NI Week Athena Announcement and Q&A Panel

Links here:

Announcement keynote at 9:30a ET/8:30a CT/6:30a PT, Panel at Noon ET/11:00a CT/9:00a PT.

Post all discussion/reactions here.

Live stream just went up with 15 mins to go. Hall looks to be filling up fast.

Update: 5 minutes!

Update 2: Away we go!

We have to WUB HARDER to reach these kids!

That jab at Java :rolleyes:

NI said that Java was an arcane language, and was part of the problem with current education is that students learn it, yet they are going to be announcing a controller that will probably work with Java.:rolleyes:
There’s a feature to zoom in the NXT programming language, but STILL NO ZOOM IN LABVIEW

Your robot always fails when it matters the most! (Pesky radio!)

Name is “roboRIO”

ARM Cortex A9 with 500% faster CPU.

50% smaller, 75% lighter.

ESD and shock safe. Overvoltage protection throughout.

Same APIs and programming language support.

Will donate one to each team

More details in breakout.


Best part: Every team gets one free! :smiley:

Can’t edit the thread title. :mad:

10 dedicated pwm, 10 shared
10 dedicated dio, 16 shared
4 total relay (that’s not enough!!)
8 analog in
2 analog out
2 USB host
1 USB device
Ethernet, CAN, integrated accelerometer
Signal Light
Runs linux
256 MB Storage
256 MB RAM
667MHz Dual Corm ARM cortex A9

No more SideCar? I love it ^^
I wish I was two years younger, I bet using this will be fantastic.

EDIT: woo post 300.

Specifications document

5.7 in. x 5.6 in.

Under 12 oz.


I bet this thing is <$250 as well.

1 Like

Most important questions for me:

Cost? For those of us that run 2 robots how much is this going to set us back?

Availability of both hardware and software? I don’t like getting a new system on kickoff, and shipping it to me early December doesn’t help much either.

Yes, I know it’s over a year and a half out but it’s never too early to make a plan of attack for utilizing new technology.

-I agree with those thoughts on Java. Nothing against Java as a language, but IMO every introduction to programming I’ve seen for students that works in Java primarily teaches the concepts of object-oriented programming and Java syntax before actual programming concepts in general. I don’t think OO is the only way to program, and a class that starts and only touches Java will promote a much more closed way of thinking about programming

-Every day I work in Simulink, I’m like ‘man this is a big subsystem, I should zoom in’ and then I zoom in. And then later I zoom out. AND THEN I GO BACK TO LABVIEW AND CANT ZOOM.

@everyone, Thoughts on the new controller:
-I think the expansion port is great for packaging, and allows plenty of additional IO, but I think it’s going to be JUST that - a place where you can plug in a break out board to use the additional PWM/GPIO/ADC signals when you need them. I don’t think more than a few teams will actually make something else for this port. Maybe a company or two, but basically no teams.
–I’m not worried about enough IO, but a few more ADC’s would be nice for extra datalogging. Buzz18 uses 5 of 7 and Buzz 17 used 6 of 7, and it’s nice to look at other analog signals every now and then. I also wonder if the 5v/3.3v supply is monitored by the ADC separately because we like to look at that for diagnostics, and previously used a jumper in adc7 to do this, which consumes an analog channel.

-The spec lists integrated 3-axis accelerometer. I wonder why they didn’t include a gyro on this, since a gyro is definitely a way more useful sensor for FRC. I have never found a use for a chassis-mounted accelerometer in FRC.

-No spec on boot times as far as I can tell. Dissappointing. The radio issue demonstrated by 2468 almost made a joke out of the current boot times.

-OS is listed as RT Linux, which will definitely make some people very happy, but I don’t really care that much. I still think we’re brute-forcing the CPU loading issues rather than considering efficient design in quite a few places (outside of user code).

-Hopefully the download times improved. They were just purely awful this year. I know that was because of a LV RT bug, but it’s still totally unacceptable in every way that it made it past testing like that.

-Maybe if I can get one early enough it’ll push me to design something better. Who knows. But releasing software on kickoff is just crazy, I mean we really do have to install LV and new Driver Station and new Utilities on a whole bunch of computers, and there isn’t even anything game related in a new version of software. I too would like to see the new controller and software in my hand at least 6mos before 2015 kickoff.

My thoughts exactly. For the past three years we’ve been using more than 8 channels for pneumatic components.
The only hope is for the additional “Pneumatic” channels eluded to on page 3 of this document.
Will CAN save us all?

If they’re giving one to each team any team with a crio already (anyone who was a 2014 or earlier rookie team) will have both a roboRio and crio.

Here are my thoughts on your concerns:

This thing is going to be cheaper than the cRIO. A current dev board (here) with a quad core ARM is $180. The plastic case and added pins doesn’t add much to the cost. I would expect this to be priced under $250, but $300 would not be too far-fetched if I missed some components. I would be highly disappointed if this was anywhere close to the current $525 for the present cRIO.

LabVIEW won’t change much between now and then. The target device may have some different setup requirements in the code (header files, target device settings). I would be surprised if the workflow was any different. The target device shouldn’t matter much when it comes to the code - the compiler will do the work for you. The current cRIO is running a Real Time Operating System (RTOS) and I expect the roboRIO to also run a RTOS variant of Linux.

I am curious if NI will support the present cRIOs to allow us to continue to use them in the future for various other projects/classroom activities since we have four of them.

Sounds like a great question for Friday with Frank or the Q&A later today.

Cross the Road Electronics is also going to have a CAN pneumatic device that will take care of the Compressor, Pressure Switch and 8 solenoids (12v OR 24v not both).

Pneumatic Controller from IRI 2013