**FIRST EMAIL**/New FRC Controller Information

Greetings Teams:

We have some important information from National Instruments (NI) to share with you:

Firstly, we would like to extend our congratulations to all FRC Regional and Championship teams for a very successful 2008 FRC season.

As we know you’ll soon begin preparing for the 2009 competition season, we wanted to answer the two questions we’ve heard most frequently asked about the new control system. We are excited by the energy and enthusiasm you’ve shown for this technology change, and will continue to share information as it becomes available.

When will we receive the new control system? Is there any benefit to purchasing an NI CompactRIO controller now?

*FIRST *is continuing to work out the logistics of the exact availability date for the new control system, but it will be no later than Kickoff of the 2009 season. We are working extremely hard to make the new system available as early as possible.

We know some teams want to begin using the new control system. However, we advise against purchasing a current NI CompactRIO system from National Instruments. The prices listed on www.ni.com do not reflect the discounted price *FIRST *teams will pay for purchasing additional controllers, and more importantly, the software experience for the 2009 FRC controller in the 2009 Kit of Parts will differ significantly from an off-the-shelf NI CompactRIO system. Additionally, you will not be able to work with the other components of the control system. Instead of purchasing a NI CompactRIO controller now, we recommend that teams begin learning programming skills in C/C++ or LabVIEW.

**What can we do now to learn more?

**You can begin reviewing the training material already available online at:

FIRST, National Instruments, and WPI will continue to develop and distribute training materials to support the set-up and use of the control system in preparation for the 2009 season. This training will be distributed through the web and live workshops, and there will be training available for the summer months. We will always post the latest training information on www.usfirst.org/community/frc and on www.ni.com/community/first.

Please send us your questions, comments and feedback via the National Instruments Community blog found at www.ni.com/community/first. We wish you the best of luck in the off-season, and thank you for helping support the *FIRST mission and vision.
Go Teams!