Remote Robot Pause & Resume Button

I have a question concerning rule number 2.1.1

2.1.1 Robots must be controlled autonomously. The use of a remote control or manual control, or passing information (by sensors, cables, wirelessly, etc.) to the robot is not allowed.

We want to develop a Start/Pause/Restart button for the robot controlled from a smartphone. Basically, a remote button that sends the Start/Pause/Restart message to the robot over BLE. The app would not be able to change motors or sensor readings or trigger any other behavior on the robot. The robot is still autonomous in all maze solving and challenge functions, just the Start/Pause/Restart functionality is external to the robot.

I understand that this is “passing information” but it is not passing information that influences the robot’s behavior in solving the challenge.

If this feature is made obvious to the judges and is proven to only pause and resume the robot would this be allowed?

Dear Rory,

Sounds OK for me … Will check with rest of TC!

What is the purpose of this?

// Fredrik Löfgren

Hi Fredrik

We have an app that the robot streams debug to via Bluetooth. We want to add the start/pause and restart button to the app to make it easier than trying to find and push a physical button on the robot while it is moving. There is no functionality in the app that can set motors, sensors, trigger events or change the robot’s behavior.

We have discussed this in the TC and decided to not allow it.

Some reasons:

  1. If we allow you to do it more teams will do it.
  2. We don’t trust all teams.
  3. Teams may press “pause” when the robot is on the exit tile and stop there to get the exit bonus
  4. You wrote “this feature is […] proven to only pause and resume the robot”, but how to trust you? Some teams may have 2 source codes, one that they show us and another that is used during run?

The reason bluetooth is allowed in rules is:

  1. Allow communication between lego mindstorms units (or similar units in the same robot).
  2. Communication between robots in the superteam competition.

Just move the button to the robot? Or fasten the mobile phone on the robot and it will be OK :slight_smile:

// Fredrik Löfgren