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Programming Info

Making the robot as intelligent as possible by using the available tools such as LabVIEW.  The posts below are intended to help new programmers learn and seasoned programmers remember key concepts that can be incorporated in the robot.

Major Programming Tasks are outlined on a different page

Programming Update 5 Nov 2015

posted Nov 10, 2015, 6:14 PM by Rob Owings   [ updated Nov 10, 2015, 6:14 PM by Jeffrey Kangas ]

The programming team has expressed interest in traditional coding languages. We built two programming test stands for code development as we investigate our programming options and learn controls and feedback.

 We investigated Java, but it is incompatible with our older cRio robot control systems.  We only have one RoboRio, the current platform, so we are looking into using C++.    We will try C++ with our older cRios and as a last resort we will go back to using LabVIEW.

Programming with Java for Robotics

posted Oct 31, 2015, 9:38 AM by Rob Owings   [ updated Oct 31, 2015, 9:38 AM by Jeffrey Kangas ]

USFIRST.org -> FRC -> technical information -> programming -> Java

  To Install Java Development Environment <- click that link and it will walk you through the following items:

    download Java SDK
    download eclipse for C/C++ (64 bit or x86 depending on your version of operating system: Mac is 64  bit, Windows can be either)
    set up eclipse and install WPI libraries for frc

  Use RobotBuilder - this is optional but can simplify the process for systems integration and mapping resources from software to electrical

  Make your first Java robot program


  In using Java, we move away from the LabVIEW dashboard and use the smartdashboard

  We also have the option of using a Linux based machine as a simulator

Oct 29 2015 Robotics Programming Meeting

posted Oct 31, 2015, 9:25 AM by Rob Owings   [ updated Oct 31, 2015, 9:25 AM by Jeffrey Kangas ]

FRC has three options for programming and they include
    LabVIEW
    C++
    Java
As a team we have historically used LabVIEW to control the robot because it appeared to be simpler.  In our meeting, we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of using it vs the other options.  LabVIEW takes a high power PC and at least an hour to set up and requires 5 GB of storage just to get it installed.  C++ and Java take about 400 MB and set up in about 20 minutes.  As future programmers, the students voted that they would like the exposure to a structured code based rather than a picture based control system because the "real" world uses Java and C++ while the implemented use of LabVIEW while not insignificant has much less penetration.  Android runs on Java, IOS runs on objective C and most other software is written in C++.  The move from Java to C++ is a much smaller step than the leap from LabVIEW pictures to Java.  We looked at arduino input output in C ++ and showed some digital and analog examples.  All this was done while some machines were loading LabVIEW and in the 2 hours we were there did not finish loading.

To practice coding and get familiar with Java, a couple suggestions were made:
1.  buy a $25 arduino kit and practice making the servo and other parts work
2.  take the codeacademy.com java class

Next week we will go further with the eclipse environment and image the crio for java and practice making robot projects and making parts sense and actuate.

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