What will auton be like in 2020?

  • No Auton
  • Auton with camera (like 2019)
  • Traditional Auton

0 voters

I’m wondering what people think about the future of the autonomous period. Is 2019 Sandstorm a one time occurrence or going to set a pattern for future seasons.

I see the sandstorm gimmick of blocking the driver’s vision too annoying from a field setup side for it to be a staple, so without something to block the drivers we either have traditional auto or no auto, and I think the autonomous period is an important part of what makes a FRC game a FRC game.

Or we could see another control gimmick (I’m looking at you Microsoft Kinect).


The thing is, this sandstorm raises the floor for teams with less programming experience, but it leaves the ceiling in place. Good programming teams are still going to do as much auto as possible. Less experienced teams can still participate instead of just crossing a line for 5 points.

Our team is doing a sort of “cruise control” type scenario, where the robot will do autonomous on it’s own, but if the driver sees something on the cams they don’t like, and touches the controls, it hands it over to them to take over. This will make it so we can intervene if something comes up like another team mate in the way or some kind of alignment being way off.

It will probably be a normal auton because this is too easy to to be the “varsity” FIRST league

My hypothesis is that Sandstorm exists because the placement task this year is pretty hard on depth perception, and forcing teams to have camera makes good teleop much more doable for many teams.

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Other: Auton at the end of the match.

It would force us to strategize around getting “initial conditions” correct for an autonomous routine. Right now, that “strategy” is something like “set this corner of the robot down so the projected angle of that shadow crosses with this bolt head”. Endgame auton would amp up the excitement of high-level teams breaking off from teleop to setup for autonomous. If the field was separated into “autonomous zone” and “camera-only zone”, it would also provide a way for the not-high-level teams to provide some value via a different endgame task.


I think that there will be something like Sandstorm. As others have mentioned, it raises the floor for teams with less experience and significantly lowers the difficulty for rookie teams. However, as others have mentioned, Sandstorm does have its flaws, so I’m thinking it’s probably going to be something similar but not quite Sandstorm.

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