pic: 2009 Control System, Mounted

This is a better view of (most of) the new control system for those who couldn’t make it out in the other shots.

Wow, all that to generate a hobby PWM to control a victor? Kind of like using a 35 lb sledge hammer to set a finish nail. There are some missing pieces if First wants to go down this path. I feel a rant coming on. I’ll stop here.

From what I understand, it’s a combination of the PDB and the breaker panels, with another set of things for the controls. It does look like overkill, though.

Why do I get the feeling that all of a sudden space in the middle of the robot is going to be at a premium?

I’m going to miss the days when an electronics team could get told they had a 2" x 12" x 16" space in which to mount everything and they could pull it off.

The long white module between the cRIO and PDB is an old rev of the Digital Sidecar (ie breakout module that allows cRIO to directly drive Victors, Spikes, digital I/O, etc).

That long module has already been replaced by the half-size module that’s sitting next to the PDB.


its too clean looking!! it can’t be a FIRST robot :P:P

I love it. No longer will the electrical team be a crew of a couple of kids that works for 4 hours on Friday night before the scrimmage. The control system will have to be integrated from the start.


How were the prototype white cases for the electronics components fabricated? They sort of look rapid-prototyped, but I am not sure, and didn’t see them in person.

All-in-all, the new controls system is going to be an amazing upgrade for FIRST. You think driving in a circle was an impressive autonomous? Wait until you see what these machines will be able to do next year in the hands of 1400 FIRST teams.

Yes, those were grown cases.
They had examples of everything without the prototype hard covers too.

looks like a throw back to the old IFI breaker panels

It doesn’t take up as much space as you think, mostly because you are replacing the backup battery, the power distribution blocks, and the 40 amp fuse blocks, as well as spikes for punematics. It is going to be heavier though.

it does seem like overkill but its much cleaner. any one know if we will be using a wireless router? because that would just seem weird if theres a router in the middle of the robot.

:confused: Electrical board + (-wire nest) = [SYSTEM ERROR] :confused:

That is way too clean… I guess we will have to make up for the lack of entropy some other way… :rolleyes:


So with all the talk about IFI going away, the new system comes in on a IFI kit chassis? My thought lately has been, will the kit chassis go away along with IFI?

I hope not…

goes and starts to make numerous chassis in inventor/solidworks

Something else that I gleaned from viewing these things up close…
The power distribution board is, indeed, very similar to the old IFI board.
One change is that the ground and positive terminals are next to each other in the wiring… you can see how short the wires are between the victors and the board in the picture… no bird’s nest with all the black wires terminating in a bunch of terminals all stacked on one end as was the case for the IFI board.

This is pretty slick…

This bot was built using spare parts from FIRST’s shop… It was only meant to be a sneak peak at the 2009 control system and in no way was meant to show what may or may not be in the KOP next year :slight_smile:

So there may still be hope for the kit frame next year…

I’m not going to lie to you guys but the power block wire connectors are so strong that the people from Diversified Systems put batter wire on it and pulled a full size 120 lbs robot around without the wire pulling out. The wire was only a foot long, it was amazing.:eek:

It’s not the initial strength. It’s the resistance to vibration. Since there’s no WAY that thing could be any worse than the din rail (we zip tied the wires to ours so they wouldn’t vibrate loose), then it has to be an improvement!

Actually, the DSC3 is less than 1/5th the size of DSC1.


With a 6AWG wire inserted, I’ve dragged the robot several feet sideways (against the wheels) repeatedly.

However, smaller gauge wire does not have as much of a retention force. With a 12AWG wire, I only managed to move the robot a few inches. In fact, I could easily pull it out by simply wrapping it around my hand several times, giving it a few inches of slack and then yanking the giggles out of it. Unfortunately, I smacked my arm into the robot during said yanking. Ouch.

Don’t count on those WAGOs on the PD as a structural element, but boy do I love them!

although it is a lot bigger than the IFI control system, who says that FIRST isn’t going to allow larger robots, or even heavier ones? i really think robot design wont be the same any more.