With the new model of cRIO for the 2012 and following seasons, are you planning on getting a second unit for testing, training, practice, etc?
Do you have a second cRIO now? For how long?
What is the most useful aspect of having a second controller?
If you currently have a second unit, did you find that you also need extra speed controllers, motors, sensors, etc to make the most out of it?
We have had 3 CRIOs since 2009 because we run 2 teams out of our shop. We use 1 per competition bot, and 1 as a practice/programming bot. Last year when we only had 1 team we ran 1 crio on 1 robot and had and identical practice bot, and also had the programming bot, each with its own CRIO.
This year we are planning on buying 4 new CRIOs. We will use the old ones to keep the old robots up and running. We will then use 1 crio per competition bot because we are running both teams again, and then each team will be making a practice bot that will have its own CRIO.
So we will have 7 total CRIO’s
Is this too much?
We are planning on buying the new one this year. I want to see how much of a difference new processor has.
We have 2 regular cRIOs from first and a professional one from NI. It is really nice to be able to use 3 robots at the same time. Especially for demos.
@sst.thad Do both teams make the same bot?
We buy as many as we can at the FRC discount price. Right now, we have four 8-slot cRIOs (three actually running robots) and two 4-slots on order.
What do you do with so many cRIOs?
We run robots with them.
Our 2009 “Lunacy” robot just needs a couple of nylon nuts and bolts replaced and two wires reconnected before we can use it for demos again. Our 2010 “Breakaway” 'bot is slowly being stripped for useful parts; its cRIO will soon end up back in a semi-portable robot control system for use as a programming testbed. Both our competition and practice robots from the 2011 “Logo Motion” season are still running (or would be if we hadn’t started reprogramming them for the Beta Test).
We could pick one of the 2011 'bots to sacrifice in order to have two identical cRIOs for next season, but we’d like to start using the smaller ones with more memory.
Aside from the direct benefit of having multiple robots running for demos and practice, it’s awful darn nice to do software development on a robot that isn’t the comp bot (for times when the comp bot doesn’t yet exist).
In past years we have built completely separate bots, but this year we are planning on building identical bots to make better use of our resources.
We are going to get the new cRIO. For $300 (just a guess), it’s a steal!
Cool, thanks for all the good feedback.