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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:06 PM
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FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

https://www.firstinspires.org/roboti...-specific-data

Quote:
Written by Jonathan Bryant, Kit of Parts Engineer, and Kevin O'Connor, Robotics Engineer.

Beta Teams
The 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition Control System Beta Test is underway and we wanted to share who this year’s teams are so you can keep an eye out for them sharing information about their experience with the Beta software. We sent out 10 Beta invites for each programming language and had 21 of the 30 accept. We had 55 total applications (8 C++, 35 Java, 11 LabVIEW) for the remaining spots with 44 accepted (all of the C++ and LabVIEW + 24 Java). You can find a list of all of the Beta test teams, their assigned language, and their locations (along with a map accessible by clicking the “Map of Location” tab) here.

We also have some information to share on 2 major changes that these Beta teams will be seeing in the software that they are testing: a new brushless motor/controller combo, and a Game Specific data API.


Nidec Dynamo BLDC Motor with Controller
The new brushless motor/controller combo that a small number of Beta teams will be testing is the Nidec Dynamo BLDC Motor with Controller. This small 12V DC Brushless motor/controller will be legal for the 2018 FIRST POWER UP Season, and will be available in FIRST Choice with additional units being sold by AndyMark.

We feel that this low power, integrated motor/controller combo is a great way to introduce brushless technology to FRC and are excited to have Nidec working to bring it to teams this season. Nidec has been working with FIRST to provide a custom cable harness with the motor to make the connection between the controller and the roboRIO as simple for teams as possible. We can’t wait to see what teams will do with this new technology this season!

Note: Teams will need the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition software to control this motor correctly, so you will have to wait until Kickoff (and pay close attention to the documentation!) to start playing around with it. Until then, check out the datasheet here for more details about the electrical and mechanical specs.

Note 2: Are you unsure about brushless motors? No problem! Since its inception, FIRST Robotics Competition has allowed only brushed motors. However, brushless motors are widely used in many industries! For more information about the difference between the two, check out this link.


Game Data API
The other thing that Beta teams will be seeing is a new software API to provide teams with Game Specific data on the field (though it just looks a lot like an empty box until Kickoff). We’re not quite ready to reveal what this will be used for in 2018 (and beyond!), but we do want to share a bit about the implementation for those who may not keep close tabs on the Beta.

Starting this year, WPILib, in all 3 languages, will have APIs to access a Game Specific data string which will contain information sent from the Field Management System to the Robot (via the Driver Station). There will also be a new text box in the Driver Station which will allow teams to simulate this functionality when testing at home. The implementation has been kept as generic as possible to allow for maximum flexibility as we use this new feature in future years.

Keep your eyes peeled after Kickoff for documentation and examples about what will be contained in this Game Specific Data for 2018 and how to parse it in your Robot Code. Until then, let your imagination run wild about what the Field might have to say to your Robot!
You asked for it, you got it x2!
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Last edited by cgmv123 : 10-27-2017 at 12:10 PM.
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:17 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

This is awesome news on both fronts. Looking forward to it, especially the game data API. We will probably be able to get a field clock reading, from the actual field!

The brushless motor is pretty low-power, but that's probably a good way to ease teams into the world of brushless motor control.
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:17 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

Real-time match info!?! If so, I'm going to be really upset if they don't publish the data online.
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:24 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

If I read the datasheet right, these are the numbers for the brushless motor to plug into the JVN Motor Calculator:

Code:
Free Speed (RPM)	Stall Torque (N-m)	Stall Current (Amp)	Free Current (Amp)
2700	0.3178	6.5	0.28
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2016 FIRST Championship Tesla Division | 2016 Wisconsin Regional Engineering Inspiration Award

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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:26 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb Sykes View Post
Real-time match info!?! If so, I'm going to be really upset if they don't publish the data online.
+1

If not, time to build a logging library and crowdsource the logs for upload to TBA
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:31 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene Fang View Post
+1

If not, time to build a logging library and crowdsource the logs for upload to TBA
I was just thinking about something like that. I would be happy to contribute to this effort if we have to go this route.
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:32 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

Game data could end up being the number of scored game pieces and live score so we don't have to look at the screen .I would love to see a complicated scoring platform for this year but I'm leading toward a simple scoring system and a open field
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:34 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
This is awesome news on both fronts. Looking forward to it, especially the game data API. We will probably be able to get a field clock reading, from the actual field!
There is so much potential for this. Game clock plus score data could be used to provide some real-time strategy recommendations to the drive coach. Using this last year as an example, you could theoretically put in some information each match - cycle time, which robots you expect to be able to climb - and the driver station could tell you at a glance "Go get one more gear!" or "Shoot in 6 more balls!" or "You got this, go climb now!". Being able to program in those types of limits and guidelines could take a lot of pressure off the drive coach position during the match!
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:36 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb Sykes View Post
Real-time match info!?! If so, I'm going to be really upset if they don't publish the data online.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene Fang View Post
+1

If not, time to build a logging library and crowdsource the logs for upload to TBA
We have ideas
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:36 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

It's FIRSTmas guys! And it's not even kickoff! Brushless motors, FMS data, it's a dream come true!
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:43 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

So long as the game data doesn't become the next GearScore, this should be fun. Custom scoring displays tailored to telling me how far ahead/behind we are of the opponents in the individual game functions has been a dream.
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:45 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

I'm not too impressed with the new motor. I can't imagine when I would use it compared to a 550 or BAG. It's larger and much lower power. Hopefully this leads to a better brushless option in the coming years.
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Unread 10-27-2017, 12:58 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseK View Post
So long as the game data doesn't become the next GearScore, this should be fun. Custom scoring displays tailored to telling me how far ahead/behind we are of the opponents in the individual game functions has been a dream.
Did not expect to see GearScore mentioned on CD... What an experience that was.

OT: This is awesome. Thank you FIRST. I now have yet another FRC project to do...
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Unread 10-27-2017, 01:00 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

Very cool stuff! I really hope some of this game specific data will be accessible in the future through WebSockets. It would be very useful for custom dashboards and easy for teams to get started using the data in an intuitive manner.
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Unread 10-27-2017, 01:17 PM
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Re: FRC Blog - 2018 Beta Teams, Brushless Motors, and More!

This all sounds really promising. I cannot wait to see the clever ways teams will use this data in future. Hopefully this data will also be publicly available.
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