Small Assembly for individual Program Training

I have reveiwed “Small robotics”. However, I’m thinking even smaller. Since it’s unlikely we’ll get together soon, I thinking about having a programmable platform that each can work with. Something like Adafruit PyBadge or PyGamer, <$50.

However, most I’ve looked at are programmed in Python or C/C++ (Arduino). Of course we use Java. Programming concepts could be taught but then we’d need to move to Java at sometime.

SO, any thoughts? Anyone know any Java based assemblies?

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Java-specific hardware is going to be hard to come by, especially at that price point. Raspberry pi’s can have their IO controlled with Java, but I’m thinking this will be a lot of work to put something meaningful together and learn, just to have to say “but now learn wpilib and the RoboRIO”.

Have you checked out the simulation abilities built into wpilib now? They’re quite advanced, and allow you to test a large variety of pieces of code without ever needing physical hardware. We’re currently banking on them to help students ramp up without access to physical hardware.

FWIW this style of simulation infrastructure is how industry solves the problem of not having the “real” hardware to test and learn on.


Yep, that’s the issue I’m running into. I can find SoC (Arduino/RPi) but they “usually” run with C or Python. I have run Java on a RPi 3 but you are correct, the setup was not all that simple.

The idea for noobs was to keep it simple, plug & play. Something they could learn basic concepts on. Hardware input & output. Realtime response (not a keyboard [Hello World]). That was the idea behind a pyGamer as an example.

Last year I had a roboRIO with a breadboard w/LEDs and buttons. Each noob had the opprotunity to write code then download and test. Don’t think that’s going to happen this year. lol.

Simulator looks interesting. Last time I looked it was for Commandbased. The docs are a little thin and the interface appears basic. However, for noobs it should be enough to learn concepts. And its in Java & VSCode.


I tried the Simulate. Wrote a simple 3 DI’s to 3 DO’s interlocks. Worked! Click turn on DIO0 turned on DIO3, etc.

Now I’m trying the joystick. I have a Gamepad, I dragged it to Joystick3 as assigned in software and setup to have button 0 turn on DIO 3. No go. Any suggestions?

Oh, I can see the button change state in the simulator.

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I’m using a Joystick class to get button status. Sumptin wrong. Call direct works.
Troubleshooting, anything else will post.

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Opps, forgot JS_IO.init(); SOOOooooo close. :crazy_face:

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