FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

NI Guest Blog - roboRIO 2.0

Sep 03, 2021 Written by April Riddett, NI Product Manager

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Howdy, folks!

We at NI are excited to follow up REV’s announcement with some further details on what you can expect from the roboRIO 2.0. As part of NI’s renewed commitment to FIRST, we wanted to provide an updated roboRIO that would better meet the needs of teams today while not being a dramatic departure from the roboRIO you all know and love (I hope!). Our key priority was resolving what we call ‘match-breakers’—anything that forces a team to miss a match, or be bypassed in a match, or have a sad robot sit there for a match. We’re making a few key improvements to help more teams get to more of their matches.

  1. Adding an SD card slot

We’ve replaced the USB cable retention screws with a real, actual, functional SD card slot. The goal of adding an SD card slot is to not only provide more memory onboard, but also reduce the number of teams who make a small code change and accidentally corrupt the code onboard the roboRIO. Ideally, teams can keep a “known good” version of code on an SD card and test new code directly on the SD card in the roboRIO 2.0. If something goes wrong and your new code is crashing, you can swap the SD cards, restart the roboRIO 2.0, and be ready to compete in your match in approximately 23 seconds.

  1. Selective brownout voltage setpoint

A FIRST Robotics Competition robot may reboot due to loose connections or when the battery voltage droops to ~4.5V due to high current use. To prevent a voltage-based reboot, the roboRIO implements a brownout feature where non-essential loads such as motors are disabled -- allowing the battery voltage to recover and avoid getting the voltage low enough to cause a reboot. RoboRIO 1.0 used a fixed brownout threshold of 7V – which has worked quite well. Team feedback indicated interest in the ability to customize the voltage threshold. For roboRIO 2.0, we’ve made the brownout voltage setpoint configurable to let teams adopt different brownout strategies at different points in a match, to adapt to different driving styles, and to adjust for battery conditions.

  1. Increased memory, processor speed, and RAM

We’ve updated all the internals to keep up with the incredible software FIRST Robotics Competition teams are designing, and to set the roboRIO 2.0 to be an asset to teams for years to come.

If you’ve got questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out via the support boards at www.ni.com/frc!

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Comments

How soon are we expecting pre-orders and delivery of them? Looks great.

Neither an official announcement has been made nor details about purchasing roboRIO 2.0 have been released, but we expect orders can start in October. The exact date is to be determined. 

From that render it looks like the SD card slot takes a microSD card, given how wide it is next to the 2 USB ports. Could we get some clarification on the size of the card slot and how deep it goes?

Yes, it is a microSD card slot. The depth allows the entire microSD card to be fully inserted.

I am looking for the documentation of the dimensions, particularly the measurements around connector placement. Alternatively, if you could confirm that the dimensions and connector placement are identical to the RoboRIO v1 (except for the new SD card) then that would suffice.

Thank you

The dimension is very similar to roboRIO v1.0. The microSD card slot replaced where ground lug used to be. There is a slight shift on connector placement, but should be very minimal impact.

Any chance you could provide plugs/covers for all openings? Our team very rarely use alot of the open ports so at this moment we will create A 3D printed part or something like that however new teams tend to forget to do this and will end up with chips or other debris in there rio which can cause issues.

Thanks for the suggestion. At this time, plugs for ports are not accessories that will be commercially avaialble (but glad to hear you're careful about protective your controller from debris!). 

How much of a difference does the 2.0's internals (RAM, memory, CPU) make compared to the roboRIO 1.0?

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