Arcade or tank?

whats the difference?

im trying to reprogram my joystick, and i dont know which one to use

i want one joystick on the vexnet controller to control one motor, and the same for the other.

so like the left joy controls the left motor, and the right joy to the right motor

Tank: One joystick controls one side of the drivetrain while one joystick controls the other side. (Your requested setup)

Arcade: One joystick controls forward motion while one joystcik controls left right motion. (Much like driving an RC car, and IMO, much more intuitive)

  • Sunny G.

my team personally uses tank drive setup because you can drive with more precise movements

its all what you prefer really, i personnaly like arcade a lot more just beacuse im used to it. murdomeek is right tho because tank drive can make more precise movements, you just have to be used to it.

I’m not sure who came up with this style of tank programming but the first bot I drove it on was 118 FRC 2011.

one stick was strictly forward and backward and the other stick did the turning, not sure why but i really enjoyed that kind of drive style.

  • Andrew

Though arcade is great for holonomic, where one joystick becomes a directional pointer that your robot follows.

doesnt holonomic control have its own name?
because the main joystick strafes in all directions, but the other joystick has to do the rotating

Isn’t that what arcade means? There’s no reason you have to do it that way. You can make the same holonomic drive but use tank control.

Tank mode uses both thumbs, so it limits the controls available for arms and other mechanisms. If you have a second driver for mechanisms, tank is not so bad.

I don’t know, maybe it does. I just call it arcade for holonomic drive.

Yes you can, but I just find it easier to let the program take care of all the holonomic stuff for me (I’m the programmer, so I may be biased). If you put it on tank drive, I find that small imperfections in the position of the two joysticks (if you’re not going full speed of course) will throw the robot out of whack more than a non-holonomic drive.

thanks for the info

thats what we do most of the time
we just need to practice a lot so both the drivers can communicate efficiently and knows what each other are doing

I find that a tank drive is actually pretty easy to drive even with a manipulator to deal with as well. It’s when you start trying to use a holonomic with a manipulator that you run into to trouble. Either way, we try to separate the two functions so they can each be driven more precisely.

Programming also reduces the load that the driver has to handle. Take 1103 for example. He did tank drive and he still was able to drive that thing like a boss because he had a ridiculous program.

exactly how he drove it :slight_smile:


See also

ya, thats the reason why i use tank cause i can make a sharper turn or more precise turn is the best word.

Like most people have already said, tank gives more precise control over turns. Moving one joystick more than the other results in a turn with a larger arc as opposed to a turn that keeps the robot in the same place.

Personally, I find that this precision is generally unnecessary. Arcade drive with a normal non-holonomic chassis gives the driver less to worry about in terms of controls and more time to survey the match situation.

In a standard 4WD without strafing capabilities, tank control can be really useful for precise movements side to side. By tweaking the controls somehow (I’ve never driven our robot for competition), the bot can move sideways very small increments for fine adjustment fairly quickly.

It is best if you have a separate coach to monitor the game and direct strategy rather than having the drivers do it. Drivers are required to focus on details, such as manipulating the robot and positioning to score, so it is extremely hard to do that effectively and still watch overall field position, game score and other big picture things. Of course, if you don’t have a coach, then simplifying the driving controls or practicing for ridiculous lengths of time are good ideas.

Actually, Arcade drive normally refers to using a single joystick to control both forward/reverse and turning. The default program for the Cortex (I don’t have a 0.5 Pic, but guess it would be the same) has the option of tank or arcade mode. Try putting a jumper in digital input 12 to switch from tank mode to arcade mode.

The FRC team I mentor as well as both VEX teams I coach prefer the maneuverability of tank drive over arcade. They have not done holonomic drives because of the loss of pushing force.

I would suggest you use whichever method is best for your driver. We have programmed both tank and arcade options for our driver tryout so each driver can choose what they are the most comfortable with.