[FRC Blog] We've Got 2020 Vision

Posted on the FRC Blog, 4/12/2018: We've Got 2020 Vision | FIRST

We’ve Got 2020 Vision
*Written by Kate Pilotte, FIRST Robotics Competition Kit of Parts Manager.

It’s official! In case you haven’t heard, today National Instruments (FIRST Strategic Partner and FRC Crown Supplier) announced that they’re extending their generous support of FIRST Robotics Competition with software and roboRIO technology through the 2020 and 2021 seasons. See their official press release here.

We also want to let you know that FIRST has secured supply of the CTR Electronics support boards (Power Distribution Board, Voltage Regulator Module, and Pneumatic Control Module) through the 2021 season, so you don’t have to worry about a disruption there either.

We’ll continue to use the Open Mesh radio in 2019, and are currently reviewing the proposals submitted as a result of the Request for Proposal published last month for alternate solutions starting in 2020. We will keep you updated as decisions in the wireless space are made. If you have feedback or suggestions about the wireless implementation, we’d love to hear them; please include them in the 2018 Kit of Parts survey, to be distributed later this spring.

We want to close this blog by saying to National Instruments, for your cross-program engagement, software donations, financial backing, hardware donations, development and engineering support, event support, team technical support, the example you set for other companies, and your adoption of FIRST throughout your corporate culture:


I’m sorry, I lost connection and had to wait for the reboot to reconnect. Can you repeat that?

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i’m glad we can keep using our $400 arduino mega duct taped to a raspberry pi

Silverlight? Thru 2021?

:ahh: :eek: :yikes:

I had heard somewhere that there was a 5-year technology cycle. The cRio was swapped out for the Roborio in 2015, and I was expecting a new Roborio II (or something) for the 2020 season.

Does this announcement change that?

Didn’t want to spring for an additional Roborio now and only have it good for one more season. But, if it’s good for 2-3 more seasons, well, that changes things.

Yes, this announcement has changed the trend to extend the roboRIO controller through 2021.

The FRC cRio was introduced for the 2009 season.

The FRC cRio II was introduced for the 2012 season. (Although the FRC cRIO was still legal!)

The RoboRio was introduced for the 2015 season. (both versions of the cRIO were no longer legal)

This announcement makes it sound like we’ll have the RoboRio at least through the 2021 season. I’m not sure where you got the 5 year technology cycle…

Surely they can change that. Right? Right?!

Can and will are 2 different things :frowning:

Maybe he got the 5 year cycle idea from the fact that the announcements state that they are extending the contracts to cover the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Does anyone else have a specific “Silverlight laptop” they lug around to all their events? We do :frowning:

Along with Silverlight seeing the door, I’d love to see the background processes on the RoboRIO take up a bit less of the resources… Looking at you Net Daemon…


But it’s just software! Easy to change!


Since Silverlight is controlled by forces outside of NI’s FIRST team, NetComm resources has a much higher chance then the 0% change of silverlight changing. The only way silverlight gets changed is if NI changes it across all their products.

That’s nothing… I’ve got 80/20 Vision…

Appreciate the certainty and advance notice. We’re growing FRC in BC and having a consistent platform for the next few years is going to make teaching programming and wiring to new teams much easier.


I suspect we could see both changing. I believe in our friends at NI to make great things happen.

Hooray, we don’t need to spend another $2000 on control system components for a few years!

I would make a snarky comment about people having to use IE for industrial controllers, but then I realized that there’s far more outdated technology used in industry sometimes.