Connection Issue during Finals

I agree. Everything is anecdotal at this point. I would really like to see some scientific experiments set up.

Myth Busters!

It’s undeniable the anti static spray increases the amount of friction between the floor and game pieces (I have video comparisons if you’d like evidence). I can’t speak to if the new anti static spray also increases the amount of friction as I have not gotten my hands on it yet.

That being said, the different field conditions due to the utilization of anti static spray isn’t the fault of the anti static spray, but rather the lack of standardization of its use. If all events used the anti static spray, teams would be playing under the same conditions at all events. Perhaps a bottle of the anti static spray should be included in future event partner kits. This would ensure all future events are standardized.

My teams have been negatively effected by the use of spray in terms of the created friction (during Starstuck) and the lack of spray causing electrostatic discharge (yesterday at an event). That being said, I’m going to ensure our event in a couple of weeks utilizes the spray. I don’t want teams that are using V5 to ever be dead on the field for something out of their control.

A replay can occur for any kind of field fault, not specifically a control fault. Say the net wasn’t properly secured and it falls onto the field mid-match, that’s a field fault. If a field does not have anti static spray and a team experiences a white screen of death due to electrostatic discharge, it’s highly probably the discharge would not have occurred if the field had anti static spray. This is a matching affecting condition completely outside the control of the team. Hopefully this issue will be addressed sooner rather than later by the GDC in this Q&A

While this is more anecdotal evidence, my high school team practices on a field that has anti static spray and they never experienced a white screen during the two weeks of practice prior to the competition. When they arrived at the event, they got the white screen of death twice (both times because they touched the field perimeter). They will be running some tests when they get back from their post-tournament break.

Regardless, It’s unfortunate V5 can’t operate under normal, standard conditions seen in the vex robotics competition.

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Agreed - however, a team that loses micro controller control and others do not, in itself is not cause for a replay. We have seen that with cortex when a team has no backup battery and the others do, they are left unmoving while others who have the batteries are. No replay in that case. A main battery becomes unplugged, no replay.

As for anti-static spray, there is no evidence that it was the cause of the team robot failure, therefore no need to replay. You are likely to have replay if the tower cables are broken.

So far, at our events, this has not been an issue. We have both sprayed (last event) and not sprayed (every single event prior).

The difference between this situation and the situation that you described is that in the situation you described the team could have prevented the issue by use of a backup battery, whereas in this situation there is no known means of prevention and thus the situation is completely out of the control of the team. I argue in my Q&A that this difference necessitates some kind of mechanism for dealing with it, whether that being a replay or simply allowing teams to unplug and plug back in their battery (as the vast majority if not all of reported instances seem to have occured at the edge of the field).

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It sounds like V5 has two separate issues with disconnects. One with the white screen and the brain crashing, which by the sounds of it has something to do with static discharge, and another which seems to be something with the radio itself disconnecting from the handheld controllers. These issues are a pretty big problem, as teams who deserve to win matches, and put in the effort to design good robots and good code are losing due to factors that are out of their control. Being best of one makes this issue especially important, as theres no way to recover if your robot disconnects, and if you lose one match you’re out of the playoffs. I feel that unless these issues can be fixed 100%, the tournaments should use best of 3 for the playoffs to decrease the chances of the wrong team winning due to another having issues with disconnects.

No evidence is a bold claim. I saw two instances that were certainly a high correlation yesterday. While practicing with our collegiate team’s robot on a non-sprayed field I accidentally touched the robot before touching it with a dryer sheet (yes, this is standard procedure on our team) and I felt a large discharge, followed by a white screen. There were other times I accidentally touched our robot, felt a discharge, and it didn’t white screen. Maybe other brains are more prone than others, but I wouldn’t say there’s no evidence.

Also, if electrostatic discharge is a non-issue, why did VEX/RECF feel the need to make this announcement?

The other thing to keep in mind is your events are in a region with higher humidity. The notice from VEX/RECF states “ESD is significantly worse in the winter when low humidity reduces surface moisture and therefore the conductivity that dissipates electrostatic charges.” Arizona is notoriously a dry state with very low humidity. This increases the frequency of electrostatic discharges and the potential for white screens.

Tell me what range you believe is more a risk? Right now we have a fairly constant 18% humidity recorded in our workshop - kids get zapped all the time. So in an environment where we know ESD is occurring, we should see a lot more issues.

I just caution those not to jump to conclusions about causes of failures they are having.

End of day, I still would not replay a match because a robot failed because it touched the wall. Fact is, the game has a fair number collisions between robots and walls. To then assume it is due to ESD because the robot touched another robot or wall, is not something I would do.