RoboRIO Networking

The network setup used on the roboRIO system is a little bit different than the previous Control System. The new scheme utilizes mDNS to allow for the use of DHCP addressing and seamless transition from ethernet to USB and back.

This document discusses the  typical setup at home. For more information about the networking environment at events, or about using Static IPs see IP Networking at the Event

mDNS

The FRC Driver Station, LabVIEW, and the Eclipse plugins for C++ and Java are all programmed to discover your roboRIO using the mDNS protocol. This means that the roboRIO can be detected regardless of the interface or IP being used.

mDNS - Principles

Multicast Domain Name System (mDNS) is a system which allows for resolution of host names to IP addresses on small networks with no dedicated name server. To resolve a host name a device sends out a multicast message to the network querying for the device. The device then responds with a multicast message containing it's IP. Devices on the network can store this information in a cache so subsequent requests for this address can be resolved from the cache without repeating the network query.

mDNS - Providers

To use mDNS, an mDNS implementation is required to be installed on your PC. Here are some common mDNS implementations for each major platform:

Windows:

  • NI mDNS Responder - Installed with the NI FRC Update Suite
  • Apple Bonjour - Installed with iTunes

OSX:

  • Apple Bonjour - Installed by default

Linux:

  • nss-mDNS/Avahi/Zeroconf - Installed and enabled by default on some Linux variants (such as Ubuntu or Mint). May need to be installed or enabled on others (such as Arch)

mDNS - Firewalls

To work properly mDNS must be allowed to pass through your firewall. Depending on your PC configuration, no changes may be required, this section is provided to assist with troubleshooting. Because the network traffic comes from the mDNS implementation and not directly from the Driver Station or IDE, allowing those applications through may not be sufficient. There are two main ways to resolve mDNS firewall issues:

  • Add an application/service exception for the mDNS implementation (NI mDNS Responder is C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\mDNS Responder\nimdnsResponder.exe)
  • Add a port exception for traffic to/from UDP 5353 (IP ranges 10.0.0.0-10.255.255.255   172.16.0.0-172.31.255.255   192.168.0.0-192.168.255.255   169.254.0.0-169.254.255.255   224.0.0.251)

mDNS - Browser support

Most web-browsers should be able to utilize the mDNS address to access the roboRIO webserver as long as an mDNS provider is installed. To access the webdashboard, the browser must also support Microsoft Silverlight. Internet Explorer is recommended.

USB

If using the USB interface, no network setup is required (you do need the NI Update Suite installed to provide the roboRIO USB Driver). The roboRIO driver will automatically configure the IP address of the host (your computer) and roboRIO and the software listed above should be able to locate and utilize your roboRIO

Ethernet/Wireless

The FRC Radio Configuration Utility will enable the DHCP server on the OpenMesh radio in the home use case (AP mode), if you are putting the OpenMesh in bridge mode and using a router, you can enable DHCP addressing on the router. The bridge is set to the same team based IP address as before (10.TE.AM.1) and will hand out DHCP address from 10.TE.AM.20 to 10.TE.AM.199. When connected to the field, FMS will also hand out addresses in the same IP range.

roboRIO Ethernet Configuration

The roboRIO Ethernet interface should be set to DHCP. When connected to the OpenMesh bridge, the roboRIO will receive an IP from the bridge. When tethered directly to a PC, both devices will self-assign IPs.

PC Adapter Configuration

When connecting via Ethernet (to either the radio or directly to the roboRIO) or Wireless (to the OpenMesh radio), your computer adapter should be set to DHCP. When connecting through the OpenMesh, your PC will receive an IP address from the radio. If tethered directly to the roboRIO both devices will self-assign IPs.

IP Lists

IPs for system components:

roboRIO USB: 172.22.11.2

roboRIO mDNS: roboRIO-####-FRC.local (where #### is your team number with no leading zeroes) You should be able to use this address to communicate with the roboRIO over either interface through ping, browser, etc.

Robot Radio: 10.TE.AM.1 (where TE.AM is your 4 digit team number with leading zeroes if required)

roboRIO Ethernet: DHCP, assigned by the Robot Radio

Driver Station PC: DHCP, assigned by the Robot Radio

Additional Programming computers: DHCP, assigned by the Robot Radio

DHCP range: 10.TE.AM.20 to 10.TE.AM.199

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