Receiving debug stream during Driver Skills

I am at a tournament and I am trying to figure out how to receive the Debug stream from a driver skills match. This is to be used for analysis for making our programming skills. No drive team member will have access to this info during the driver skills run. How should we achieve this?


You can’t be plugged in during official runs. You can just work with data from a practice run.

Just as @tabor473 said, the easiest thing would be simply to record off the practice run.
However, if you must have telemetry from a real skill run, there are options of various complexity, depending on how much data you need to collect.
If you have experience with Arduino you could connect it to the Cortex UART port and record the output to the logging shield for the later analysis. You will need to clear this with head ref explaining that you are not using this for real-time communication and it is not functioning as run enhancing electronics during the run itself.
If head ref is not buying it, you could always mount a GoPro in front of your LCD and record all the messages as your robot runs. You could offer this thought experiment to the head ref and say that Arduino would do what is already legal with LCD/GoPro system, but you just make it more convenient to interpret the results, because human doesn’t need to transcribe the whole video every single time.
Finally, if first two options are not available, you could mount several LEDs on the top of your robot and broadcast telemetry by turning them on an off as you record the video of your run. It is perfectly legal to use LEDs to communicate information to the driving team during the run, but may be tricky to find a software that could extract bytestream from the video. Unless you shoot with high speed camera you also will be limited to 25 bps and you may need to keep recording for a long time to get all your data transferred.

The Arduino connection has been ruled illegal in the Official Q&A. The matter is not at the discretion of the head ref.

I understand, that to ensure fair and level playing field for VRC, they had disallow any external electronics affecting the runs. And, since it is impossible to verify if communications are one or two ways then it is just easier to make any external electronics illegal.

If the amount of telemetry data is not that large, then it could be accumulated inside the program memory and downloaded when robot is off the field. I know PROS allows to establish serial connection anytime, but not sure if you could do that without resetting the program from the RobotC debugger.

I wish GDC would allow more creative use of external electronics in the upcoming seasons, because it would add great educational value.

I am sure the easiest way to increase value proposition of the V5 Brain would be to ensure everybody knows that it could connect to a myriad of the cheap Arduino based sensors out-of-the-box.

I know for a fact PROS supports this, but I believe RobotC users can write to a file in nonvolatile storage. That’s probably the only viable way to read such telemetry data with RobotC.

Or maybe there’s some sort of purpose-built serial data storage device out there that would certainly be far less illegal than an Arduino and less hacky than writing to non-volatile storage with RobotC.