Recent Updates

  • Updated on: Feb 24, 2014

    Startup Checklist

    This is a checklist of things to check before and as soon as turning on the robot. This list was provided by CSA Laura Rhodes, FRC Team 100

  • Updated on: Feb 24, 2014

    Ready to play

    Being ready to go early is a huge advantage, you get access to the practice field and practice matches. Here are some tips to help you breeze through the control system part of the inspection and make your robot easy to repair. This document was provided by CSA Laura Rhodes, FRC Team 100.

  • Updated on: Feb 10, 2014

    Sending data from the cRIO to an Arduino

    Sometimes it is useful to use a coprocessor to handle operations on some sensors, lights, etc. A popular processor is the Arduino. This article shows sample code to send some data between the cRIO and an Arduino. Although it only sends data in one direction (from the cRIO to the Arduino), it serves as an example of how to do it.

    This program sends one of two values (either 72 or 76) from the cRIO to either turn the LED (pin 13 on the Arduino) either on or off. The value is arbitrary and was just part of a larger sample program.

  • This article outlines a number of Control System related items a team can do to prepare for running their robot connected to the field at an event. These tips and tricks should help ensure a smooth experience when bringing your robot to the field and connecting the Field Management System.

  • Updated on: Feb 03, 2014

    Creating a custom control using Java

    sfx comes with a palette of built-in controls that feature a wide range of use cases. But sometimes you would like to further customize your robot dashboard with controls that you create yourself. There are two strategies for creating custom controls, either:

    1. FXML - a XML-based markup language for describing your own controls using a declarative language without needing programming
    2. Java-based controls can have more complex requirements and behaviors

    In this lesson we'll look at creating Java-based controls. For FXML controls see the FXML tutorial.

  • Updated on: Jan 31, 2014

    Creating a custom control using FXML

    sfx comes with a palette of built-in controls that feature a wide range of use cases. But sometimes you would like to further customize your robot dashboard with controls that you create yourself. There are two strategies for creating custom controls, either:

    1. FXML - a XML-based markup language for describing your own controls using a declarative language without needing programming
    2. Java-based controls can have more complex requirements and behaviors

    In this lesson we'll look at creating FXML-based controls. For creating Java controls, see the Java tutorial.

  • Updated on: Jan 30, 2014

    Gyros to control robot driving direction

    Gyros typically in the FIRST kit of parts are provided by Analog Devices, and are actually angular rate sensors. The output voltage is proportional to the rate of rotation of the axis perpendicular to the top package surface of the gyro chip. The value is expressed in mV/°/second (degrees/second or rotation expressed as a voltage). By integrating (summing) the rate output over time, the system can derive the relative heading of the robot.

    Another important specification for the gyro is its full-scale range. Gyros with high full-scale ranges can measure fast rotation without “pinning” the output. The scale is much larger so faster rotation rates can be read, but there is less resolution due to a much larger range of values spread over the same number of bits of digital to analog input. In selecting a gyro, you would ideally pick the one that had a full-scale range that matched the fastest rate of rotation your robot would experience. This would yield the highest accuracy possible, provided the robot never exceeded that range.

  • Updated on: Jan 30, 2014

    Using limit switches to control behavior

    Limit switches are often used to control mechanisms on robots. While limit switches are simple to use, they only can sense a single position of a moving part. This makes them ideal for ensuring that movement doesn't exceed some limit but not so good at controlling the speed of the movement as it approaches the limit. For example, a rotational shoulder joint on a robot arm would best be controlled using a potentiometer or an absolute encoder, the limit switch could make sure that if the potentiometer ever failed, the limit switch would stop the robot from going to far and causing damage.

  • Updated on: Jan 30, 2014

    Cannot access java.lang

    Sometimes the plugins get out of date or have an older version than the libraries that are installed on the system.

  • Updated on: Jan 29, 2014

    Driving a robot using Mecanum drive

    Mecanum drive is a method of driving using specially designed wheels that allow the robot to drive in any direction without changing the orientation of the robot. A robot with a conventional drivetrain (4 or six wheels) must turn in the direction it needs to drive. A mecanum robot can move in any direction without first turning and is called a holonomic drive.

    Manual RobotBuilder