The robot controller is a National Instruments cRIO, short for compact Reprogramable Input Output.
- Real time operating system (VxWorks by WindRiver) customized for FIRST.
- 400MHz processor with 64MB of DRAM and 256MB non-volatile memory.
- Two Ethernet ports and an RS232 serial port for connections to peripherals.
- 24VDC power supply input which works with the FIRST Power Distribution Board.
We use the FIRST-designated NI cRIO-FRC integrated microprocessor to control our robot. The cRio allows for swappable modules to interface with other FIRST components. It can survive tempuratures of -20 to 55 degrees celcuis. The system provides 64 MB of DRAM for embedded operation and 256 MB of non-volatile memory.
The cRIO-FRC features two 10/100 Mbits/s Ethernet ports that we use for communicating with the driver station and an RS232 serial port for connecting peripherals such as a CAN (Controller Area Network) bus.
For the 2009-2011 competition seasons, FIRST has selected three C Series I/O modules: the NI 9201 for analog inputs, the NI 9403 for digital I/O, and the NI 9472 for pneumatic output.
All of the motors on our robots have been controlled by Texas Instraments Jaguars also know as MDL-BDC24's for the previous two years. Alternatives exist, such as the Innovation First Victor.
- PWM interface or Controller Area Network (CAN) interface via a RS232 serial interface
- Real-time monitoring of current, voltage and speed.
- Load firmware over RS232/CAN
- Directly interfaces to a PC serial port or National Instruments cRIO