FRC Blog

Control System Update

Oct 13, 2016 Written by Kevin O'Connor, Robotics Engineer, FIRST Robotics Competition.

 

FIRST and our FRC Control System team have spent the summer improving the FRC Control System. Information about some of those changes, as well as the announcement of the 2017 season beta test teams who will help us validate those changes, is in this blog. We are also working on information about device legality, but we’re not quite ready to share that yet, so stay tuned.

Device Libraries

This season we are making a change to WPILib (for all 3 software languages) where third party software for items not in the Kickoff KOP will be provided separately by that third party.

Since the CMUCam (and perhaps earlier), companies have provided powerful sensors and controllers to FRC teams. We encourage the development of these devices as they help raise the ceiling for teams and enable them to create incredible autonomous and semi-autonomous robot routines. In the past few years, the number of these devices has increased more rapidly (which is good!), but it comes with difficulties. Integrating software for these devices into WPILib requires a substantial amount of work from the device manufacturer and the FRC Control System team, and, we acknowledge that the status quo is not sustainable. As a result, we’ve implemented a solution that is more sustainable for the CS Team and removes some of the headache for vendors to develop and test their products.

Going forward, WPILib will not include direct support for many of these sophisticated devices (including CAN Jaguar and CAN Talon SRX). Instead, it allows the integration of 3rd party code into teams’ WPILib programs. Suppliers provide installers which place their libraries into the correct location on the user’s system. WPILib tools will automatically detect the libraries and allow them to be used in FRC programs. FRC will create a “one-stop-shop” page for these installers to help teams easily locate the software for their selected devices.

We acknowledge that this is a compromise; teams will take additional steps to get and install libraries, but WPILib development is more sustainable and there’s a clearer implementation and ownership path for 3rd parties.

The 2017 Beta Test teams will test this change and provide feedback on how to make the experience as smooth as possible.

Robot Radio

In June, we blogged that we would be introducing a new radio for the 2017 season, and can do so now. The new radio for the 2017 season is the OpenMesh OM5P-AC. The OpenMesh OM5P-AN will continue to be competition legal, provided it has updated 2017 firmware. In order to comply with FCC regulations, the FRC firmware for the OM5P-AC and OM5P-AN disables the web interface and SSH access. You will only be able to configure the settings on the device using the FRC Radio Configuration Utility. Meanwhile, we will add flexibility to that tool to cover as many use cases as possible.

The OM5P-AC is available from Open Mesh and will soon be available from AndyMark. See those sites for pricing and availability. Devices won’t be usable until the firmware and configuration utility are available to teams. Worst case, they’ll be posted on Kickoff Day, and if we can publish sooner, we will announce via this blog.

Beta Testing

The 2017 Beta Test teams have been selected! Thank you to everyone to applied. Teams were selected on the basis of location, past Beta performance, Beta application history, and submitted essay.

Selected teams will help the FRC Control System team test changes to the software libraries and any new hardware FIRST decides to test. Beta teams pledge to share their learnings and findings with the community, especially teams in their area, so make sure to reach out with any questions you may have for them via the FIRST Forums and keep your eyes peeled for any “Open House” or training seminar events in your area.

We are grateful to this group for giving our systems a test run before the season, and we thank them for helping us find and fix any issues before we deploy to the entire FRC community!

Team Number

Team Name

Location

Language

34

The Rockets

Athens, AL

LabVIEW

116

Epsilon Delta

Herndon, CA

C++

128

The Botcats

Grandview Heights, OH

C++

135

Penn Robotics

Mishawaka, IN

C++

173

Rage Robotics

Tolland, CT

C++

195

CyberKnights

Southington, CT

LabVIEW

296

The Northern Knights

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

LabVIEW

303

The T.E.S.T Team

Bridgewater, NJ

LabVIEW

358

Robotic Eagles

Hauppauge, NY

LabVIEW

359

The Hawaiian Kids

Waialua, HI

LabVIEW

368

Kikamana

Honolulu, HI

C++

442

Redstone Robotics

Huntsville, AL

C++

537

Charger Robotics

Sussex, WI

C++

597

Wolverines

Los Angeles, CA

Java

612

Chantilly Robotics

Chantilly, VA

C++

624

CRyptonite

Katy, TX

LabVIEW

630

Northwood School Robotics

Lake Placid, NY

Java

694

StuyPulse

New York, NY

Java

836

The Robobees

Hollywood, MD

LabVIEW

900

The Zebracorns

Durham, NC

LabVIEW

971

Spartan Robotics

Mountain View, CA

C++

1023

Bedford Express

Temperance, MI

LabVIEW

1257

Parallel Universe

Scotch Plains, NJ

C++

1511

Rolling Thunder

Penfield, NY

C++

1559

Devil-Tech

Victor, NY

Java

1574

MisCar

Misgav, Israel

LabVIEW

1592

Bionic Tigers

Cocoa, FL

Java

1596

The Instigators

Sault Ste. Marie, MI

LabVIEW

1672

Robo T-Birds

Mahwah, NJ

Java

1708

AmpD Robotics

McKeesport, PA

Java

1718

The Fighting Pi

Armada, MI

LabVIEW

1912

Team Combustion

Slidell, LA

LabVIEW

1937

Elysium

Maccabbim-Reut, Israel

LabVIEW

1965

Firebirds

Brighton, MA

LabVIEW

1983

Skunk Works Robotics

Seattle, WA

C++

2135

Presentation Invasion

San Jose, CA

C++

2168

Aluminum Falcons

Groton, CT

Java

2177

The Robettes

Mendota Heights, MN

Java

2341

Sprockets

Shawnee, OK

LabVIEW

2468

Team Appreciate

Austin, TX

LabVIEW

2486

Coconuts

Flagstaff, AZ

Java

2501

Bionic Polars

North Saint Paul, MN

C++

2557

SOTAbots

Tacoma, WA

Java

2582

PantherBots

Lufkin, TX

C++

2600

Team Falcon

Oak Ridge, NJ

LabVIEW

2607

The Fighting RoboVikings

Warminster, PA

Java

2614

MARS

Morgantown, WV

LabVIEW

2637

Phantom Catz

Rolling Hills Estates, CA

C++

2655

The Flying Platypi

Colfax, NC

LabVIEW

2832

Warriors

Livonia, MI

Java

2877

Ligerbots

Newton, MA

C++

2974

Walton Robotics

Marietta, GA

Java

3005

RoboChargers

Dallas, TX

LabVIEW

3140

Flagship

Knoxville, TN

Java

3247

Robopack

Shawnee, OK

LabVIEW

3478

LamBot

San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Java

3506

YETI

Monroe, NC

Java

3528

Up Next

Kansas City, MO

Java

3604

Goon Squad

Woodhaven, MI

LabVIEW

3655

Tractor Technicians

Mason, MI

C++

3660

Lightsabers

Oklahoma City, OK

Java

4050

Biohazard

Chambersburg, PA

LabVIEW

4056

Binary Bot Squad

Colton, CA

LabVIEW

4060

S.W.A.G.

Chehalis, WA

C++

4169

Warrior Robotics

Sudbury, MA

C++

4293

Komodo

Castle Rock, CO

C++

4335

Metallic Clouds

WACO, TX

LabVIEW

4381

Twisted Devils

Springfield, MI

C++

4454

Artisan Rockets

Philadelphia, PA

Java

4464

Illusion

Greenbelt, MD

C++

4622

Academy at the Lakes Wildcats

Land O Lakes, FL

Java

4632

MontiPythons

Monticello, MN

LabVIEW

4639

RoboSpartans

Katy, TX

LabVIEW

4646

Team ASAP

Des Moines, IA

C++

4662

Byte Sized Robotics

Scappoose, OR

Java

4931

Edwardsville Technologies

Edwardsville, IL

Java

4955

Lakeside Academy

Lachine, Quebec, Canada

Java

4956

Robosharks

Whitehall, MI

Java

4965

FIRE

Anderson, SC

LabVIEW

4967

That ONE Team

Belmont, MI

C++

5112

The Gongoliers

Scituate, RI

Java

5338

RoboLoco

Leesburg, VA

C++

5422

Stormgears

Devens, MA

Java

5462

2PawR

Paw Paw, MI

C++

5712

Hemlock's Gray Matter

Hemlock, MI

C++

5761

Komplete Kaos

Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Java

5872

WiredCats

Davie, FL

C++

5940

B.R.E.A.D.

Burlingame, California

Java

5987

Galaxia

Haifa, Israel

Java

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Comments

Where does the FCC expressly forbid SSH/HTTP access such devices?

Hi there!

The FCC does not expressly forbid allowing SSH or HTTP access to wireless devices. The FCC requires that a device not be allowed to be set to channels or power levels outside FCC regulatory standards. 

The only way we could ensure this on a reasonable development timeline was to disable direct user access to the device configuration. This also matches the recommendation of OpenMesh who has to sign off on the firmware compliance and parallels the way their firmware handles the issue.

Thanks!

Jamee Luce, FIRST Robotics Competition Team Advocate

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