Programming Guidance Requested


I am in the programming department of rookie team #5700. I have a year of experience with C++, but I find it rather difficult to tie in my knowledge of C++ with what is required of FRC Robotics. My trouble is comprehending and digesting the large amount of knowledge contained in the WPILIB.

Could anybody share pointers on how to begin coding the robot in general? I.e where should I start. Do I start coding with the drivetrain? Do I start with the jaguar?

Also, our hardware team is rather inefficient and we are not able to coordinate with them. So, I was wondering what I could do to start developing code on our own.

Thank you in advanced for any help you provide.

Best regards,

I would go through and figure out how to do things one thing at a time. First, figure out how to turn on motors, then hook them up to a joystick, then learn how to get a button and an axis to work on a joystick. Keep moving through every little thing until you can use everything your team needs. Skip things like pneumatics, unless your team is planning on using them. There are 20 or so example projects that cover most parts of the library too.

If you have not already, check out :

This shows how to run basic functions in C++, Java, and Labview

Send me an PM. I’d be more than happy to give you a crash course on knowledge you need to have your robot perform at a level that you desire.

We started down the C++ path over the offseason, but with the roborio introduction we decided to stick with labview this year.

While researching and working with C++, I was pointed to Hot (FRC67) teams resources for C++.

I found these pages to be most helpful.

Scott: I’m glad they helped you out a bit!

Jeff: We are currently in the process of porting most of that over to our main site and have updated it a bit to include some of the updates this year. A very motivated student is also currently making a video series on each lesson as well.

Directly link to the WPI tutorials can be found here:

Here the tutorials starts to get into the basic layout of the code:

Jeff: Put away the C++ and install LabVIEW. See
and click on “LabVIEW Robot” and “LabVIEW Intro” (thanks to team 27). Complete code for a joystick controlled 2-motor robot is provided with LabVIEW as well as examples for most sensors (limit switches, encoders).

You won’t regret it. LabVIEW is used by most aerospace companies to control test instrumentation. I would be surprised if your robot running the base code (2 or 4 motors and a joystick) isn’t running in a few hours.

This isn’t good advice to give to a new student (I’m assuming the OP is a student). If a student or team wants to learn a language there are mountains of resources available through the FIRST community to help them. Some of the best have already been posted and I hope that the OP can get some one-on-one time with mentors familiar with programming in C++. My old teammate, John, up there already offered to personally help him out.

To the OP: Do you know what other veteran teams are nearby you? I’m sure many of them would be willing to spend some time getting up to the point where you can turn motors and map joysticks to commands.

Since you have only a few short weeks left till “bag & tag”, you might consider postponing the C++ learning till after that date and make the various robot functions work with LabVIEW for now.