So this weekend at the Niles regional competition, we had a few frustrating (to us in the stands) matches where our drivers cut themselves very short on time for the Co-op bridge and wound up missing the opportunity; despite having a substantial winning margin the guys kept scoring until 20-25seconds (or less, maybe)… at that point it occurred to me that, due to the setup of the field, it was difficult for them to see the score at all…
I realized that every competition there are different circumstances for being able to see the score, and it’s not really a fairness problem, as everyone has to deal with it, but it can be a hindrance when it’s difficult/inconvenient to get the scores. So now I want to fix the problem ::ouch::
To get to the point :rolleyes:, my two proposals:
The field management system could be modified to broadcast (and the driver’s station could be modified to display) the score of each alliance, that way the drivers/coach can always see the score down on the PC.
Right above the match timer display (above the in-bounder station this year), another numeric display could be added showing a +/- point differential, this way you’ll see what your score differential is whenever you check the time.
I though one or both of these would be really valuable to teams, especially since this year had a big focus on real time scoring (and I imagine FRC want’s to continue this if they can), it would help teams in making quick strategic decisions (and prevent some the “OH MY GOD WHY AREN’T THEY GOING FOR THE BRIDGE” moments )
What do you think, would this improve future games?
I coached at two regionals this year and one was more difficult to see the score than the other. It makes a big difference. A scoreboard near the field timer would be ideal.
I agree with both idea’s. In any given match our entire game strategy is largely dependent on how our opposing alliance is doing that match. As the coach I try to keep score as best I can but it is impossible to keep track of the opposing alliance when I am watching ours. Both ideas would help to improve overall match play, however I do not see either of them being implemented in the near future due to costs and other factors.
This year I have assigned our human player to keep track of where the basketballs come into the feeding station and to call out the score of the opposing alliance every time he picks up a ball. This has worked really well for our team, and our alliances and I think we will continue doing it.
At Waterloo they noticed this problem a few years ago, and ever since there has been a big-screen TV pointed at the alliance station that can’t see the projected screen. I thought this was a FIRST standard though.
At all of the recent events I have been to, there was a large TV monitor facing the drivers of the alliance that had their backs to the large screen.
Not at all. Both of the districts I coached had this problem for at least one of the individual driver stations. I had to run down the alliance station (to get a view not obscured by glare) at one and turn around and wait for the screen (which blanked between each camera change) at the other. I certainly understand the difficulty of both getting and preparing venues, AV, FMS, etc. The facilities and arenas were great and wonderful to play at in most other ways. Nonetheless, a TV viewable to otherwise blocked alliances/driver stations would be wonderful and I think not too difficult?
I don’t know, but it’s very venue specific how these things are done it seems. I know it was a problem in Niles, I think in the West Michigan competition (at Grand Valley) there was a projector screen at one end of the field only, and one alliance had to turn to see it.
My guess is these are things that each venue has to solve as people complain about it, and they probably do solve them year over year as the venue becomes more mature. I simply think it would be great to see it standardized more, my guess is it would make everyones life a little easier
I think a few 7 segment displays would do the trick. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
Yes, some venues the ‘jumbo tron’ is in a very inconvenient place.
However, as an experienced coach i would say that it is the coach’s (not the drivers’) responsibility to check the score and time. I have grown accustomed to adapting to the venue. Sometimes I have to just look up, other times I have to turn around.
It would be nice to see some modifications to the FIELD. With teams using substantially modified dashboards, I don’t think we need to throw anymore information than what is already there. Also, as a coach I never look at the computer due to the drivers being there and it is hard to access without getting in their way.
This is a very intriguing topic though.
As FiM and MAR and future district model implementations push FRC fields into more and more non-standard arena layouts, I would love to see the score incorporated into the field itself.
Displaying it on the FMS might be more useful and less costly than displaying it on screens off to the side. It’s also less like to interfere with someone’s view of the field. It’s also highly unlikely to screw with camera targetting like gigantic screens do.
For this year, it seems like a coaching adjustment is needed. One of the hardest things to do as a coach is not focus on your robot during the match. Watching the clock and score is pretty easy once you get into that habit. Do it like pilots do – periodic sweeping views of every bot on the field and then the score. The clock is already displayed in an easy-to-view place.
At IRI in 2010 there was a large monitor on the side of the field in front of the tech table. Also at nationals in 2010, the screens were huge and just to the side of the fields which made it very easy to see.
I wouldn’t advocate putting the scores down near the drivers station because I always hate looking down at the controls when there’s all kinds of stuff going on out on the field. I think above the clocks, a spot that is already aimed at being visible to every alliance, would be a great spot.
At every regional I have been to, you can see the video feed from both driver stations. However, many times the video hasn’t had scores listed on it. To me, that’s unacceptable. I support any route of action you choose to mitigate this problem.
At the very least there needs to be DriverStation.getAllianceScore() and DriverStation.getOppositionScore() methods, which could be used to feed dashboard.
Time remaining would be a nice variable to feed to the robot and driver station as well.
There is getMatchTime(), but it is “unofficial”. The DriverStation class does have some pretty useful functions. One I’m hoping to implement for our shooter is getBatteryVoltage().
Does anyone else think that a timer on the DS would also be a good idea?
What we did last year was at the start of the operatorControl call, call GetFPGATime(), and then send the time elapsed over the network packer to our custom dashboard. It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be very close.