pic: Tiki Techs - FRC 2015 Robot

Tiki Techs - Recycle Rush Robot -

That’s a good looking robot! Love the lights. Nothing like being able to easily spot your robot in a match. Do you guys use Arduino to control them? We use it for our LEDs.

Mahalo… (thank you)
We have used the Arduino with RGB LED’s from Super Bright LED’s with success in prior years.

Last year we went with an easier design.
We picked up some LED systems from Costco (Sylvania Mosaic flexible LED light kit) that were IR controlled.

Here is an example http://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-72344-Mosaic-Flexible-Light/dp/B008COVFUA

Was very easy to install, just cut off the wall wart since it runs at 12vdc. We also removed the IR receiver and put it on a connector so we could remove it for competitions. In the pit we would plug the receiver back in and change colors and other effects as needed. We ran a few separate strings in various locations. One location was the electronics area that was setup separately. Not only did it look nice but we were able to use the system to have nice bright white light when changing batteries and leave the rest of the robot colored for show… Judges just loved to talk with the students about the robot and watch the lighting change remotely. Was fun to see what combinations the Judges and other visitors would come up with.

More than likely we will return to using the Arduino setup this year. We also have LED arrows and various customizable boards for making custom LED setups. Hope the game this year will facilitate its use…

Looking forward to another great season,


What are the rules concerning arduinos and other micro-controllers? And can we connect them to the Robot-Rio to communicate?

Yes, but they cannot have anything to do with actuation. IE no PWM/relay/can/etc control over motors.

They can collect sensor data (such as camera or otherwise) and perform computation to offload roboRIO resources though.

An arduino/equiv is considered a custom circuit.

Obligatory “this year’s rules aren’t necessarily next year’s” but this rule has been in here for a while.

Cool, thanks, didn’t know about the sensor part… So we can connect the outpout and input pins of a micro-controller to the robot-rio? And is it simple to program?

I have exactly zero experience programming these things. I’d imagine it would be easier to communicate via the USB port or ethernet (or perhaps even CAN), though there is no reason the DIO wouldn’t be allowed

Usually teams use independent boards for vision processing. Normal sensors usually take only a tiny fraction of CPU power. Also note that if you are using a Talon SRX with CAN, sensors can be plugged into the breakout board for the motor controllers (which may be in a more convenient location [like our tether-bot this year]) and the roboRIO can read those sensors over the CAN line

Oh, didn’t know we could plug sensors on can… That’s pretty cool actually :slight_smile: Thanks guys! I’ll start working on that!

At one point, we considered outing LEDs on using an Arduino. Unfortunately, we never had extra weight. (I’m pretty sure all of our weigh ins were 119-120 pounds at every competition). Either way, awesome looking bot. It takes talent to make a robot. It takes craftmanship to make a robot look pretty. It takes a lot of both to get both results. Good work.