Colorado Beta Test Seminar

Hey guys from Colorado, I’m Sam from 1410 and I dropped the ball on holding a seminar.
If you have any questions about the Beta, I’m happy to answer questions here or answer emails.

A quick Overview of immediately apparent new things to teams are:

  • The inclusion of both a new Smart Dashboard implementation and a subsequent implementation of network tables to support this.
  • Interesting diagnostics now available on the Driver Station via the Smart Dashboard. Things like graphs and meters can be shown on the Driver Station with information from the robot in real time. (Note that you must create a Dashboard project to edit it, while the robot project must have the SmartDashboard vi’s in use to send data to the dashboard – more on this later)
  • The inclusion of a robot simulator with basic functionality (one or two simulated DIO, some motors and arms that can be simulated, so on).

A couple of notes -->
While we were unable to actually test the full functionality since our Kinect had failed, LV at compile time still worked for all of our imaging, tracking, and was able to pick up the Kinect skeleton before it shut itself off. (This was determined to be an issue with the power supply, not the Kinect libraries). It was also not tested whether we could send Kinect data to the Smart Dashboard with the new palette in the WPILib.

LV 2012 comes in a double-layered disc this year. Make sure you have updated drivers for your CD drive in addition to a flash drive with at least 4GiB of space for laptops with a “usb 2.0 project solution”.

When installing, run the installer as Administrator. In addition to this, I advise running Labview 2012/FRC2013 as Admin as well. Naturally, create an exception for it in your firewall configuration.

The steps for creating a robot project are the same as previous years, although one should note that after opening Robot_Main.vi in the project, the bottom left of the window has a white box filled with text about a current target - the cRio.
In order to use the Robot Simulator, simply right-click this white box of text and choose the Robot Simulator option. Then, run your code as you had before, and open the driver station. What you should see pop up is a window that looks a lot like <insert video player here>, with a line of controls on the bottom (with options for what “kind” of robot to simulate). Press play, enable teleop in the driver station, and drive around a bit.

The Smart Dashboard palette resides in the WPILib and has several options for either reading from or writing to the Dashboard. These .vi’s require a minimum of two inputs – the object to read from/write to and the value to write. When I last looked at it, the options were present for Floats/Ints/Associates, Strings, and Boolean values. When not provided an object in the Smart Dashboard to read/write to, the value is added in the “Variables” tab of the Dashboard, in the same grouping with the Camera Images and Kinect Skeletons.
–> It is required to create a dashboard project to really take advantage of these. I believe it has been documented elsewhere, and I hadn’t looked into it too deeply.

This has the ability to be a powerful diagnostic control built in to the dashboard for Labview Teams – you can ouput your accelerometer to a graph on your Dashboard (handy for driving teams in Rebound Rumble), have different buttons you click on the dashboard control states. This is not something I’ve explored, but will try to do write-ups on it when I find something interesting.

These are important features that come to the top of my mind, but I will update this during the leadup to 1/7/13 and answer as many questions as possible.

Colorado teams – I’m sorry I did not hold an in-person seminar. If there is tons of interest, I would like to coordinate with teams at both the Boulder and Denver Kick-Offs programming in LV to have a chat, or I am available at George Washington High School at the intersection of Monaco and Leetsdale (live nearby too) in Denver if you want to drop by (Mornings until Noon, or after 3:30).
Thanks to Doug Norman and Greg McKaskle for making the beta very hassle free and providing great information.