paper: Applied Robot Programming for FRC 'bots

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Applied Robot Programming for FRC 'bots
by: garyk

A detailed presentation of programming techniques for FRC 'bots. Presumes a working knowledge of C. Written in narrative form and suitable for individuals or teams to read and discuss.

I wrote and presented this class at the December 2006 WRRF workshops in Santa Clara, Calif. It presents programming techniques (getting started, PWM control, dead zones, limit switches and pots, behaviour selection switches, state machines, …) It’s written in a narrative form and is can be used on your own or as a group to learn robot programming. It does not teach the C language and a working familiarity with C is necessary. It’s currently written in MS Word/Works format (.wps suffix) and is compatible with MS Word - 2.1MB

FRCProgrammingClass_v1_0_32.pdf (247 KB)
class33a5.pdf (677 KB)

Hi, all:

I’m the author of this whitepaper. I’d appreciate feedback - what’s not clear, what is missing, etc.



Had trouble downloading a copy.

Maybe its just me but it appears to incorrectly score some situations.



Red denotes red ringer, X denoted nothing. That should make a row of 2 and a column of 2 for a total of 8 points. Your program calculates that as 10 points.

hi there. I had no trouble downloading the paper, however, I couldn’t open it in word. it (word) has to install something extra, and this is a school computer, so I don’t have an install cd. I tried opening the paper in notepad as well, but there was a lot of gibberish as well as there being a space between every letter. got any suggestions?

Please put up a copy in word (.doc) or acrobat (.pdf) format. This way most people will be able to read it.

I’m sorry people are having trouble reading the file - I can open it in MS Word. An alternative is the MS Word viewer available at:

I’ll post a .doc Thurs. the 11th.


Thank you for making this. I know C just fine, and I’m sick of all the “tutorials” on the US FIRST webpage that just go through the basic syntax of C and then leave you to just decifer the default code yourself. This is a God send!

Perhaps considering using open office next time you post something. It is a 100% open source program that uses the Oasis OpenDocument file format, so in the future we won’t be stuck using a binary closed file format viewable only by Microsoft programs.

Also, it would avoid the problem we’re having right now, because Microsoft no longer supports the “Works” file format. OpenOffice can export as a PDF with the click of a button, so anyone can view it, even those of us not willing to spend >$90 on Microsoft Office.

My thanks to PurpleMonkeyKin[g] for sending me the .pdf version, now posted; I see the downloads have already started. The PDF version is smaller (faster downloads!) as well.

I’ve had to move documents to my Linux box to convert to PDF and the formatting gets changed. I’ll look into Open Office, thanks!

Gary K.
Programming mentor 972/668
Silicon Valley