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ZebROS 1.0: ROS for FRC
Bringing ROS to FRC, this whitepaper outlines the Zebracorns’ journey to using ROS for the entirety of our robot code.
In 2016, Team 900 wrote a neural network for detecting boulders. Last year, we implemented the Robot Operating System, ROS, into our vision code to facilitate communication between multiple processors. But this year, we’ve gone above and beyond what anyone thought we would be crazy enough to attempt. We transitioned our entire robot code – including hardware control – into ROS.
It wasn’t an easy transition – not only did we have to rewrite all of our code from the very basics of controlling motors to starting robot code automatically, but our problems were completely unique to FRC. Since we’re blazing a trail where no one one else has dared to go, we had to figure out most of our problems on our own without any specific resources. In this white paper, we explain why we did it, how we did it, and what we plan to do in the future. We hope to be a resource for any other teams crazy enough to try this out.
There’s no doubt that it’s been a difficult year, but many exciting things happened as well. We played back driver station data in real time to debug our different autonomous modes. We made huge strides with localization and mapping. We began integrating vision code with generated motion profiled paths. We’re looking forward to next year where we will do even more exciting things. Stay tuned!
Thank you to the entire team that worked tirelessly on the ROS transition and to our programming mentors Eric Blau and Kevin Jaget for their help throughout the competition season to surmount such a significant codebase transformation. Thank you to our mentors and fellow students for their help reviewing this paper. Finally, thank you to our sponsors for providing us with the resources that allowed us to make these groundbreaking leaps. We couldn’t do any of this without your continued support!
ZebROS1-0.pdf (12 MB)