Robotpy support for VMX-pi

Team 6517 here.
We are a small, python based, team from South-Knoxville. Currently our team is split into sub-teams, but we’d like for every sub-team members to be experienced with programming and prototyping designs. However, current costs for setting up multiple prototype boards is way out of our budget. To minimize costs, we are trying to setup prototype boards using VMX-pi for each subsystem; Even though it’s still expensive, it comparably less than using multiple robo-Rios, and it’s really valuable for our students as they are able to come up with quick prototypes.
As a low resource team, how much hassle are we looking into setting up robotpy with VMX-pi? Does it require us setting up HAL, wrappers for the Standard Library? and lastly, is this a viable thing for a low resource team to pursue?

We would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thank You.

As I understand, Kauai Labs have a version of the WPILib HAL for the VMX-pi. In that case, you should be able to take RobotPy, replace the roboRIO HAL with the VMX-pi HAL (in the robotpy-hal-roborio package) and start using wpilib without any other changes.

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Hello,
Thank you for the above answer.
Sorry for reviving an old thread, but we are getting one of these. Where would we start to figure out how to do that? Would we just install robotpy in a venv, and remove WPILib HAL and install VMX-pi HAL?

Now that the core RobotPy architecture has been redone, I’m not sure how straightforward doing something like this is.

Worst case scenario (and likely; I don’t expect Raspbian’s system libraries to be compatible with the roboRIO’s) you will have to rebuild all of RobotPy, replacing libwpiHal with the VMX-pi one (assuming it’s been updated for the 2020 libraries).

If you do this, you will likely hit some roadbumps with robotpy-build not supporting Raspbian… there’s an open pull request I believe but I don’t know what the state of it is.

Thank you. As of right now, they are still on 2019. Using that image, would that make things easier?

If they’re still on 2019, you can probably still get away with taking the RobotPy 2019 libraries and doing the above.

Thank you a lot. I am not sure how long this would take me, but I have wanted to learn how to build RobotPy to help you all out, I think this sounds like a good project to figure that out. It will still take some time though. It is looking like a possibility that this summer, I may have some.

Do note that the way RobotPy works and is built did change quite drastically this season, so whatever you learn messing around with the 2019 libraries won’t be particularly useful in future :slight_smile:

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Yes, I figured. I actually was thinking of jumping in and looking at the 2020. What level of C++ do you think I would need under my belt to be able to understand enough to accomplish this?

I understand most of the syntax and have built arduino programs, but that is about it.