One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a team is losing control of their robot during a match. Please consider the following things that have been seen to cause problems at competition:
Be careful when designing robots with multiple motors under simultaneous or heavy loading. There are three main points to consider:
Many of these situations are worsened by repeatedly moving the motors from forward to reverse. This action results in subjecting the motors to a repeated stall load. Unfortunately this is often the natural reaction for drivers when their robot is acting erratically.
The best way to prevent this problem is to design the robot such that these loads are minimized.
If something like the failures above occur during a match, it may be best to stop for a few seconds to let the breakers cool, and then attempt to continue by driving slow and steady without unnecessary acceleration and turning. Decrease the load on the motors as much as possible to let things cool down.
As you can see, there are many possible causes for a robot to lose control or not function as designed. It is not always easy or quick to determine a cause. Unfortunately, with the pressure to keep matches on schedule, refs and volunteers do not have the time to diagnose robot problems. Unless there is clear evidence of a field failure, the refs will ask the teams to leave and try to solve the problem in the pits. Matches are typically only replayed in the event of a clear field failure. It is the responsibility of every team to prevent Robot Failures which will result in a loss of functionality.1)