Purchasing the 2009 controller

Hey guys,
i wanna purchase the 2009 controller to play with during the off season. Do you know where i can do that, and what will the estimated price be?
Thanks a lot =]

The cRIO costs 3k without all the modules that make it useful. FIRST is going to get a big discount also they are working on some custom comments that will allow for easy PWM control so until they release the entire package prototyping will be difficult anyway.

Liron,

that’s a great question…I sure want to know the answer! Later in the fall, announcements will be made at ni.com/community/first. In the meanwhile, they will have tutorials and training available there on-line.

You can also use the NXT in the Mindstorm kit and program it with Labview; the C environment will only work on the PAC system from NI.

i already am using labview on mindstorms :stuck_out_tongue:

http://lejos-osek.sourceforge.net/

C/C++ support for NXT. I can’t wait for the compactRIO, but I don’t have Mindstorms, so I can only get our new hybrid code working for sponsors :frowning: .

Some links and prices for reference:

Here’s a good set of links to CompactRIO products:
http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/3114

$3000 - This is what “looks like” the FIRST integrated controller and chassis (no guarantees from me though) (NI 9074):
http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/203964
Note: The NI website indicates 128MB RAM and 256MB storage, while the FIRST FAQ indicates 64MB/128MB, so this may be an indication that FIRST is getting a customized version – or it might just be a typo. :slight_smile:

$350 - The analog input module mentioned on the website (NI 9201):
http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/14588

$350 - The digital I/O module mentioned on the website (NI 9403):
http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/203425

$100 - The “solenoid” module mentioned on the website (NI 9472):
http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/14175

Again, no guarantees that FIRST will use these exact versions…

So, ~$3800 to get the whole package now – nearly the cost of entry for a regional competition. :ahh: Plus, I don’t know where to get the new power distribution block and digital sidecar board, or how much they might cost.

Some options to save a few bucks:

$1500 - What looks like a lower-end controller, with less RAM/storage (and no integrated chassis):
http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/203347

$700 - What looks like the lowest-end chassis (no integrated controller):
http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/14156

So if you really want something to play with in the pre-season, you could spend ~$3000 for a somewhat limited controller/chassis, or $3800 for the (possibly) real thing – or save all kinds of money and just do research until you get the real deal in 2009.

FRC is definitely getting more expensive for the off-season… Each team will have to judge their spending based on their own budgets and desires for off-season work.

I kind of hope that they DON’T release the final controller, etc, until the 2009 kickoff, it would be a nice little equalizer for lower-budget teams if everyone had to start their hands-on learning curve at the same time next year. :stuck_out_tongue:

We have some mentors, one of them who works with a guy at National Instruments, who are pushing for getting us a controller that we can learn and prototype on in the post season.
even if it isn’t the actual controller we are getting next year, we cant exactly train new programmers on our old board.

I’m so excited for this thing- 32 bits of tastiness.
Ill never have to worry again about the ADC interrupt corrupting my floating point calculations!!

The guys at the NI booth said the FRC controller will be a hybrid of the cRIO-9072 and cRIO-9074 with it leaning more toward the later. They also said FIRST plans on giving teams only one instead of a new one each year. The price of the additional cRIO-FRC with modules is supposed to be comparable to what we pay now for an additional IFI-RC.

Wow, one period? that is really, really lame.

did he say when it’d be available?

Giving one. That way it’s reusable. Something was said in the thread about the controller (and the FAQ, I think) about a discount on extra ones.

we’re trying to at least get a cRIO to mess around with before the summer. i know it won’t be like the FRC one, most likely (software, standard libraries, etc.) but i like PLC’s anyways, and wanna learn LabVIEW lol.

Giving only one and recycling is unacceptable for several reasons-

  1. if you intend to develop new teams by lending them old robots that totally shoots that idea in the foot. If you intend to use robots for public relations purposes it also ruins that idea.

  2. if the “kit” will cost the same from year to year but you don’t get a processor with each one then why not register as a new team and get a rookie kit? Why should the “veteran” teams be denied if they are paying the same price as new rookies.

True- recycling the thing is a neat idea but old robots have lots of good uses and ripping their brains out is simply a brainless idea.

130 lb paperweights- I don’t think so.

WC :cool:

Ugh, agreed 100%. I hope they reverse this decision.

Can someone point me to a link where this decision is mentioned?

Ask, and ye shall receive!
http://first.wpi.edu/2009_FRC_Controller_FAQ_FINAL.pdf
It’s the last question (and 2 questions) under Logistics, near the top of Page 3.

That does not explicitly state that teams won’t be receiving a new controller each year. It just says that they will be reusable (as opposed to the IFI RC where we were only allowed to use the current year controller).
I must say their answer is kind of weird since they didn’t answer their own question.
I actually understood the opposite from the NI reps who said teams would be getting a new one each year so they could continue using their old robots.

Yeah it did not explicitly state that teams will be reusing old controllers. The passively stated “may” and further added that new components may be used to modify an old controller. Maybe this is kin do like how at the regional, we couldnt use a pre-2004 IFI controller since IFI modified their controller over the years.
Btw, speaking of IFI, do you think the 2008 robot controller will be dramatically reduced in price? I see it as a potential educational tool for our middle schools.

Thanks

Only a few hours after initially talking to the NI guys, apparently they may be able to send us some COTS parts- the cRIO amd the PWM, digital IO, and solenoid plugins.

more updates to come…

Q: Will I get a new controller in each year’s kit?

A: Because of the ruggedness of CompactRIO, teams will be able to reuse their controller in competition years beyond 2009. However FIRST may decide to introduce new cRIO modules to the system specific to a future year game design.

I think that is a pretty clear answer. We will only get one and that’s it and the question right above it states we will only be able to purchase one additional controller each year at the reduced (read comparable to this years) price. A while ago we had to return the control system to FIRST at the end of the year so this isn’t as bad as it used to be.

Yes, the cost of the cRIO-9074 plus the modules is quite significant, so we are not able to provide (read: DONATE) a new cRIO controller to FIRST each and every year. So, you will be required to re-use the cRIO for multiple years - though new (read: ADDITIONAL/SUPPLEMENTARY) cRIO modules may be given to teams in their KOP if new modules are required or are advantageous. Teams who want a new controller each year will be required to purchase a new unit plus modules at the incredibly discounted cost.

-Danny