Controller Start-up Guide

IFI has posted start-up guides on their website.

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

Hmm…So I guess we cant use the EEPROM since IFI said not to touch EECON1 or 2 (ifi_picdefs.h).

Any only one pointer (FSR0)!! Well I guess that doesnt matter unless your using assembly.

Maybe I’m missing something. Back to the code…

Hobby RC controls!?!?! What is that all about? Even though you don’t need the OI anymore, that sucks. What the heck did they do that for? Do we get the RC equipment or do we have to buy it? Good systems are not cheap!

EDU Mini Pneumatics!?!?!? Do veteran teams get this? I’ll be mad if we don’t.

Where did you get EDUpneumatics from? I’m looking at their website atm and do not see anything about pneumatics.

indieFan

I’m betting that the EEPROM has a low number of rewrite times. That’s becoming more popular with newer microcontrollers (the newest MC68HC12 revision does the same thing).

As far as only one “pointer” (more properly termed an address register) goes, that’s pretty common on microcontrollers. I didn’t read through all the documentation but I believe that the PIC is accumulator based. It’s nice to even have an address register at that point.

Matt

*Originally posted by skyman9000 *
**Hmm…So I guess we cant use the EEPROM since IFI said not to touch EECON1 or 2 (ifi_picdefs.h).

Any only one pointer (FSR0)!! Well I guess that doesnt matter unless your using assembly.

Maybe I’m missing something. Back to the code… **

In response to skyman9000’s comments:

The user can use the EEPROM and we have modified the comments in the ifi_picdefs.h file to reflect this (Default Code Dated 10-16-2003). We apologize for the confusion.

FSR0 is the only safe register to use for indirect addressing in Assembly. If you wish to use FSR1 and FSR2, it is possible to do so, but it is highly recommended AGAINST. The C compiler uses these registers and if you fail to save their contents and restore them you will see very undesirable results.

I’m really upset about the Edu controller not interfacing with the OI. 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 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.

*Originally posted by indieFan *
**Where did you get EDUpneumatics from? I’m looking at their website atm and do not see anything about pneumatics.
**
Look at page 7 of this

*Originally posted by sanddrag *
**Hobby RC controls!?!?! What is that all about? Even though you don’t need the OI anymore, that sucks. What the heck did they do that for? Do we get the RC equipment or do we have to buy it? Good systems are not cheap! **

The Full-Size RC will still have an OI and operate just like previous years. Only the Edu-bot will use RC controls( I agree they suck). I will be mad if they don’t give us an RC sys.

The R/C system is not provided with the 2004 EduRobot kits. It must be purchased separatly. See http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/edu-rc.htm#wireless

*Originally posted by ahecht *
**The R/C system is not provided with the 2004 EduRobot kits. It must be purchased separatly. See http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/edu-rc.htm#wireless **

Hmm they fixed the page. Earlier on in the dya, the info under the section “Wireless Control” was a word for word repeat of the text under “Programming”

*Originally posted by sanddrag *
**Hobby RC controls!?!?! What is that all about? Even though you don’t need the OI anymore, that sucks. What the heck did they do that for? Do we get the RC equipment or do we have to buy it? Good systems are not cheap! **

An 8 channel radio ($300) and a new EDUBot kit ($600) are $450 cheaper than the old EDUBot kit ($1300).

If this kit appeals to more schools, whether they participate in FIRST or not, then IFI will have more R&D cash to crank out new stuff. Is keeping the cost of the system down such a bad thing?

I don’t blame IFI for making the decision to use a standard R/C system to control the EduBot. Up until now, IFI’s control systems have been practically limited to the “robotic combat” genre of hobbyism. Now that they’ve decided to use a standard communication system, they’ve opened up their target audience for their control systems. R/C enthusiasts now have a good reason to be interested in IFI, if only for the EduBot controller.

Business-wise, I think IFI made a great decision in moving the EduBot to this R/C system. And in the end, the better IFI does as a company, the higher becomes the quality of the products we all get access to, through FIRST. :slight_smile:

Kudos, IFI, and keep up the great work.

*Originally posted by FotoPlasma *
**I don’t blame IFI for making the decision to use a standard R/C system to control the EduBot. Up until now, IFI’s control systems have been practically limited to the “robotic combat” genre of hobbyism. Now that they’ve decided to use a standard communication system, they’ve opened up their target audience for their control systems. R/C enthusiasts now have a good reason to be interested in IFI, if only for the EduBot controller.
**

I do like the idea of allowing a hobby R/C to control it… but it should be able to use EITHER the hobby R/C or the operator interface… because then you could use the hobby R/C more generically, yet for FIRST participants… we could test our code and develop it. I feel they should have both in iti f they want to add the hobby R/C.

im curious about the details of this “voltage difference”. It shouldn’t be hard to make a level shiter to make the new EDU-bot compatible with the old RC/edubot.

*Originally posted by Rickertsen2 *
**im curious about the details of this “voltage difference”. It shouldn’t be hard to make a level ***shiter *** to make the new EDU-bot compatible with the old RC/edubot. **

Did you mean Shifter? Because an unlevel shiter might be very messy.

…a Freudian slip of the fingers if I ever saw 1 :smiley:

Well, this just makes the 2 VIC884’s, spare circuit panel, circuits, wheels, sprockets, chain, pneumatics leftover from last year pop out of the closet. We’ll probably end up building a little 2 wheel bot with one piston to grab stuff…
You can get an FM 4 channel controller with 2x2 axis and 1 switch pretty cheap here:

http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXCUM2**&P=0

Anyway, this completely scraps the idea of an edubot competition for us this year. It would be quite impossible to try and easily control all the radio waves floating around. We can’t control each team’s preference of controllers, and their is no team ID on the eduBot. Plus, I’m going to have enough fun building a pre-season bot w/ last years parts!

*Originally posted by Sachiel7 *
**You can get an FM 4 channel controller with 2x2 axis and 1 switch pretty cheap here:

http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXCUM2**&P=0

Anyway, this completely scraps the idea of an edubot competition for us this year. It would be quite impossible to try and easily control all the radio waves floating around. **
That radio is declared as being for aircraft use only. In the other threads we talk about the issue. The Futaba Attack would be a safer choice since it is on the 27mHz band. As for the idea of a competition, the use of RC equipment does not scrap the idea, it would just make it a little more difficult. RC race tracks and flying fields do it effectively every day. They usually have frequency “clips” or “pins” and everyone has to have one for their channel in their possesion before they may turn on their radio. This is stricly on the honor system though. As is the start of the race, however, drivers are DQed for an early start.

Even though the use RC equipment relies heavlily on the honor system in competition, you shouldn’t have any problems with the immense gracious professionalism of FIRSTers.