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Control Hub Major Advantage

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  • Control Hub Major Advantage

    With the new control hub being released and allowed to be used by some teams and not others, I did some research on what advantages the control hub has. Besides the obvious ones like not having to mount a phone on the robot and having cleaner wiring which is less prone to disconnects, I think there is one that has been overshadowed by the glamour of the hub. From what I've heard and can tell about the hub from my research, the loop cycle time of the control hub is significantly lower than the loop cycle time of the phone+expansion hub setup. This would be a huge advantage for teams, especially when it comes to programming autonomous where a major thing holding our team back is the slow loop cycle times. We've had to design our motions to specifically compensate for the slow loop cycle times and make our autonomous slower so we can be more accurate with these slow loop cycle times. With a faster loop cycle times, teams could easily make an autonomous program that is much quicker and responsive to sensor feedback. This is a huge advantage for these teams and especially when the control hub teams play against non-control hub teams that aren't allowed to use the control hub, it could make the difference in matches. Is there anything being done to slow down the loop cycle time on the control hub to make it more comparable to the phone+expansion hub setup?

  • #2
    Is there anything being done to slow down the loop cycle time on the control hub to make it more comparable to the phone+expansion hub setup?
    I understand the sentiment, but to answer your question, I hope not. I don't want to see the Control Hub hobbled in any way. The first reason is that I'm an FTA in a pilot region, and I'd like to avoid discouraging teams from participating in the pilot program. Having more teams participate should improve the program's effectiveness and the resulting product.

    Second, the advantage mentioned is only for those teams which reach Worlds; per the blog posting announcing the Control Hub pilot:
    If pilot teams choose to compete outside their pilot region they will be required to convert to the Expansion Hub and Android device format. The only exception are pilot teams who earn their way to World Championship. Those teams may continue to use the Control Hub at World Championship.
    There are only five pilot regions, so that's not many teams going to World's who can use the CH. The subset of these who would be helped by a shorter loop cycle is pretty small. I can think of only one (I've stalked your profile, so I know you're familiar with them).

    Third, now that the CH firmware has been released, the few teams who are piloting it won't want to pull down a version that's slower. I would not in good conscience be able to encourage teams to pick up a new version which might hurt them.

    Finally, a slowdown might well overshoot the intended mark and create a disadvantage for pilot teams in their regional competitions against non-pilot teams. I'd rather not see FIRST spend scarce engineering resources on fine-tuning a slowdown, either.
    John McDonnell
    Volunteer, former mentor