Swerve drive controllers

What do your teams use as the controller or controllers for your swerve drive?

We’ve used the logitech, PS4 and X-Box One controllers at various points over the years. They all work. Each has its plusses and minuses.

Basically, any controller with 2 joysticks will work. Technically, you are only using 1 axis of the second joystick for rotation, so if you had a single axis stick or slider for that second function, that would work fine as well. I believe some of the large grip-type joysticks (for flight simulators) use the twisting of the stick as an input so this would work; using the joystick for translation and the twisting for the rotation axis.

We switched to the PS4 because it had rumble capabilities to allow some feedback from the robot’s vision system to the drivers. I think we eventually switched away from them to the Xbox One controllers because the USB plug on the PS4 was flaky. We also evaluated the joystick accuracy and deadband (dead zone in the middle of the joystick travel) of several different controllers to try to avoid a lot of jerky movements when we were doing slow fine tuning motions (lining up to score a game piece, etc). Also, we could get the Xbox One controllers in various colors so you could have a different color controller for each driver to avoid them picking up the wrong controller at the start of Tele-op.

You probably want to talk to your drivers and get their preference on controllers. Students that are gamers will tend to have their favorite controller and are used to the positions of the joysticks. That may be as good a reason as any to select a controller type. Just remember, they need to be wired controllers (not wireless).

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