Sunday, January 31, 2010

FIRST Robotics - 3 weeks to go

Sorry I missed last week, I was OBRE (Overcome By Robotic Events).

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) The build should be in full swing! If the robot building team hasn't started implementing the design, you need to get to it.

The software team, should have a prioritized list of what they need to implement and be trying to get it going. If you're doing the software, remember that the robot design, how things are going to work are changing. As the robot's being built, they ARE going to change things. Some parts of the design just won't work and so it will change. You need to be flexible and be prepared to throw away code.

The individual functions should be implemented in Sub-Vi's for LabVIEW and subroutines for Java or C++. For instance, the "kick" Functions should be implemented so that the SubVi/Subroutine only does what the robot needs to do to kick the ball.I.e Pull back kicker, release kicker. In the Teleoperated portion of the code, you should detect the button push and call the kick routine. This way, they change the way the kicker works, you only need to go to that function to change it.

This also helps when different groups are working on the code. One group can be incharge of kicking, one incharge of movement, one in charge of the sensors, etc.

One other import fact, and I've said it before, save off your code! when you have something working, save it somewhere so that if mess something up, you can go back to something that works.

Don't be afraid to try stuff in the code, just make sure you can get back to where you were.

Have Fun!

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