Hi everyone!

We hope you are having a good start to the school year and FRC preseason!! We wanted to give you an update about beta testing! Girls of Steel was one of the teams selected to test FRC’s new control system. We’ve been testing out the new electronics in bench testing mode, with all the components wired together on a table instead of mounting them on a robot chassis. We’re really excited about the reduced size and weight of all the parts. Having the digital sidecar integrated right into the roboRIO module is great.

At our last meeting, we pushed code to the roboRio and drove motors with Talons and the new Victor SP motor controllers. Everything worked well! One of the weird things that we noticed was that the motors hiccuped sometimes at full speed, but this was because we weren’t using the correct motor controller class for the Victor SPs.

The new development environment for 2015 is Eclipse instead of Netbeans. As part of our testing, we successfully used the Eclipse debugging mode to single-step through code running on the roboRIO. The final step for bench testing was to connect wirelessly. The cool thing about the new radio configuration is that we no longer have to change IP addresses on our PCs every time we connect to the robot; the radio will simply assign our computer an IP address via DHCP.

Stay tuned for our next update after we move the electronics over to one of our robots. Thanks everyone who helped!!

-Arushi & Sylvie

This is the link to FIRST’s beta testing discussion forum:
http://forums.usfirst.org/forumdisplay.php?1559-2015-FRC-Beta-Test

If you want to learn more about the new motor controllers, see the announcement and data sheet:
http://www.vexrobotics.com/vexpro/vex-ctre-announcement.html
http://content.vexrobotics.com/vexpro/pdf/Victor-SP-Talon-SRX-Info-Sheet-20140819.pdf

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