New CRIO in the KOP next year?

Has anyone heard of any official FIRST announcements as to whether or not a CRIO will be included in the KOP next year for existing teams?

There was some discussion at one point that FIRST may not include a CRIO in the KOP for teams that already have one. I am wondering if there have been any announcements about that.

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Around this time last year, it was announced that the teams would only have one cRIO ever unless they specifically purchased more. This means that there will not be another cRIO in the KOP. This is so that the cost of the KOP doesn’t skyrocket another few $k.

I do believe that teams will have to option of purchasing a cRio next year for the same highly reduced price that the 2nd one was offered for this year.

I think that teams need to start exploring the possibilities of more modular design for their robot that allows the cRio to be easily removed and moved from one application to another.

One can purchase the other boards at a reasonable cost… simply moving a few cables and adding power allows the cRio to be put into a new system quite easily…

Our team will be designing a simple bench testing application that will allow us to power up motors , pneumatics etc… to help teach new programmers …
We plan on testing new encoders and other sensors with our bench applicatoin…we will use the same cRIO and plug it in and out…

If you visit you will see that on the right in red words that teams can purchase a cRIO for $750 once a year.

I would certainly hope that every year’s KOP comes with a complete control system. Many new and/or struggling teams use their old robots in exhibitions and fundraisers. Having only one control system total would severely hamper the ability of teams to venture out into their communities and gain support.

Perhaps we will continue to get all of the control system parts except the cRio itself. This would be quite reasonable… especially considering that something will have to be done to the driver’s station…

If teams continue to receive all of the other system parts… ie digital sidecar, analog sidecars, power distribution block…radios …etc…
they would not have a real difficult time switching the cRio back and forth.

We will see what happens in just 8 months at kick off… or possibly sooner.

We also face the need to take demo robots out on tour, and it is a shame to have $3K street value of electronics sitting idle for most of the year or from year to year.

The cRIO does not lend to quick mount/dismount from one robot to the next. (OTOH, I’d love to see your quick change design on your robot). The daughter boards make it a little easier to reuse the modules. But I was (and still) am surprised about how kludgey the new system is to wire.

I’d love to give high marks to the Power Distribution system. The spring loaded connections are nice, we did not have a failure all year. Which is good, because it’s a real pain to need 6" of clearance around the board to get a screwdriver and a hand into the space to be able to maniuplate the connector. (Why yes, I’d love to see your custom Z bent tool you came up with)

I would think that it is going to include a new one, however after hearing how much NI had to donate to incorporate them into last year’s kit, I don’t know how long they could keep it up. Although, I don’t know how much of the MSRP is already a hefty markup.

Here you go:

Don’t quote me but it seems I heard a rumor that NI was working on a stripped down (less $$$) version for the future. I would really like to see some imbedded analog and digital modules if some enterprising company would like a project. I don’t have anything against the current hardware, just would like to miniaturize and simplify the hardware for rookies.

If leaving the cRio out of the KoP allows FIRST to reduce entry fees by $750 (the discounted price of a replacement cRio) then teams would have the option to either pay $6,000 and get a new cRio, or pay $5,250 and re-use their old one.

If FIRST makes replacing the entire control system optional, then entry fees, perhaps could be reduced by even more than the $750 discounted cost of the cRio.

I’m not sure how best to handle entry fees for rookie teams, who don’t already have a cRio, as I believe it is important to keep the “entry barrier” to a competition like this as low as possible, however I know that our team, for one, would seriously consider reusing our cRio and modules if it meant saving in the neighbourhood of a thousand bucks.

By the way, we have a fairly modular control board on our robot that weighs about 14 pounds, includes the cRio, sidecars, breaker box, power switch, speed controllers and a couple of spikes that can be attached and detached in, well, probably 10 minutes or so.

Photos of the control board and drive modules are at:

Photo 19 shows the control board, 21 shows it hooked up to drive modules, Photo 26 in that gallery probably shows our modular design in its most separated stage, other photos show us weighing the modules (our withholding limit) and the very minimalist package that went in the shipping crate, as we were able to keep the drive modules and control board at home for practice.


You make me think of an interesting idea, what if FIRST gave teams the opportunity to customize their KOP. I know logistically it would be a nightmare but from my perspective it would be nice to not get things we never use. For example, I know there are teams that never use the kitbot frame. I also know that we would have preferred to have the IFI frame over the AndyMark one (Just due to our knowing the limitations of it) I am sure there are teams that have 4 kitbot frames sitting in their shop that they have never used. Why should they have to pay for them? From that perspective, let teams choose their KOP contents well ahead of time and FIRST can save a little money by not providing teams that dont want a part with all the parts.

No? Two bolts. One power connector with two small screws. One standard RJ45 network connector. Two to six snap-in modules. Seems pretty quick to me.

Or you could go all out like we did this year, and make the entire electronics subsystem a self-contained box. A pair of anderson powerpole connectors for each motor, a DB-25 for connection to sensors and the signal light, and four mounting holes. (The battery does need to be mounted outside the box.) Our second control system, built to the same design, was occasionally connected to the competition robot’s sensors using a DB-25 extension cable for program testing.

I’d love to give high marks to the Power Distribution system. The spring loaded connections are nice, we did not have a failure all year. Which is good, because it’s a real pain to need 6" of clearance around the board to get a screwdriver and a hand into the space to be able to maniuplate the connector. (Why yes, I’d love to see your custom Z bent tool you came up with)

We mounted our Power Distribution on several-inch-high standoffs to get it up where the supplied Wago tool could be used without running into other components. The space underneath ended up being a convenient spot for the accelerometer and yaw rate sensor boards.

Basically, the KOP has remained consistent from year to year. The elimination of a Control System would be a substantial deviation from the ‘norm’.

Until this past weekend, we hadn’t given it a second thought about not being supplied another Control System next year. After hearing about the large contribution NI has made to provide these components and software to the teams, a duplication of this KOP item may not be included each year.

Being this system is going to be used in the coming years, our Team will definitely want to have at least (1) additional complete system for spare and testing. If we’re not going to receive another within the 2010 KOP, we’ll re-allocate some funds to purchase another soon. But, by no means, can we justify doing this if it the system will be supplied in the 2010 KOP.

Anyone know who the FIRST contact would be on this issue? Please send a link to this thread so our concerns can be noted.

That would be awesome…But what are the odds of FIRST actually charging us less when we receive a lesser product, instead of just continuing to charge us the full cost for less?

Im with you whole heartedly on this Cory. We purchased a complete system at the beginning of this season so that we can always have 2 robots up and running. Now if FIRST does not include a control system next year in the KOP, the entry fee better be reduced. I along with, I believe, many people are already slightly leary about the finances of FIRST and this would just solidify things in my mind. From what Dean said, NI donated all of the systems so I don’t see what we would be paying for next season if we dont get another system. I am completely ok with reusing the CRio, but please FIRST, reduce the already high entry fee. I guess it would also be nice if FIRST offered a KOP without a lot of the parts that many teams end up not using like the kitbot. That should be fairly easy since I believe the kit bot is in a separate box than the other crates. I guess after seeing that FIRST can be run cheaper from the michigan district format, I don’t really understand why all teams can’t have reduced entry fees.

Somewhere around being struck by lightning 4 times in a row.

i certainly do hope that a new cRIO is included, or we can buy one for a discount. 1089’s broke during CMP’s, and we are currently borrowing the one 2590 won in the raffle. funnily, that cRIO has the signatures of the president and founders of N/I, and its sitting in our robot…

thx to 2590 for that, and i really hope we can find one soon so we can return it to you…

As far as I know, everything will be included in the kit of parts except for the cRIO. That was what was originally announced I believe through the WPI FAQ.
Q Will I get a new controller in each year’s kit?**
A Because of the ruggedness of CompactRIO, teams will be able to reuse their controller in competition years beyond 2009. However FIRST may decide to introduce new cRIO modules to the system and other restrictions or allowances may be made specific to future year game designs.
(Last question)

If your cRIO is broken you should be able to send it into NI to get it replaced/repaired. I know I’ve seen contact info around somewhere, but I don’t recall where.