complete a function in auto did have an advantage, such as more time to herd balls, or get the movable goals or 2x balls without other robots in the way.

Team 980’s autonomous was simply awesome, as they would grab the 2x ball, lift it, and swing its arm around to the other side of the robot all in one fell swoop.

another notable was 190 who would get on the bar and hang in auto mode if they had it lined up perfectly. then 190 would deploy their ‘bar-shields’ which would guard other robots from attaching, although I never really saw any other robots try after 190 was up. Getting up there in auto meant they didnt have to worry about 696 trying to ram em off the platform however. :smiley:

I have to ask though, what is a great auton? what exactly have you gained in those fifteen seconds. I’m sure someone is going to surprise me, but I’m afraid that auton will still have minimal impact on the match. I would love it if someone had concrete example that would make Auton more exciting.

I’m not sure about more exciting, but for us, the extra time to grab balls really helps. Plus, the balls on the ground hinder most other teams. We also have some additional things we hope to pull off that will be beneficial to our scoring strategies.

I guess it depends of the focus of the bot. For the small ball handlers, which is a minority, the autonomous mode helps out.

I have seen only one good autonomous mode and that was 190’s. Basically they have the capability to hang in autonomous!!

I took us all day friday to get our auton mode ‘dialed in’ - mostly because the gearheads on our team took up most of our time between matches getting some mechanical bugs worked out, so we did not have any time free to work on the code or sensors

but we did get it working by the last few matches on friday, and it worked in every match on saturday, including all the elimination rounds, except the last one - we were in the finalist alliance and played in the last match, and for some reason our bot did not see the beacon, so we missed the release ball

our bot is designed to collect balls exceptionally well, with a powered roller on the front, and room to hold 4 or 5 balls - I think that teams that focused on hanging in general did not bother to implement much of an auton mode, since they had no real means to herd the small balls anyway

but I did see some teams that were going for the bar atleast move very close to it in auton mode - our finals alliace partner, 211 (Kodak/Marshal) did that

I thought our auton mode was pretty cool - we go forwards using the gyro sensor to stay straight, when we see the beacon out one side we stop and back up a bit, drop our arm down to the height of the release ball, turn towards it exactly 90° (using the gyro again) - move forward to knock it off, back up, raise our arm, turn another 90° towards our drivers, turn the front roller on to capture some of those balls that are now all over the field, moving forwards at full speed till auton ends

its worked great once we got all the angles and distances down- we are looking forwards to our next regional, Buckeye - when it should be working on ALL our seeing rounds, instead of only on the last few.

Thanks for everyone’s opinion’s! I however think that having an autonomous mode helps out quite a bit. For example, if you release the 5pt. balls during autonomous, it does become a big obstacle for some teams that role right over them tip-seen too much of that at GLR. I was also surprised that so few teams did nothing with the mobile goals or didn’t have mechanisms that were able to latch on well? :confused:

That sounds awfully familiar. At that start of the practice rounds on Thursday at Phoenix, we had a single autonomous program (which I knew wasn’t going to work, since our IR sensors weren’t even hooked up yet.) By the second match, we had our first “working” autonomous program (the ever popular “Mars rock dance”.) Eventually we gave up on the IR tracking in order to make weight, but by the start of the finals, we were up to 9 (dead reckoning) autonomous programs the drivers could choose from.

I also noticed that auto-mode seemed less-utilized so far this year. It just seems to me that everyone (including us) is having some trouble making their autonomous work right. I know that with having to redo all our programming in a different language this year, (and some design and mechanical delays) we didnt get to working on autonomous as soon as we’d have liked, and therefore didnt get to test all of our ideas. I don’t think autonomous is less important, it’s just not being used in strategy as much. I think you’ll see that change by the time we’re at championships and teams start realizing how tough it’s going to be, and that those first 15 seconds could really help.