At our state championship, my student’s V5 radio changed from blinking green to blinking red in the middle of the match. Nobody noticed until after I reviewed the video I took of the match. As a result, my student was able to get about an extra half second of driving and climbed the middle platform. He stopped at what we all believed to be the buzzer, but the losing alliance complained that he drove after their robots stopped moving. Head ref accused my student of cheating and he teamed up with an opposing alliance coach and the host of the event to DQ us. Others intervened, voices of reason prevailed at the time, REC officials were called and after a long deliberation it was officially ruled that because the last half second was not match affecting (our alliance would have won by points anyway without the high park) the score stands and our alliance wins. Fast forward to present time, the coaches of the losing alliance said they have “eyewitness testimony” they presented to the REC Foundation. One of the allegations is that my student disconnected his controller on purpose (pulled the wire out) so he can drive past the buzzer. REC emailed me and said they are considering DQ-ing my student. I have a hi-res video of the match and of the 30 minutes after the match that shows that they are wrong, so someone is actually lying in order to qualify their teams. Not only the controller was plugged into the tower all the way to the very end of the match but there is nothing showing anyone or anything even tugging or touching that cable. If my student is DQ-ed, the opposing alliance goes to Worlds.
My question is not why even in robotics you see this kind of petty behavior - instead of celebrating kids being awesome, people get upset that they lost and drag you through mud. My question is technical:
What would cause the behavior I described above. Everything plugged in properly, match starts normal with green leds blinking. Then in the middle of match radio leds start blinking red. No indication of malfunction on the controller, everything works, cables are attached. V5 is flashed with 1.0.5 on all components. Programming is done through Robot Mesh Studio Python with standard competition template code.
Somewhere buried in this forum is a jpearman explanation of how field control works. According to that, all field control does is send signals to enable/disable motors.
What is the purpose of the green light blinking (vs. red light blinking which I’m told means connection established)?
Shouldn’t the robot stop responding when the lights blink red instead of green in the middle of a competition?
Is it possible to achieve this kind of behavior from the laptop/software that controls the match (sorry, the opposing team’s coach was around the field software laptops, not ruling out anything)?
Can a faulty jack, faulty Ethernet cable, bad connection to tower, someone stepping on a cable, a solar flare, etc. do that?
Sorry for so many questions and thanks. Just trying to clear my student’s name.