Autonomous Period

I am a highschool freshman who has just founded my schools first robotics club. We have built a robot for toss up, and programmed all of the driver controls. For the autonomous period in Toss Up, do must clubs and robots use sensors or do they pre program a route??? If sensors which sensors? How do most people deal with the autonomous period?
Thanks for any help

Encoders are probably the best first sensors to start with. There are many teams who just do a timed autonomous with good luck as well.

I would say that all of the better teams that win use sensors to run a pre-decided autonomous more perfectly. This method, however takes a lot of time to perfect and can require insane programming.

Most beginner teams use a route that is mainly pre-programmed and just runs. The bad part about this is that it is unreliable, yet it is very simple.

Personally, I program in both methods in the same code using functions like drivetime(int time){} // to just drive for a time, and drivesonar(int stopcondition, int value){} // to drive till the sonar is less that 15 inches for example. Then in the main excecution block I have an entire program written with both methods, but I comment the time functions out so it uses the sensors. then, If the autonomous fails in competition, we can try to figure it out, but if we cant, we just switch which block is running and which is not. this way, we have a complex autonomous, but we can also gaurentee that at least one will succeed.

I’d say a lot of teams use just time their first year, and sensors after that.

If you want to get some sensors, all you really need is a Gyroscope and some encoders. IME’s or Quadrature, doesn’t matter. An LCD screen is super helpful, but unnecessary. Ultrasonics have their place, but you probably won’t need them.

Thanks for the help. How do I do a timed path though if I don’t know which starting spot I am on?

Write multiple Autonomous modes. We had 6 for our robot last year.

You can select different programs using jumper clips, a potentiometer, LCD screen, or other various sensors.

For my first year, I used time and multiple programs, and loaded a different program for each square. This was in Round up.

In Gateway, I used time and multiple programs up until worlds, where I upgraded my robot to use encoders and potentiometers; I used a mixture of time in there for some things. My team came in second in the middle school division.

In Sack Attack, I actually got lazy and used time for most of my programs, because I didn’t move a whole lot in autonomous. I still had sensors on, and an autonomous switcher potentiometer. My team got to the semifinals in my division in the high school division at worlds.

This year, I’m using encoders and potentiometers for the regular automouses. The autonomous mode this year, I feel, needs to be a bit more precise than past years.