2004 EduRobotics Kit Info now available!

Check out http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/

The controller has what appears to be six integrated solenoids outputs, as well as 6 interrupt inputs. There doesn’t appear to be a tether port (as the serial port is only labled Program).

Also, there are eight ports labled R/C PWM IN. Does anyone have any idea what those could be for? Perhaps this means that we could plug our full size Robot Controller into the Edu controller, and have it control our edu bot.

I called IFI, and they said that veteran teams will receive an Edu controller in the pre-season kit, and pricing for additional units will be available by the 15th.

R/C PWMs. Radio Controlled PWMs? There isn’t any serial port labeled radio ;).

Either that, or the radio is built into the controller itself, and those are PWMs that come straight from the OI, which would be, um, interesting. Useful for sending out information to another processor for data processing.

The Radio is prolly integrated like least year. They Need a way to be able to disable, enter auto mode, keep track of team numbers etc. Maybie FIRST will allow us to have our “custom circuit” generate PWM (although generating PWM and then passing it though the RC is a waste, because you could more easily send the PWM values through seria lto the RC, and allow the RC to generate them). Im quite confused as t owhat they are for.

The new robot controllers appear to process inputs about 3,000 times faster than the old controllers, and the 10-bit analog inputs will be nice, with 1,024 voltage measurement steps instead of only 256. All this will probably eliminate a lot of need for external processors.

Also interesting to see that there will be a battery backup for the big robot controller. No more lost signals due to low main batteries, or high current drains. That’s a big plus!

I can’t wait to see how well the new controllers actually perform.

Looks like getting a 2004 EDU-RC is a MUST for all teams who want to take an early start with 2004.

see the comparison of 3003 vs. 2004: http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/edu-rc.htm

Have to have one. (how many pounds is a 7.2v backup battery?)


*Originally posted by Rich Wong *
how many pounds is a 7.2v backup battery?

Not enough to make you worry about it before the season starts, but well more than enough to make you consider drilling holes in it, the night before shipping! :smiley:

It’ll probably be internal to the control system (probably replaceable, though. not completely black-box style), and charged by the main battery. Horray for theories.

And yes, we’re all looking forward to them.

Since we’re doing theories, here’s another one:

They might have added the backup batteries, not just because it is a good idea, but because the new controllers don’t recover as gracefully as the old controllers after a low battery condition.

Not that it really matters why they did it.

A quick update (10/15/2003 5:30pm): I just got off the phone with Tom at IFI, and the release of the pricing info for the 2004 Edu Controller has been delayed until tomorrow. It should be posted at http://innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/ as soon as it is released.

Well, the info is now up. The most disappointing change in that the EduRobot can no longer interface with the Operator Interface, it uses an off the shelf hobby R/C instead. This means that the Edu Robot can not be used as easily to simulate the real robot (especially if you have custom controlls you want to test). Autonomous mode becomes a kludge, and running an Edu competition requires drivers to start and stop their robots on the honor system. Plus, a hobby R/C radio and controller can be quite expensive, and since IFI doesn’t priovide one, the kit is no longer usable out of the box.

I spoke with Paul at IFI and confirmed that there is no way to control the EduRobot with the OI, and that code that looks for the autonomous mode bit sent by the OI won’t work on the Edu Robot. This makes it useless IMHO.

I agree, I saw that when looking through the information and was very disappointed. I’ve never used a PIC controller before, and I’m doing a bunch of Autonomous designing… and now it’s going to be much harder to do. :frowning: I personally don’t like it at all but that’s my thoughts. Everything else I really like though.

What if we use the last year EDU-BOT controller as if it were a R/C receiver?

program it to pass through the the joystick info from the OI,
(i.e. PWM1 = p1_y )
use the PWM outputs like as if they were R/C receiver outputs.

Any one know if this might work?

ps Would not help the rookie teams tho!

*Originally posted by gburlison *
What if we use the last year EDU-BOT controller as if it were a R/C receiver?

From page 6 of EDU-RC-2004_Ref_Guide_10-15-2003.pdf
CAUTION: Do not connect the R/C PWM IN ports to anything other than a standard radio-control
receiver. The voltage from the full-size FIRST Robot Controller PWM OUTPUTS is too high and will
damage the EDU RC, voiding your warranty.

Assuming that the PWM outputs from the EduRC and the FRC RC are the same (and being that they drive the same components, this is probably a safe assumption) the answer to your question is no.