PDA as an OI controller

I’ve seen a photo somewhere that has an operator interface (OI) with a PDA device in the middle. Does anyone know which team this photo would be?

What are the FIRST restrictions with regard to an OI? Can you have a lap top?

Also, out of curiousity, does anyone know how to integrate a PDA into the FIRST OI? I’m assuming most PDA’s have a a serial data port.


I don’t have a link to the pic (nor have I seen it). But what you were most likely seeing (read: the only legal thing) wat the PDA was connected to the dashboard port. Yes, you could also have a laptop connected (several teams have done this as well). Though the laptop(or PDA) is only a display.

Meaning you can’t have any outputs from the PDA controlling the robot. You can however have a nice fancy graphical (or text) display to show various information from your robot, such as speed, current draw(with appropiate sensors), etc. The drivers then have to react to that display to make any use of it.

The PDA can only be used as a status display (dashboard, etc). You can not use the it as a robot control. This just allows FIRST to have a measure of control and to standardize some of the control systems, as well as to restrict the robot to a single computer.

Many teams use PDAs, laptops, and other devices as displays. Our team uses a laptop running Dashboard3D to give feedback as to the drive system, control states, etc. Displays can be very useful, though some drivers find them distracting (they are also great for testing/calibration).

You are actually allowed to use PDA’s and Laptops as display DURING competition??? I’ve never seen that before, though I’ve only been around for two years…

Absolutely, nothing wrong with it (so long as it’s ok with your drivers!).

Are you talking about this one? It was ours from last year. The PDA was connected to the dashboard port, and displayed a graphic of the field with our robot’s location on it (the PDA software wasn’t done yet in this picture, which is why it doesn’t look right).

Where can you go about getting the software(s) to run this ?

Which software? Do you mean the PDA software that Wildstang used to display field position or do you mean the dashboard software?

You can get the generic (but finally updated!) dashboard program from IFI here and D3D v2.0 will be available soon here (v1.0 is available at our team’s old website but I don’t think it is compatible with this year’s OI).

Yes I am talking about the software that they used. Another question is if it can be used on a pocket pc and if there are any programs that are going to b coming out for them. Thankyou.

The software we used wouldn’t be of use to anyone else. Our Palm displayed our robot’s position, which was transmitted back from our robot’s custom circuit. Our custom circuit computed our robot’s position & orientation in autonomous mode to within 6 inches using a wheel encoder and a gyroscope, and our robot controller used that information to navigate around the field using a pre-programmed list of waypoints. There was a good deal of discussion about it last year that you should be able to find by searching this board if you’re interested in more of the details.