My middle school team wants to include sensors for more precision (I know we are late to the game). Which sensors do you think are most efficient in this particular game AND not too terribly confusing for beginner programmers? Don’t want to waste our money or time on sensors that really won’t help accomplish anything. to save questions, we are really just looking to clean up navigation around the field (chassis).


I would start with quadrature encoders on your drive train for more reliable precision on moves in autonomous. Carnegie Mellon has a great set of lessons that shows how to program sensors. When I was first starting as a coach, I would just sit them down and show them the lesson, then we’d implement it.

Forgot the link:

I taught myself robotc by watching these videos and for the first season basically stayed one lesson ahead of the kids!

@Gear Geeks thanks for the feedback. This is what I suspected but wanted to make sure there wasn’t somewhere else we should start.

I would recommend a gyro, encoders, and potentiometers.

An encoder on one of your lifts would be a good step as well.

I personally wouldn’t recommend a gyro to a team who is just beginning to use sensors. They are certainly useful, but for most areas in which they would be used for this game (i.e. autonomous) encoders work just as well if not better. Of course if you need orientation during driver control then a gyro would certainly help, but I have two on my bot and hardly use them. Encoders and potentiometers are much more important in my opinion.

Depending on what you’re using a gyro sensor for it can actually help quite a bit. For me I use it for directional movement. Say I wanna go to the left, all I have to do is say: “hey turn left until I hit this direction and stop and then do other stuff”. It just simplifies it down quite a bit, at least for me.