[first] 2014 championship conference

Sometimes I blog about a conference when I attend it. Today, I attended a number of sessions at the 2014 First Championship Conference. It was my first time attending these talks. There was a good level of quality.

[first] RoboRio

Also see Wpilib blog post

For other posts about the 2014 FIRST conference, see the index page.  (written on my iPad; please excuse typos)


  • Control system 2015-2019 (Had crio for 6 years)
  • Java SE 8 (not java me)
  • Runs about 10 times faster than on crio
  • Will support Eclipse.  Chose Eclipse because better c++ support. Then Oracle announced more support in NetBeans.
  • Multi core
  • Linux based. Available by ssh, webdav. Will have admin access. Canco nnecte, but wont require
  • Will probably have an updated driver station image. Will still only run on windows. Getting more portable over time so may happen one day. They also want simpliciity for troubleshooting on the field

Changes to library

  • Port numbers will shift to be zero based
  • Extensions to API will use generics
  • Will try to keep backward compatibility for two years
  • Deprecated apis will probably go away
  • Everything will be zero indexed

Physical device

  • More robust, less points of failure
  • Can integrate custom electronics into mxp expansion port – will post design kit for custom expansions
  • Power distribution board can measure current of every motor on robot
  • Design will be based on CAN. But different than CAN of past
  • Voltage regulation module (vrm) – cheaper, makes power distribution board smaller. Let’s change easily for future years
  • Will be version of talon with CAN on it. Feature comparable to jaguar. Looking into ability to connect to limit switch
  • RoboRIO weighs about a third of cirio. Plus other modules are less/smaller


  • $200 power distribution
  • $90 pneumatics
  • $49 voltage regulation
  • $435 RoboRio


  • RoboRIO available in December.
  • Rest available late October in reasonable quantity
  • This system less disruptive than when crio came out so probably wont do early release of hardware
  • Enough will be in kit of parts for veteran teams to get up and running with 4 motors. Not sure if will include voltage regulation module

[first] robot in three days

Robot in 3 days (Ri3d)

For other posts about the 2014 FIRST conference, see the index page.  (written on my iPad; please excuse typos)


  • Goal was to mentor many teams without it taking 6 weeks or more
  • Handle most important parts of game
  • “house rules” –  Modify rules to allow for a mostly FIRST legal robot and substitute parts, skip bumpers, etc
  • Last year, one group in Florida. Expanded this year to have more groups
  • Spend a lot of time preparing so can use 3 days well .- have parts organized, order stock of sheet metal, wood, etc
  • Do electronics mockup so not waiting until end
  • Good debate on chiefdelphi about whether giving away too much or inspiring teams to do more. Goal is to inspire less strong teams.
  • Design within your resources. Working in parallel

What’s next

  •  try to expand network of teams involved
  • advise teams not to release CAD of entire robot
  • prototypes not just full robot
  • might release videos later in the week so can edit

Showed video of failures. (Good to show happens to the experienced)

My impressions:

Very entertaining. Andy baker had good interjections as did the guy next to him (don’t remember name). Good mediause. Slides, video, comments. Clearly Andy hadn’t seen the deck in advance, but that was entertaining.