Archives for January 6, 2009

FIRST Day – CompactRIO vs Old FRC Controller

                   NEw cRIO Controller                      VS.                Old FRC Controller

Chassis          Rc-350

As in an earlier blog entry, I gave you a preview of the two control systems of FRC. One is the C RIO which will be used this year for the first time in USFIRST history. The other was the control system that has been use since at least 2000 until last year.

Now I'm going to go over some of the features of the two control systems and let you decide whether the new system or old system is best for you.

The first system I will be discussing in the post is between the robot and the driver station.

In the old system communication was accomplished by radio modem or with a direct connection by a serial cable also known as a tether. To program the robot you had to tether the robot, which sometimes caused problems. If you didn't have the right tether you couldn't do anything. Also, it caused some safety issues at the competition and back home in the shop. First of all, you could trip over the wire and potentially damage your operator interface. We did this at a competition once and ripped-off the connection to the power input. We very nearly couldn't compete if it hadn't been for a team to give us some epoxy and we glued it back on. Luckily, it still worked. Altough you can have some safety issues, it was a pretty solid system of signal between the operator and robot.

Now, in the new system, the whole thing runs off wireless 802.11. Although you don't have to wire it up to program the system it still poses some problems. One that I can see is if you dont secure your system you could get hacked and someone could mess with your programming. Another problem I can see if you dont have a good laptop or a good singal you can't compete. Although it poses some problems I think this is the better system of the two.

Next week I'll discuss another sub system of the two control system and compare them.

Edited By: Brittany, Daniel

30 December 2008, Tuesday GMT 1:08

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