New Controller

So recently I’ve heard some rumors about a new MC being released in the near future. This sounds interesting, but I wanted to talk about some things that would be cool to see in a joystick update.

  1. Analog Bumpers. Like an xbox controller, the bottom bumpers use hall effect sensors to allow for a new method of analog control
  2. Telemetry. Some way of receiving data from the cortex to the controller. I’m not even talking about a display or anything, just a simple LED that we can control in code is all. Trying to see if your robot is aligned from 12 feet away is a real pain.
  3. Tactile Buttons. A lot of the buttons seem really mushy and don’t really give you good feedback. More tactile buttons would be nice.
  4. Bluetooth 5. VexNet is nice and all, but there’s always times when I’ve had issues connecting. Also, I find the range on Vexnet to be quite poor. Although not a primary concern for Vex matches, it would be nice to drive your robot around more than 20 ft away when you’re doing a demo.
  5. A smaller form factor. Personally, I don’t have very small hands, but I know some of my teammates who struggle to reach some of the buttons.

Just some suggestions for / if vex makes a new joystick. I don’t find these absolutely necessary but it would be cool to see some of these features in a new controller along side a possible MC update. I would like to know what you guys wanna see so go ahead and reply with your suggestions.

To be honest, I’d like something like the steam controller, but with 2 joysticks, and the buttons moved to the haptic thumpad area. Steam Controller on Steam

But really… I don’t think VEX needs new controllers

Have you… Have you used a steam controller -_-

That’s possibly the worst thing you could use to control a robot.

Like this.
More ergonomic. (And the comm protocol is pretty good)

Ohhh. That reminds me. I think the new joystick should have joystick layout like this. I used this for IQ and it felt so much more ergonomic.

Oh and paddles on the back would be a nice addition

The data comes back to the current controller. It’s on the programming port, thats how the data gets back to RobotC for the debugger.

You can build your own display and attach it to the controller. Presently, there is nothing in the rules about building a display and using it. You are not altering the controller and the VEX parts limitation is only on the robot.

I’m almost positive this would be a violation of <R15>

I’m also not sure how you would connect and control a display. That would be a really neat project, though.

In theory, you could emulate the Programming Kit and plug into the a Programming Slot, and run a display based on the data send back by writeDebugStream() and writeDebugStreamLine(). It would be possible , but I don’t think it would be legal

Not legal for competition, certainly, but you could di that for testing and debugging.

“Motors (including the internal PTC), extension cords, sensors, controllers, battery packs, reservoirs, solenoids, pistons, and any other electrical component or pneumatics component of th VEX Robotics Design System may NOT be altered from their original state in ANY way”

@MayorMonty – Not altering, plugging in.

@puzzler7 – “Not legal for competition, certainly, but you could di that for testing and debugging.” Which rule makes it certainly?

Remember the VEX rules are very explicit on what you CAN’T do, things that are not written in the rules are by default CAN do.

@lpieroni - The programming port is a serial port, it wouldn’t be that hard to read it and put it on a multi-line display.

There was a discussion back when the Cortex and the controllers first came out about a new product that was in development to be a display pack for the controller. Microprocessors and displays have come a long, long way since 2010. :slight_smile:

Should someone ask if we can?

Based on this Q&A it may be legal for VEXU.

This project has been on my todo list forever, never found the time. It is slightly harder than it may appear at first but is theoretically possible.

You’re right. I did not actually check the rulebook. I went off memory. I believe that Karthik ruled that having a string on the controller to hold the ethernet cable was illegal. I then assumed that if a string was illegal, such a display would also be illegal. My bad.

@Foster Think about this logically. Let’s say this is legal. Then, once one team has done it, other teams will replicate it, and eventually, someone will release an open source version. Then, basically every team has to do because of the massive advantage it gives you. Suddenly the game, changes, and it’s $50+ more expensive. One of the massive advantages of VRC is how it’s much cheaper than FTC or other competitions. They wouldn’t want to add yet another barrier to entry

Massive advantage? I highly doubt that. Half the teams can’t be bothered to program an autonomous routine. I don’t think they’ll all be running out to buy and program an LCD for their joystick.

Do agree with @puzzler7 Don’t think they will allow this going off of the q&a he referenced. Not that that q&a made much sense.

Most teams have different robots, so they will have different autonomous routines. But all the teams should have the same joystick, so someone could just release the code for the additional LCD.

And then it becomes another LCD screen. If you want to use it, you can program it yourself. There’s already a lot of code available for the LCD, and many teams don’t use that either.

But this is so much more useful that a LCD. You can get live data from your Robot in a way you never could before. The only thing that would come close to this would be a VEX Speaker makes noises on certain events