When my team and I were discussing the topic of driving, the number of drivers we should have was brought to our attention. The coach, who had previously competed recommended that we have a driver as well as a commander who tells the driver what to do. However, we still don’t know what the best combination of people is. Either two drivers and one commander, a drive, and commander/ driver. Or otherwise. Hopefully, someone can help my team with this subject matter.

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Most teams have only one driver because it’s difficult for two drivers to effectively work together. In addition, having two drivers means that practicing driving is harder, because you need both people to be present for it. And if you’re having two drivers, you’re going to need a lot of drive practice in order for the two drivers to work together effectively.

Most teams also have a commander (they’re usually called a “drive coach”) who tells the driver what to do. The drive coach can provide high-level instructions such as “pick up green cubes,” “score an orange cube in a tower,” or “pin that other robot.” Meanwhile, the driver can listen to those and focus on operating the robot.

Having a drive coach often helps because drivers often get tunnel vision, which makes them forget about the rest of the field and focus only on what they’re doing. Also, considering this year’s game (Tower Takeover) has a pretty complicated scoring system with how the towers and colors affect cubes, it’s usually better to have someone other than the driver worrying about it.

The third person can do things like call out the match time (“15 seconds left”), talk with your alliance partner about strategy, or point out cubes that are easy for the driver to grab. This role really depends on your driver’s strengths and your drive coach’s strengths - the third person is there to fill any gaps.

The third person can also be the programmer who goes through the process of selecting an autonomous routine at the beginning of each match.


You should probably do one driver, one commander, and an assistant that sums up the score (with the app) and/or read out the time

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I like to have a driver, a timer who also communicates what other bots on the field are doing, and a tactician who directly commands the driver based on information from the timer/observer.

But, that’s never really quite worked out for me due to improper team drive practices (due to time/scheduling constraints).

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A lot of teams have a driver who focuses on driving, and a backup driver that does strategy and timing, and if the main driver is sick or can’t make it to the competition then the backup driver can fill in. The backup driver tells the main driver what to do based on the opponents’ strengths and weaknesses (which you would gather from scouting).

Good luck to you and your team!


It depends on how your robot is designed. If your robot is simple enough so that the bottleneck doesn’t happen when using the robots mechanisms, than only having 1 driver would be the best choice. However, if you find that the robots performance starts to lag behind due to a complicated control system, then it might be worth it to have an operator that controls the intake or other mechanisms and have the driver just focusing on the base and/or a lift.


We have used dual controllers both years I have gone to worlds.
For ITZ, I controlled the lift/stacking/claw and our main driver controlled the base/mogo intake.
For TP, I controlled the flywheel angler and shooting controls, and he controlled the base/intake/arm.
Both years it worked out fairly well, and was necessary due to the number of controls was needed.

For our angling flywheel, each button was used for a different action or setting.
Our workflow was this: the driver would grab a ball, and then head for any of our 4 shooting positions. He would then tell me ahead of time which position to go to.
I would press the button corresponding to that position, and select whether to shoot the top or middle flag. The flywheel would then automatically angle to get to the position ahead of time.
Then, when the driver lined up, I would press the shoot button, which would then execute whatever setting I had specified (top, middle, or doubleshot at what position).
Theoretically the angler would already have been at the correct position, so all it needed to do was shoot.
This system allowed us to do some pretty cool stuff, and we mostly worked well together.


Thanks everyone for all the information, provided within less than day. I will definitly consider and discuss each of your options with my team. Thanks for all the feedback!

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