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Autopilot, what am I missing?

Discussion in 'Gameplay Help' started by Grit Breather, Jul 30, 2016.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    I have a pretty simple set up in survival with a large grid industrial ship and a small grid mining ship. I will move the large ship to a new asteroid, set up a convenient location, and go out mining in the small ship. There are no drones or automation.
    Naturally, the small ship has to dock with the large ship and unload mined ores once in a while. This is a bit of a pain as I need to accurately pilot it back every time.

    So I though, why not autopilot?
    I added a Remote Control to the miner and then set up a couple of waypoints every time the large ship is done parking by an asteroid. The idea was to just hit a button on the command bar that would turn on the autopilot and return the miner to an accurate position near the docking port where I would take over and complete the final step.
    Why two waypoints and not just one? This allows the miner to not only arrive at the docking port but also have the correct orientation to it.

    Where is my problem?
    I have no idea what the autopilot is doing!
    It's set up for a One Way trip because all I need is for it to get me to the docking port. No matter what I do, I can't get it to reliably start from the first waypoint or even cycle through both of them as expected. Reordering them doesn't help, nor does the Reset Waypoint button. It just seems to defy any common sense or logic.

    What am I doing wrong? Is the autopilot so flawed that it can't even reliably handle a two point one-way route?
    Also, for the sake of absolute clarity, does the list of waypoints cycle top-down or bottom-up? I can't seem to find anything explaining the direction.
  2. Wicorel Senior Engineer

  3. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

  4. SilentShadow Apprentice Engineer

    At least we are beyond the times when it would spin the ship like a top when it gets to the last waypoint. That really messed with my autopilot docking attempts.
  5. Krougal Senior Engineer

    I dunno, autpilok (sorry former X player) seems to be less fiddly than it has been in a long time.
    Granted I mostly use it just to go 1 way. Haven't done a lot with drones lately, played with Gfleka's following patrol drone a bit, which seemed to work fine. Haven't tried any of Pennywise's automated mining drones lately.
    The pirate drone issues weren't caused by the remote at all, was just simple in-game design issues Keen needed to be shamed into fixing.

    Of course Wico being one of the resident experts on remotely controlling ships he likely knows things that are broken that I don't.
  6. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    The autopilot is a pretty basic creature.

    You CAN use just one waypoint. Select "One Way" Enter the GPS location(s). Be sure they are in the right order and press "Reset Waypoints" to make sure that they will be carried out correctly.

    Always use "precision" Without it, your ship will generally overfly the GPS location then have to back-track to it. It's less time consuming to nail it on the first pass.

    Okay, now the big thing: collision avoidance. If it is on, you can't dock. If it is off, you'll smack into anything that happens to be in your path.

    This is where waypoint scripting comes in. At every way-point you can carry out a series of commands; the same as you would when accessing a timer block in Trigger Now mode. You can use it to turn collision avoidance on and off as well as anything else.

    Here's the tricky part. You can also use the waypoint scripting to orient your ship towards its next GPS waypoint. The default is forward. By changing this you can make the ship fly backwards, up, down, etc towards its next waypoint.

    The remote is dumb. So you may need to set up a few extra waypoints to make sure the ship is properly aligned with the host connector and isn't approaching too fast. So typically:

    GPS#1: flies the ship into the general area of the connector.
    GPS#2: about half-way between GPS#1 and the connector. You use this waypoint to line up with the connector and turn your ship to the correct orientation if need be.
    GPS#3: Your final destination with your connector and the host connector exactly lined up and ready to be locked.

    Pro-tips. Always use the ship the waypoint is intended for when trying to do things like dock, when plotting your waypoints. Switch over to the remote that will be doing the flying before you lay down your waypoint. That way the waypoint is generated precisely where the remote will be when it docks. Your connector should be in the same plane as the remote and the host connector when docking. That way if your ship can be rotated in any 360 degrees to the connector and still line up.
  7. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    Thanks @Ronin1973.
    I was already doing/trying everything you mentioned. Even the part about more than one waypoint on approach.

    My main issue is that the autopilot will either skip waypoints or simply just refuse to start working at all.
    For the sake of this example, lets say I have the following waypoints set up:
    1. ~100m away from the docking port.
    2. 20-40m away from the docking port. This waypoint is the one used for proper docking orientation.
    3. Almost on top of the docking port. This one should theoretically leave me to push the ship in and lock the port.
    All waypoints were captured using the remote control block itself.
    I have tried the waypoints in both this order and a reversed one, neither option seems to work reliably or even give me a predictable result.
    I have even tried the Reset Waypoints button with various waypoints selected but that seems to do nothing.

    When trying the autopilot I am further out of the docking port, anything between 50-200m away from the farthest most waypoint.
    What the autopilot ends up doing is a random selection of one of the following:
    1. Ignore 1 and 2. Head straight for 3. Stop in the wrong orientation.
    2. Ignore 2. Head for 1 and then 3. Stop in the wrong orientation.
    3. Ignore 2 and 3. Head for 1 and stop.
    4. Ignore 1 and 3. Head for 2 and stop.
    5. Refuse to start navigation. Just sit in space and wiggle.
    6. Instantly turn off the autopilot after activation.
    I'm a senior developer with 15 years of experience in IT so I naturally tried to apply logic to the above behaviour to no avail.
    Even trying to analyse the autopilot methods on the GitHub code didn't lead me to any logical conclusions.

    This is basically why I asked here. Nothing I do seems to produce a logical result.
    In fact, the result I get back seems to not even be predictable even if wrong.
  8. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Try pressing "reset waypoint" even if you've never triggered autopilot. It's a good idea to always do this in case the order doesn't match the GUI.
  9. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    I'll try that again even though my tests also covered using that button.
  10. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    I'm currently able to use autopilot to send cargo ships back to my base using: Forward:One Way:One Waypoint. I add my remote, add the waypoint, press reset waypoint, turn on collision avoidance, turn of precision... then enable autopilot.

    Perhaps that level of detail isn't all that necessary, but that's exactly what I'm doing playing on someone else's rented server. I'm also playing the "stable" branch.

    Let me know if that works for you.
  11. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    Forward:One Way:One Waypoint...
    That works for me but it does not fulfil my needs. The minimum I would need is "Backward:One Way:Three Waypoints".

    Have you actually tried more complex autopilot scenarios?
  12. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    I have not tried more complex maneuvers recently in survival on multiplayer. I'll give it a go later today.
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.