Ok… it’s time to get going on doing what it takes to make a robot run with the new control system. Information about the details of the system are becoming public at the FTC forum. I follow the posts by Tom Eng Tom Eng and Jonathan Berling (Qualcomm Engineer) very closely. They posted at the forms and videos on YouTube that demonstrate the new system’s architecture.
Below, I’ll fill in what I’ve found related to my end-of-school-year plan. The links (underlined text) is where I got the information.
**NOTE: None of this will be official until the robot build rules are published “[in early July](http://ftcforum.usfirst.org/showthread.php?4207-Game-Manual-release&p=13814&viewfull=1#post13814)”
- Figure out the Android controls and what components will be usable for 2016.
The “ZTE Speed” Android cell phone will be the official FTC “device” supported for the 2015/2016 season.
Other Android devices will be allowed, but not formally supported by FTC. As Tom Eng posted, FTC wanted a tablet for the driver station, but decided on the phone as more affordable. I want to investigate using something like the DragonBoard 410C as an alternative. A larger touch screen could provide more controls options.
- When the Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Android and Modern Robotics controls goes public this month (May), I hope to be able to figure out how all the components work together and move the programming environment set-up forward.
- The beta of the SDK will be available soon; probably early June. While we won’t have the Modern Robotics Inc hardware until July-ish (late June ship date), Tome Eng and Jonathan Berling have video previews of the FTC software. It looks a lot like RobotC code for Android Studio. Tom also previews App Inventor programming.
- Since our team has limited financial resources, I want to figure out what is required to buy through FTC kits and what can be purchased more cheaply…
We’ve bought 4 ZTE Speed phones. 2 from Amazon ($40 ea.) and 2 from eBay (used ~ 35 ea.). Amazon price for Boost phone is now $56 (23May15).
We have not registered yet, and haven’t decided which kit to purchase. We’re thinking about two options: 1.) register and buy the “Electronic Modules & Sensors Kit “ ($391) or 2.) wait for components’ pricing and decide if buying individual components is more economical.
- Be prepared to understand and leverage the forum posts from programmers about Java Studio, App Inventor and the other computer stuff…
A big thanks to Tom, Johnathan, Phil and all the other forum posters who’ve helped us!