RobotBuilder Sort Commands

I have been recently attending meetings with a teem in my area. They have always been short handed when it came to the software and technical side of the organization as I have been told and observed. My back ground in PLC’s, Electrical controls, and hobby Lego Mindstorms mentoring has quickly found a me a place to help this team. Plus I hope my 8th grade son will join next year.

With that said I have been diving straight into the deep end of how the systems worked and briefly explored the different program options in Java since I have some experiences with LEJOS and most teams seem to use it because students pick it up easily. The team has always use Iterative programming and is likely why they have all ways had simple teleop programs.

I have been exploring the command based programming and feel strongly that they move to this system with robotbuilder. The kids have never took the time to explore RobotBuilder nor has a mentor. The Past 5 months I have been researching different issues and solving them I’m down to a few new and unanswered problems.

Just this week when I rolled out Robot builder to them having the Software students build simple robots on my Ubuntu laptop and simulater we moved over to the real thing to see it in action.

Issue #1: Their Laptops would not launch the RobotBuilder from the WPLib menu.

Today I have found this to be a issue for others but can’t explore the different possibilities on their pc’s. So we when to use my laptop and created some command based sample programs BUT

Issue #2: my laptop will not deploy to their robot. So we moved the samples to their PC, Deployed, but

Issue #3: their PC will not launch the SmartDashboard from the WPLib menu. The FRC Driver Station runs on it but the LiveWindow Objects don’t populate here?

Back to my PC. We ran the FRC Driver Station on my PC, Launched the WPLib-SmartDashboard successfully. Lot of hassle but we are getting there.

I came home and today I found My PC was missing the JDK. I only had the JRE. It is now compiling the .jar but failing to find a robot(Because there is not one)

issue #2 maybe solved? But how do I make sure the team number is set properly in Eclipse?

Issue #1 and #3 are likely related. I question if they are possibly missing the JRE parts or if the program would launch directly if found in windows Explore.

Thanks for taking the time to read through all of this. I just wanted to share where I was coming from, What I done so far, and what I may have solve already but will not test till next Tuesday.

Issue #4: Lastly in robot builder can we alphabetize the commands as Eclipse does? It seems to keep the order as entered.

I’ve never had luck launching smart dashboard through eclipse, I had to create a shortcut and launch it that way.
To see of you’re team number is correct, go under window->preferences->wpi plugins.

that help is was wrong too.

It might be help->preferences, I don’t have my laptop near to check.

Window/Preferences/WPILib Preferences at least for my version of Eclipse (Version: Luna Service Release 2 (4.4.2)) on Linux.

I would support using command based programming and robotbuilder if your team is using java. The benefits are tremendous. Our team made the switch 3 years ago and it has paid off.

Some notes from our experience

1)Robotbuilder creates the proper structure for your overall program and has many examples that can be borrowed

2)at some point in your program development you should stop using it, or be tremendously diligent about your code writing as the //autogenerated code // sections can overwrite your hard work.

  1. to my knowledge robotbuilder does not support CAN, but you can use the WPIlib examples to write those subystems yourself

  2. Learn and exploit the parallel and sequential command sequences to your benefit.

  3. Smartdashboard can get very cluttered and is good for testing but not ideal for competition.

Good luck!

It you can, avoid RobotBuilder, good for quick testing but not ideal for competition bot.

Why do you say that?

You will get a better understanding of oop (object oriented programming) if you manually type out all the code instead of generating it. You will also not have to recode your project if you have a slight change. Robot builder is nice I guess, but it’s not helpful to learn programming. In my honest opinion you learn programming by making mistakes and researching why it’s wrong or what you can do to fix it. If you get stuck chief Delphi is always here, mentors are there, plenty of resources to rely on for instead of just robot builder. Being a good frc programmer is also about adapting. If you can adapt to whatever your team throws at you, you can do so much more with a Robot. If your team changes a subsystem at competition instead of saying “No design changes.” You can say “that’s so much better team!” Just some thoughts. If EVER need help feel free to pm me I’ll be more then happy to help a team for next year (As I won’t be programming the robot but helping out my team where it is weak).