Dual Joystick Pros and Cons

This is our first year driving with dual joysticks. Does anybody know the pros and cons of using dual joysticks?

Depends on the robot. When I went to our first competition this year I had a very complicated robot, and my teammate was unable to make it. It was very hard to control it and drive well. I used to be for a single joystick, but now after seeing how much better we are doing with dual, I have changed my mind.

I guess the only cons of having a dual joystick would have to do with the communication of the drive team.
My team is using two joysticks this year because we need four analog sticks to do what we need to do, i.e. Precisely control the speed of our wheels with two analog sticks and precisely control the launcher’s speed with another analog stick. If you don’t need more than two analog sticks, partner joysticks can be useful for taking some stress off your driver.

I would say it depends on the team, me and one of my team mates have been working and driving robots together for years, and can work together without having to say too much, so it makes it very efficient drive team for two people.

The main benefit of two controllers is more buttons, we just need more buttons, because we have 4 presets, then a button for shooter on and off, and speed up and down by 1, then a joystick for fine shooter control, then toggles to turn intake on an off, and buttons to control each stage of the intake independently, then joysitcks for the drive, some angle control stuff, and lift control
so we just needed the extra buttons

I don’t have much to add, except to say that I agree with the above comments.

I wanted to leave here the story of what happened to us last year. :smiley:
We were a very amateur team and I only learned about VEX a month and maybe a few weeks before our first and only competition in February. In order to force my teammate to become more immersed with VEX (I didn’t want to be a one-person team XD) I coded dual controllers.
I didn’t know that the forums existed; it took hours to even find how dual joysticks worked (I was up till three trying to keep our robot and its code from falling apart :D).
After very little sleep, we went to the competition and lost every match we had except one. A parent told us that dual joysticks probably wasn’t the best route to go, haha.

TL;DR- Don’t use dual joysticks unless both you and your partner know what you’re doing and you’ve practiced it a lot. Don’t use it with a robot that doesn’t work. :smiley:

My team (2 members) started with 1 one controller, but as we started incorporating some semi auto drives and actions, there where just not enough buttons to do everything comfortably. When using 2 remotes, communication is key. Also, have patience with each other, never assume they know what you are doing. Think out loud until you get comfortable with each other.

If you are an amateur team, I would either suggest doing single control, or chose 2 capable drivers that always drive the robot. Don’t rotate drivers! A lot of new teams want to do this to allow everyone to be a part, but it never works out as nobody gets enough practice. Chose drivers that have more patience rather than ones that may be more capable of drivers. As a coach, let the students, for the most part, chose the drivers.

I personally don’t really believe that partner joysticks is the best option. They’re good if you have lots of functions or complex things to do, but ultimately automated and easy functions as well as tons of practice should make it much easier for one person to drive because coordination will most likely become an issue, especially in really fast paced and though matches.

In last year’s worlds finals, from what I could tell from the videos, none of the teams used partner joysticks. Take that however you want, just thought I’d toss that out there.

If you use two joysticks, do you have to use two drivers? Is there a rule requiring this or can one driver run both joysticks?

I wouldn’t suggest using them unless you have to. As others have said, communication is a big issue.

We use LEDs indicators to communicate between our two drivers, and it seems to be a lot faster than verbally communicating. Also, make sure you practice a lot if you do take up using two joysticks. No two brains think alike.

That’s an interesting idea, how were you able do this? Did you use the vex leds on your robot or were the leds somewhere on the drivers themselves?

We use LEDs to indicate of the flywheel is up to speed between shots.

They are on the robot. Since the drivers are always watching the robot we figured it is easier to just use them indicate what is going on between the two drivers and their actions to the robot.

It really helps to determine where we should shoot, and whether or not one of the drivers is intaking and attempting to shoot. It has allowed us to become more efficient, though we do verbally communicate from time-to-time.

Plus, this is one of our unique features that was included in the description of one of our design and one of our excellence awards for when they crowned us as the winning team.

As for my opinion on dual joysticks it all depends on the people, if two people work well together then they can be extremely effective, however if they don’t then they end up causing a lot of problems. My team doesn’t use dual joysticks based on personal preference, we just find it easier for one person to control the robot. However if you can work very well with your second driver, or have ways to communicate using signals on the robot like some of the other teams have said , then I would say go for it if you can get it down a dual joystick relieves stress for the drivers and will let them focus on one or two tasks. I recommend you try both but si gle joystick might be better if you are in a rush.

I have not used dual joysticks, but I’ve seen great teams here fail at a competition because they didn’t have their partner driver.