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Official Q&A: VRC 2023-2024: Over Under

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Can Teams Have Separate Programs for Autonomous and Driver?

Kaiden Richardson

Some of our teams use different programs between Autonomous and Driver and switch the running program from the V5 controller while Autonomous is being scored. I have not found any rules for or against this but <G11> suggests some restriction on the autonomous program. In this case, both programs are made using the competition template and do correctly respond to field control. Thank you!

Answered by committee

Rule <R26> reads as follows, with a few portions bolded for emphasis:

<R26> Use a “Competition Template” for programming. The Robot must be programmed to follow control directions provided by the VEXnet Field Controllers or Smart Field Control system.

During the Autonomous Period, Drive Team Members will not be allowed to use their V5 Controllers. As such, Teams are responsible for programming their Robot with custom software if they want to perform in the Autonomous Period. Robots must be programmed to follow control directions provided by the field controls (i.e., ignore wireless input during the Autonomous Period, disable at the end of the Driver Controlled Period, etc.).

Teams must use a provided “competition template” or functional equivalent to accomplish this. This will be tested in inspection, where Robots will be required to pass a functional “enable/disable” test. For more information on this, Teams should consult the help guides produced by the developers of their chosen programming software.

There are no rules explicitly prohibiting the actions you are describing, provided that it is not involve physically interacting with the Robot (<G9>), unplugging from the field (<G10>), any interactions during the Autonomous Period (<G11>), or circumventing the "disable" signal between the Autonomous and Driver Control Periods (<R26>).

Teams attempting to use non-standard methods such as this should expect additional scrutiny during inspection and/or Matches to ensure that the Robots are still responding correctly to field control signals. Due to the increased risk of Violating these rules (or confusion over any perceived Violations), we would highly recommend avoiding this practice and instead using a standard competition template.