Couple Questions

I have a competition tomorrow, it’s not my first, but I have a couple of questions.

  1. I’ve seen teams put their controllers down when autonomous is running, and after a game ends. Is there a reason for that?

  2. I have Type 1 diabetes. I am also my team’s strategist, and I guide our driver. If I were to go low, my mind slows down, I feel weak, and can get shaky. Could I ask for a delay if my blood-sugar went low? Or would my team have to go without me?

  1. this demonstrates clearly that the robot is not being controlled by the human during autonomous
  2. please contact the EP/Head Referee about accommodations. generally timeouts are restricted to 1 during eliminations… but life happens

To answer the first question, this is something that IQ students have to do, if you saw this in VRC it’s probably just a habit they have from doing IQ, if you’re competing in IQ then you’re supposed to do this as there isn’t a field control like in VRC so they probably just something they are used to doing. It also helps show that the robot isn’t being controlled by a person during autonomous.

As for the second one it would depend on how far behind schedule the event is and if the EP allows it. If it happens during eliminations then you can use your 3 minute time out, if it happens during qualifications and it’s an emergency the EP might allow the next match to be ran first to allow you a bit of time or something like that but if the event is already behind schedule that’s probably unlikely they would do that and you would probably just have to sit that match out.


I put down my controller because I get bored of holding it haha.

And like the others have said, speak with the EP and they will accommodate you accordingly. I personally would buffer 1 minute or however long you need around each of your matches, but not all will treat it the same.


Also some drivers put controller down if they are on platform to stop them from accidentally flicking the joystick and unbalancing or similarly if they are not on the platform, to stop them from driving into platform and unbalancing it.


We started making it a policy in our area at VRC events.

  • At the start it signals the referees that you are ready to go. Teams cannot make any last second changes or claim that they weren’t ready. It also demonstrates to the audience that the robots are driving autonomously.
  • After the autonomous period teams pick up their controllers which tells the referees that they are ready for driver control.
  • At the end of the match teams set their controllers down to prevent any accidental movement and to protect referees if they have to examine the robot or perform a paper test.

In Wisconsin, it has been tradition as long as I can remember for teams to put their controllers down during autonomous, long before IQ was a thing. The three bullet points that @Hudsonville_Robotics mentioned are exactly what we have done for many years and exactly why we have done it that way.

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It goes beyond this. In the rulebook, G10 states:

Autonomous means “no humans”. During the Autonomous Period, Drive Team Members are not permitted to interact with the Robots in any way, directly or indirectly. This could include, but is not limited to:
Activating any controls on their V5 Controllers.
• Unplugging or otherwise manually interfering with the field connection in any way.
• Triggering sensors (including the Vision Sensor) in any way, even without touching them.

Putting the controller down is a way of proving that you are not pushing buttons on your controller, and as a referee, I prefer it. Of course, if you need special accommodations, you can talk to the EP/Head Ref ahead of time and work something out, like holding your joystick with one hand such that it’s clear you aren’t activating any controls.

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