PDA

View Full Version : I've been out of FIRST for a while and decided I want to mentor again.


Michael Hill
08-22-2011, 05:36 PM
Starting in 2004, I was on the TechnoKats in high school then mentored team 1646 in 2007 while I was a freshman at Purdue. That was my last involvement with FIRST. I moved out of state to Dayton, OH and got into contact with a mentor of one of the teams here. This kind of got me thinking...I've been out of it for years, what has changed? Now normally, I would look through the CD forums for posts, but four years is A LOT of time (and a lot of changes that could be made). Last I heard, The Black Eyed Peas somehow got involved...what's that about?

Please help me catch up. Last I knew, robots were being programmed in C...and I KNOW that's changed.

Andrew Lawrence
08-22-2011, 05:40 PM
Please help me catch up. Last I knew, robots were being programmed in C...and I KNOW that's changed.

What can YOU do with Labview?

Michael Hill
08-22-2011, 05:50 PM
What can YOU do with Labview?

When I was a co-op with the Air Force Research Laboratory, I designed and "wrote" the underlying software for the Turbine Research Facility's data acquisition system in LabVIEW...It's a mixed blessing. It's fast to create software, but executes very slowly. It does make troubleshooting a breeze though.

Oh...and I hate National Instruments tech support :D

davidthefat
08-22-2011, 06:04 PM
When I was a co-op with the Air Force Research Laboratory, I designed and "wrote" the underlying software for the Turbine Research Facility's data acquisition system in LabVIEW...It's a mixed blessing. It's fast to create software, but executes very slowly. It does make troubleshooting a breeze though.

Oh...and I hate National Instruments tech support :D

The two other "official" options are C++ (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=183) and Java (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=184). There are other unofficial languages supported such as Python (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=187), LUA (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87185&highlight=LUA).

Other than that, we are given a Ferrari (https://decibel.ni.com/content/docs/DOC-1750) as the processor.
64MB of Ram. With a 32bit PowerPC core running at 400MHz.

Michael Hill
08-22-2011, 06:17 PM
It looks like a nice change to get rid of PWM and Victors. Unfortunately, you replace all that with what looks like a cRIO brick...and if it's of good quality, it'll be about as heavy as a brick too. It's nice to see 500 kS AIs. Are other I/O modules allowed to be purchased and used? or are we restricted to those?

Billfred
08-22-2011, 06:23 PM
It looks like a nice change to get rid of PWM and Victors. Unfortunately, you replace all that with what looks like a cRIO brick...and if it's of good quality, it'll be about as heavy as a brick too. It's nice to see 500 kS AIs. Are other I/O modules allowed to be purchased and used? or are we restricted to those?
Careful about that optimism--we've had an outsize number of Jaguar failures, enough so that we stay with Victors in spite of the potential benefits of CAN.

The cRIO isn't obnoxiously heavy--and the cRIO-FRC II that comes in the rookie kits next year (and is available to everyone else for around $300) will make that less of an issue still. Other IO modules haven't been allowed so far...but 2012 is another day.

Oh, and bumpers are now mandatory--in 2010 and 2011, the whole way around. Keep that in mind.

Michael Hill
08-22-2011, 06:39 PM
Careful about that optimism--we've had an outsize number of Jaguar failures, enough so that we stay with Victors in spite of the potential benefits of CAN.

The cRIO isn't obnoxiously heavy--and the cRIO-FRC II that comes in the rookie kits next year (and is available to everyone else for around $300) will make that less of an issue still. Other IO modules haven't been allowed so far...but 2012 is another day.

Oh, and bumpers are now mandatory--in 2010 and 2011, the whole way around. Keep that in mind.

Back in MY day, we had full metal to metal contact. Not any of this wussy bumper stuff! :D

So you have the option to not use the cRIO (at least so far)? Does IFI still offer controllers to use?

Billfred
08-22-2011, 06:42 PM
So you have the option to not use the cRIO (at least so far)? Does IFI still offer controllers to use?
No and yes...but not the one you remember. Innovation First folded what we knew as IFI Robotics into their Vex division and rebranded it VexPro. Along the way, they discontinued the old RCs to focus on Vex. That said, there are many folks who've operated prototypes and off-season robots on the Cortex controller (and the older PIC controller, which has some familial relations with the old IFI RCs) just fine.

Bongle
08-22-2011, 06:47 PM
I think the Michigan district system would be entirely new since 2007.

Summary:
Instead of regionals, Michigan events are called "district events". They're smaller-scale than regionals, held in smaller areas, and only last two day (generally the friday and saturday of the week). A michigan team's entry fee gets them entered into 2 district events, and they can buy a 3rd one cheaply.
In order to qualify for championships, a michigan team must first earn enough points (via awards or competition successes) to qualify for the michigan state championships, and then some amount of teams (I don't know how many) go from the state champs to championships. In general you'll see a smaller percentage of MI teams at championships than you used to, but they'll be very, very good. I'm not actually in Michigan, so some or all of this summary may be incorrect.

FIRST decisions seem to have become a little more politicized. For an example of that, search for the many threads about the minibot and FTC parts, starting with the mid-January team updates of this year.

Excepting Lunacy, the games have been pretty excellent from 2008 onwards. Overdrive, Breakaway, and Logomotion were pretty fun to play and watch.

There is a trend towards build season effectively being continuous from kickoff until your last competition. At first with "fix-it windows" and then with withholding limits, you're now allowed you to keep a substantial fraction of your robot at home and bring it to competition, meaning that build meetings don't just stop when [most of] the robot ships, they just keep on going. This has positives and negatives:
Positives: It acknowledges that rules against continuing to build/upgrade are pretty much unenforceable, and so you might as well allow all the teams to keep working. Plus it levels the field between teams who have early competitions and get 2-3 days of robot access at their event, and teams who don't.
Negatives: If it is a late championships and you qualify, 4 months is a very long time to be at the school every day.

The last few years, FIRST has made a big effort towards having more matches per team at each event. Events like GTR where 7-8 matches per team were common are now 10-match affairs.

Championships is now in St Louis, rather than Atlanta.

The control system is bigger, heavier, and harder to set up, but also far more powerful than the old one. And since it is connected via ethernet to your control computer, it makes possible some really cool offseason projects.

That's all I can think of for now.

EricH
08-22-2011, 07:03 PM
Back in MY day, we had full metal to metal contact. Not any of this wussy bumper stuff! :D

So you have the option to not use the cRIO (at least so far)? Amen, Brother!

And, sorry, no, you have to use the cRIO (one of the versions) to control your robot. And, it takes a while to boot up the control system. Just a heads-up on that front--FRC rules the last couple of years.

BEP, or more correctly, will.i.am, sought out Dean Kamen and what eventually happened was:
-will.i.am appeared at Kickoff (the other special guests were the author and the primary subject of a book called The New Cool, about FRC1717).
-The BEP gave a concert at the Championship, moving 2 fields to the pits (causing a bit of annoyance--until it was discovered what the real purpose was. Keep reading.)
-8/14: An ABC special called i.am.FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll showed for the first time. Filmed at the Championship, it used the concert as a hook to get people interested in the show, then told them about the robots, teams, and people behind them. (If that purpose had been mentioned in March/April, the aforementioned annoyance would have been much less voiced.)

Oh, and Chief Delphi is no more. They joined forces with the Husky Brigade to form the Wings of Fire a couple years back. (47+65=51) This would explain the purple logo at the top left of each page instead of the old logo. They did leave the coloring of the site the same, and the team still helps run it.

Michael Hill
08-22-2011, 07:14 PM
Amen, Brother!

And, sorry, no, you have to use the cRIO (one of the versions) to control your robot. And, it takes a while to boot up the control system. Just a heads-up on that front--FRC rules the last couple of years.

BEP, or more correctly, will.i.am, sought out Dean Kamen and what eventually happened was:
-will.i.am appeared at Kickoff (the other special guests were the author and the primary subject of a book called The New Cool, about FRC1717).
-The BEP gave a concert at the Championship, moving 2 fields to the pits (causing a bit of annoyance--until it was discovered what the real purpose was. Keep reading.)
-8/14: An ABC special called i.am.FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll showed for the first time. Filmed at the Championship, it used the concert as a hook to get people interested in the show, then told them about the robots, teams, and people behind them. (If that purpose had been mentioned in March/April, the aforementioned annoyance would have been much less voiced.)

Oh, and Chief Delphi is no more. They joined forces with the Husky Brigade to form the Wings of Fire a couple years back. (47+65=51) This would explain the purple logo at the top left of each page instead of the old logo. They did leave the coloring of the site the same, and the team still helps run it.

Wow, I just found the I.am.FIRST thing on Youtube. Watching it right now. I remember Dean Kamen wanting a lot more publicity. Looks like he got it.

Regarding Chief Delphi, I assume that has to do with Delphi cutting funding? My dad (somehow) still works at Delphi in Kokomo. They've been reduced from a large complex full of offices and fabrication labs to two buildings (one of which looks like a large shed). GM now owns most of what used to be the Delphi complex. So I can see if it's because of funding...gotta take care of your own company first.

EricH
08-22-2011, 07:17 PM
Regarding Chief Delphi, I assume that has to do with Delphi cutting funding? Incorrect, actually.

Pontiac School District combined the Pontiac North and Pontiac Central high schools. I think funding was an issue, but I'm not certain. There was thread about it.

GaryVoshol
08-22-2011, 07:21 PM
Regarding Chief Delphi, I assume that has to do with Delphi cutting funding? My dad (somehow) still works at Delphi in Kokomo. They've been reduced from a large complex full of offices and fabrication labs to two buildings (one of which looks like a large shed). GM now owns most of what used to be the Delphi complex. So I can see if it's because of funding...gotta take care of your own company first.65 and 47 combined when their two schools combined, due to declining enrollment and funding.

Peyton Yeung
08-22-2011, 08:15 PM
One thing that hasn't changed is that team 45 is still up and running.

Jimmy Nichols
08-23-2011, 06:31 AM
Are you still in the Dayton area?

Michael Hill
08-23-2011, 08:41 AM
Are you still in the Dayton area?

I actually just moved to the Dayton area. I got a full time job at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Taylor
08-23-2011, 08:51 AM
If you want to catch up with lots of old friends, there's an offseason competition (http://www.thecagematch.com) on October 15th in Indianapolis. It's at Southport High School, about 2 hours from Dayton. You can see the 2011 game in action, visit with 20-something Midwest teams, and see what you've been missing.

Welcome back.

Jimmy Nichols
08-23-2011, 10:52 AM
I actually just moved to the Dayton area. I got a full time job at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Just re-read your first post. Which team are you in touch with? We are great friends with 3138, we mentored them their first year and have been helping each other out ever since.

We are on the north side of cincinnati, in Butler County, about 45 minutes from the base. I was jus up there for the FLL Tournament Director Meeting a couple weeks ago.

Katie_UPS
08-23-2011, 02:33 PM
Macanum wheels are not only easy to buy (and in multiple sizes) but there is also a kit-code for them.

Morgan Freeman attended Champs 2011.

George Bush (Senior) attended the 2008 champs. Popular quote "Its like the WWF, but for smart people" was said in his speech.

There is no more FVC, its now FTC (I'm pretty sure that shift happened after 2007).

We have a fundraiser similar to girl-scout cookies now. Its super efficient LED light bulbs. Extraordinarily profitable for teams provided they market/target correctly.

West coast team, 1717 "D'Penguineers" was featured (as well as a few other teams) in "The New Cool" giving FIRST some publicity in mainstream literature.

Hiwiian Kids, Miss Daisy, Techno Ticks, and Falcon Robotics won the Championship chairman's award from 2008-2011 (reverse order). Also, a video is now required with Chairman's submissions (to be played at the award ceremonies).

Dave Lavery and Woodie Flowers left the GDC.

Bumpers are now replacing the flag/colored insert system previously used to indicate robot alliance.

Tube skirts are back.

Michael Hill
08-23-2011, 03:38 PM
Just re-read your first post. Which team are you in touch with? We are great friends with 3138, we mentored them their first year and have been helping each other out ever since.

We are on the north side of cincinnati, in Butler County, about 45 minutes from the base. I was jus up there for the FLL Tournament Director Meeting a couple weeks ago.

3186. You know, I'm surprised there aren't any teams with much lower numbers in this area. The Dayton area is rich with engineers because of the base, and there are no shortages of high school students.

Koko Ed
08-23-2011, 03:54 PM
3186. You know, I'm surprised there aren't any teams with much lower numbers in this area. The Dayton area is rich with engineers because of the base, and there are no shortages of high school students.
3138 is a rising power in FIRST.
They went to Einstein their rookie year and were the top seed in their division this year. They're no joke.

GCentola
08-23-2011, 06:40 PM
3138 is a rising power in FIRST.
They went to Einstein their rookie year and were the top seed in their division this year. They're no joke.

Not to mention their performance at IRI. We had the experience of playing against them at the 2011 Buckeye Regional, adn they were a fun team to play against!


And tube skirts are definitely back in :D

Katie_UPS
08-23-2011, 07:17 PM
Oh! And you can buy swerve too!

Dave Campbell
08-23-2011, 08:09 PM
3186. You know, I'm surprised there aren't any teams with much lower numbers in this area. The Dayton area is rich with engineers because of the base, and there are no shortages of high school students.

We're trying to change that...Team 144 is back in the game and working on building a sustainable program. We're on the northwest side of Cincy.
I'm going to try to get Fairborn HS via Greene County Career Center into FRC. They have an awesome lab set-up and are just down the street from WPAFB. They are hiring a new teacher for the Engineering Tech Prep Program and should be perfect for a team. PM me if you're interested in talking to them.

Mr. Mike
08-23-2011, 08:24 PM
Michael,

Welcome back to FIRST and welcome to the Dayton area.
I'm with the Innovators and here is our contact info.

Innovators Robotics Inc.
3569 Ginghamsburg-Frederick Road
Tipp City, Ohio 45371
Email: Innovators@woh.rr.com
Web site: innovatorsrobotics.com



I would also like to thank everyone for the for the previous posts. It has been a wonderful first two years.

Mr. Mike
08-23-2011, 08:31 PM
We're trying to change that...Team 144 is back in the game and working on building a sustainable program. We're on the northwest side of Cincy.
I'm going to try to get Fairborn HS via Greene County Career Center into FRC. They have an awesome lab set-up and are just down the street from WPAFB. They are hiring a new teacher for the Engineering Tech Prep Program and should be perfect for a team. PM me if you're interested in talking to them.

If there is anything we can do to help get this going just let us know.

ratdude747
08-23-2011, 10:21 PM
If you want to catch up with lots of old friends, there's an offseason competition (http://www.thecagematch.com) on October 15th in Indianapolis. It's at Southport High School, about 2 hours from Dayton. You can see the 2011 game in action, visit with 20-something Midwest teams, and see what you've been missing.

Welcome back.

seconded. CAGE match is a perfect chance to see what FRC is today. A lot of teams (including the two I have history with) use it a rookie training competition to train rookies on the dynamics of competition. not to mention it is fun seeing a bunch of robots beat up from the regular season (and for some, IRI) compete... it is kinda the last time a given season's bot is used competitively.

If you do decide to come, be sure to mention it here; there will be plenty of people to welcome you back.

Michael Hill
08-23-2011, 10:51 PM
Does FIRST still push Autodesk Inventor?

I can use it, but what I really know well is CATIA (All they really taught us to use in school). If you don't know what CATIA is, it's a VERY popular piece of CAD software within the Aerospace industry (used by companies like Gulfstream, Boeing and of course Dassault).

Joe G.
08-23-2011, 11:20 PM
Does FIRST still push Autodesk Inventor?

Autodesk is still a major sponsor, and used for the CAD and animation awards. Solidworks has also risen in prominence in the community, and is also avaliable for free to teams.

Peter Matteson
08-24-2011, 07:05 AM
In the time since you've left Beatty is still Beatty, but HOT is starting to give them a run for their money as the most consistently good team in the competition by making the championship finals 3 years in a row ('08-10) and winning back to back titles ('09, '10).

Also Beatty is no longer the only team to have multiple championships.
67 & 111 each have 3
148, 177, 217 & 294 each have 2.

The "commercial off the shelf" (COTS) parts rules have really revolutionized how easy it is to build a robot. The amount of parts you can buy now makes designing a robot that much easier.

Autonomous mode is serious now, you can't win without having a consistent auton program.

Travis Hoffman
08-24-2011, 03:50 PM
If there is anything we can do to help get this going just let us know.

Sounds like the Dayton teams could benefit from joining together and working together more. Maybe throw in those Cincinnati teams for good effect. What a concept?!

New mentor joins one team and ends up impacting several in the same region. I like that. :)

Jared Russell
08-24-2011, 04:06 PM
I actually just moved to the Dayton area. I got a full time job at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Very cool! I know several WPAFB employees who are involved with various FIRST programs.

JaneYoung
08-24-2011, 04:06 PM
New mentor joins one team and ends up impacting several in the same region. I like that. :)

True that. Life hasn't been the same in Austin, San Antonio, or for that matter, Texas - since Jess (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/member.php?u=1752) moved to town and joined the ausTIN CANs.

I see that the district model has been talked about in this thread.
We also have several new regionals since you were last involved. You might check out the events listing and see some of the amazing places that are welcoming teams to their little corner of the universe.

Did anyone mention the Dean's List Award? It's pretty cool. It's like the Woodie Flowers Award but for students.


Welcome back, Michael!

Jane

Duke461
08-24-2011, 05:29 PM
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned how many teams there are now. There are now over 2000 current teams and over 4000 team numbers!!! 1301 teams were registered for the 2007 season, and 2065 teams were registered for the 2011 season! That's 764 teams! FRC (and probably FTC, FLL, Vex, etc.) is seeing nearly exponential growth! To see how team growth, and loss of teams, has unfolded, go here (http://team358.org/files/frc_records/index.php). Team 358 has done an awesome job of compiling all the team records.

P.S. as a member of the Purdue 16461747 alliance, boiler up! (That's 1646, 461, and 1747 for anyone that wanted to know)

-Duke

ratdude747
08-24-2011, 07:59 PM
P.S. as a member of the Purdue 16461747 alliance, boiler up! (That's 1646, 461, and 1747 for anyone that wanted to know)

-Duke

that must be a new term... back when I was on 1747 that was never mentioned (I do remember talks of future collaboration).

GaryVoshol
08-24-2011, 09:00 PM
... and over 4000 team numbers!!!
Almost. Highest team number in 2011 was 3883.

Duke461
08-24-2011, 09:03 PM
Almost. Highest team number in 2011 was 3883.

I was accounting for the teams that are now registered, which exceeds 4000.
However, misinterpretation well understood.


that must be a new term... back when I was on 1747 that was never mentioned (I do remember talks of future collaboration).
I believe someone on your team or at least PFP came up with that a few years back. As for merging, i can almost promise you that won't happen, unless PFP membership dramatically decreases.

Michael Hill
08-24-2011, 09:56 PM
True that. Life hasn't been the same in Austin, San Antonio, or for that matter, Texas - since Jess (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/member.php?u=1752) moved to town and joined the ausTIN CANs.

I see that the district model has been talked about in this thread.
We also have several new regionals since you were last involved. You might check out the events listing and see some of the amazing places that are welcoming teams to their little corner of the universe.

Did anyone mention the Dean's List Award? It's pretty cool. It's like the Woodie Flowers Award but for students.


Welcome back, Michael!

Jane

Thanks Jane!

Also, thanks to everyone else who's helping me here. Looks like FIRST has changed A LOT since I left. I'm really looking forward to getting back to it. Please continue to post changes that have been made since I've left.

Jimmy Nichols
08-25-2011, 06:08 AM
The latest change will be announced soon. A new regional will becoming closer to our neck of the woods. No official details as of yet.

Ether
08-25-2011, 07:10 AM
LabVIEW...executes very slowly.

How so? Please elaborate.

Brandon Holley
08-25-2011, 08:01 AM
Thanks Jane!

Also, thanks to everyone else who's helping me here. Looks like FIRST has changed A LOT since I left. I'm really looking forward to getting back to it. Please continue to post changes that have been made since I've left.

Hi Michael-

My time in FIRST has been spent as follows:
2001-2005 - High schooler on team 11 in NJ
2005-present- Mentor on team 125 in Boston

A LOT has changed from when I first started. Mainly all for the good, with a few minor exceptions. As you mentioned, theres no longer that brutal (yet awesome) metal on metal contact there used to be. Robots tend to need to be less robust than they had to be 8 or 9 years ago, but obviously longevity is still an issue.

The actual games have taken on more of a theme each year, which has been good and bad in some ways.
-In 2008, called Overdrive, we had a game on an oval track where we needed to race around as fast as possible while simultaneously picking up a 40" diameter ball and throwing it over a bar.
-In 2009, called Lunacy, we played on a plastic playing field surface and were required to use wheels made of Delrin (this was to simulate the gravity on the moon).
-In 2010, called Breakaway, we played a version of robot soccer with very strict rules regarding how a team could hold onto a ball. Oh we also had to hang from a tower at the end for bonus points.
-Last year, called Logomotion, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of FIRST by playing a game where we needed to construct the FIRST logo using inflatable tubes.

The games have become more polished for certain, but the rule book has also gotten progressively larger. We have a pretty good Q&A system where teams can post questions directly to the GDC and have them make an interpretation of the rules based on your question. The Q&A answers become a appendix to the rule book.

This combined with the other responses, I think theres a pretty decent summary in here of what's different. Welcome back!

-Brando

ratdude747
08-25-2011, 08:17 AM
I was accounting for the teams that are now registered, which exceeds 4000.
However, misinterpretation well understood.



I believe someone on your team or at least PFP came up with that a few years back. As for merging, i can almost promise you that won't happen, unless PFP membership dramatically decreases.

no, no, no. They would never merge.... they budded off as new teams for a reason.

more like sharing design Ideas but building 3 robots with what each team felt is the best design. (what they had in 2010, I was at that meeting). the talks were of more, like making each other's parts based on team shop amenities; Harrison had 7 lathes for instance (I was spoiled) and would have likely done a lot of the lathe work for the 3 teams.

Perhaps the idea never went through...

Michael Hill
08-25-2011, 09:52 AM
How so? Please elaborate.




Well, to put it simply, LabVIEW requires a resource intensive interpreter (itself) to execute its software. Whereas if you were to program software with the same functionality in C or C++, it would run much faster because everything's been compiled directly to machine code. If I say, for example, to create a simple program that will count from 0 to 1,000,000, it would execute much faster with the program done in C or C++. I believe there is an option to "compile" LabVIEW programs, but the programs in the end will still be more inefficient (as indicated by the sheer fact you need the LabVIEW runtime software).

I have similar opinions about Java (and MATLAB, which is just an offshoot of Java, for that matter), by the way ;-)

But yes, LabVIEW will get you up and running much quicker, and with robotics, the speed of execution may not necessarily be a huge issue. The reason I had been concerned with it before was because the data acquisition system I was working on was supposed to handle over 900 channels of data, many of which were coming in at a megasample/s, and the user interface to the DAQ system was to be an extremely complex one.

Michael Hill
08-25-2011, 09:53 AM
no, no, no. They would never merge.... they budded off as new teams for a reason.

more like sharing design Ideas but building 3 robots with what each team felt is the best design. (what they had in 2010, I was at that meeting). the talks were of more, like making each other's parts based on team shop amenities; Harrison had 7 lathes for instance (I was spoiled) and would have likely done a lot of the lathe work for the 3 teams.

Perhaps the idea never went through...

You could pull a Karthik and make triplets :D

Vikesrock
08-25-2011, 10:23 AM
Well, to put it simply, LabVIEW requires a resource intensive interpreter (itself) to execute its software. Whereas if you were to program software with the same functionality in C or C++, it would run much faster because everything's been compiled directly to machine code.

This is not accurate. Labview code/diagrams compile directly to machine code.

Confirmation from NI employee Greg McKaskle here (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=947714&postcount=45):

I agree with your overall post, but to correct a few details -- LV 1.0 was interpreted, but ever since LV2.0 released in 1990, it has been compiled. It compiles to machine code for various architectures. It doesn't need to generate C source. It doesn't do so primarily because C is such an unfriendly language for multitasking.

NI does sell an add-on module which allows targeting a wide variety of 3rd party embedded devices by generating C source and then using the vendor's C compiler. It was introduced maybe eight years ago, well after RT. That is not how RT works or how the desktop works.

Greg McKaskle

Andy Baker
08-25-2011, 10:23 AM
The reason I had been concerned with it before was because the data acquisition system I was working on was supposed to handle over 900 channels of data, many of which were coming in at a megasample/s, and the user interface to the DAQ system was to be an extremely complex one.

(First of all, it is great to see you here on the CD boards, Michael. Please let me know if you need any help along the way with helping these Ohio FRC teams.)

With regard to the DAQ system you are using, what is it? The good folks at NI just sent us this myDAQ (http://www.ni.com/mydaq/) unit from NI. We have not kicked the tires yet, but it seems pretty simple. We're trying to see how it could be used to help with FRC robots.

Andy

Chris is me
08-25-2011, 10:39 AM
I was accounting for the teams that are now registered, which exceeds 4000.

We actually have about 2,000 teams or so. A lot of teams drop out.

J.Warsoff
08-25-2011, 10:47 AM
Another great thing Michael is that FRC is now getting teams from all over the world. Brazil, Israel, you name it. In fact, my own team, 1676 the Pascack Pioneers, is helping to start a team all the way in China.

Welcome back Michael!

Ryan Dognaux
08-25-2011, 11:24 AM
Good to see you're doing well Michael, we had some fun times back on 1646. They actually built, in my opinion, their most well-designed machine (https://picasaweb.google.com/109089408712591117635/BMR2011#5587788912189409650) this past year, and won the industrial design award for it at the Boilermaker Regional for it.

2009 Robot (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/photos/33143)
2008 Robot (https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-08Z4IT1Bhqw/R_EhFgLolRI/AAAAAAAAGDg/FI50Oqhfa2I/s800/P3294448%252520%252528Large%252529.JPG) Proving that yes, it's possible to lose a regional when you're paired up with 27 and 469. Michigan is just that good.

Good luck with your new team!

Ether
08-25-2011, 11:46 AM
MATLAB ... is just an offshoot of Java

Can't tell if you are joking?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MATLAB#History

Cleve Moler, the chairman of the computer-science department at the University of New Mexico, started developing MATLAB in the late 1970s.[3] He designed it to give his students access to LINPACK and EISPACK without their having to learn Fortran. It soon spread to other universities and found a strong audience within the applied mathematics community. Jack Little, an engineer, was exposed to it during a visit Moler made to Stanford University in 1983. Recognizing its commercial potential, he joined with Moler and Steve Bangert. They rewrote MATLAB in C and founded MathWorks in 1984 to continue its development.


http://web.archive.org/web/20050420081440/http://java.sun.com/features/1998/05/birthday.html

Java technology was created as a programming tool in a small, closed-door project initiated by Patrick Naughton, Mike Sheridan, and James Gosling of Sun in 1991. On May 23, 1995, John Gage, director of the Science Office for Sun Microsystems, and Marc Andreessen, cofounder and executive vice president at Netscape, stepped onto a stage and announced to the SunWorldTM audience that JavaTM technology was real, it was official, and it was going to be incorporated into Netscape NavigatorTM, the world's portal to the Internet.

Michael Hill
08-25-2011, 12:44 PM
(First of all, it is great to see you here on the CD boards, Michael. Please let me know if you need any help along the way with helping these Ohio FRC teams.)

With regard to the DAQ system you are using, what is it? The good folks at NI just sent us this myDAQ (http://www.ni.com/mydaq/) unit from NI. We have not kicked the tires yet, but it seems pretty simple. We're trying to see how it could be used to help with FRC robots.

Andy

Will do.

Here's a PowerPoint presentation that outlines the DAQ system that I designed:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WVCV4WEV (wait until the countdown timer gets to 0 and click "Regular Download")

It turns out there were some issues that NI engineers didn't know about with having a "Timing Chassis". They didn't bother to tell us you couldn't have more than one timing card in the chassis, so it had to be reconfigured a bit, but that PowerPoint should give a decent idea of the system. What was eventually done was having a 1U blade server with a fiber-optic card for each chassis. All of the chasses were networked together and all data could be accessed from a main "host" computer running Linux.

Michael Hill
08-25-2011, 12:47 PM
Can't tell if you are joking?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MATLAB#History

Cleve Moler, the chairman of the computer-science department at the University of New Mexico, started developing MATLAB in the late 1970s.[3] He designed it to give his students access to LINPACK and EISPACK without their having to learn Fortran. It soon spread to other universities and found a strong audience within the applied mathematics community. Jack Little, an engineer, was exposed to it during a visit Moler made to Stanford University in 1983. Recognizing its commercial potential, he joined with Moler and Steve Bangert. They rewrote MATLAB in C and founded MathWorks in 1984 to continue its development.


http://web.archive.org/web/20050420081440/http://java.sun.com/features/1998/05/birthday.html

Java technology was created as a programming tool in a small, closed-door project initiated by Patrick Naughton, Mike Sheridan, and James Gosling of Sun in 1991. On May 23, 1995, John Gage, director of the Science Office for Sun Microsystems, and Marc Andreessen, cofounder and executive vice president at Netscape, stepped onto a stage and announced to the SunWorldTM audience that JavaTM technology was real, it was official, and it was going to be incorporated into Netscape NavigatorTM, the world's portal to the Internet.






MATLAB is now programmed in Java. Some of the internal workings of MATLAB is dependent on how Java works, and if I recall, you can actually access Java libraries from within MATLAB.

Jared Russell
08-25-2011, 03:01 PM
Can't tell if you are joking?


Modern MATLAB has a lot of Java in it. Under the hood, there's FORTRAN (LAPACK), C (FFTW), and who knows what else. But the core application itself (including GUI) now runs on a JRE.

Ether
08-25-2011, 04:34 PM
Modern MATLAB has a lot of Java in it.


Yes, I know.

The word "offshoot" threw me off.

Duke461
08-25-2011, 10:25 PM
no, no, no. They would never merge.... they budded off as new teams for a reason.

more like sharing design Ideas but building 3 robots with what each team felt is the best design. (what they had in 2010, I was at that meeting). the talks were of more, like making each other's parts based on team shop amenities; Harrison had 7 lathes for instance (I was spoiled) and would have likely done a lot of the lathe work for the 3 teams.

Perhaps the idea never went through...
Nope, the idea was pretty much shot down by 461. I personally agree, i don't feel as inspired, or happy, for that matter, if 3 teams work together to make one robot. but thats just me

We actually have about 2,000 teams or so. A lot of teams drop out.
I know. If you would have read my post, you would've seen that i said "There are now over 2000 current teams and over 4000 team numbers!!!" I do realize that there are not 4,000 current teams, as shown in my previous post.

Michael Hill
08-26-2011, 10:13 PM
I guess since bumpers are now a requirement, right now wouldn't be a bad time to buy pool noodles, considering how difficult they'll be to come by in the winter. ;)

EricH
08-26-2011, 10:28 PM
I guess since bumpers are now a requirement, right now wouldn't be a bad time to buy pool noodles, considering how difficult they'll be to come by in the winter. ;)
Bill Miller, the Director of FRC, encourages teams to buy pool noodles every year during summer.

(That's another change--Bill's Blog (http://frcdirector.blogspot.com/) is an official communications channel (except for rules questions, where nothing is official except updates and Q&A).)

Mark McLeod
08-27-2011, 09:59 AM
Here it is:

We know enough about what the game will look like to want to remind everyone, “’tis the season to buy pool noodles”.