2013 FRC Season Workshops

The purpose of the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition Season Workshops is to provide teams the opportunity to learn from other teams, mentors, supporters, and suppliers. If you are interested in being a presenter for the 2014 Season Workshops, please contact Hannah Foust.

  1. Build a scalable, easy-to-understand robot control program in C++ using the Command-based Robot Framework.
  2. The Design Process (From Brainstorming to Final CAD Design)
  3. Robot Builder
  4. Introduction to Command-Based Programming
  5. Smart Dashboard

1. Build a scalable, easy-to-understand robot control program in C++ using the Command-based Robot Framework.

Workshop Description: Worried that C++ is too complicated to use for your robot program? This workshop walks you through the recently-introduced Command-based Robot framework, part of WPILib, which simplifies the process of writing robot control programs in C++.  Command-based programs are easier to develop and maintain, can be worked on by more than one person at a time, and are easier to reason about than monolithic C++ robot controllers. You'll find out about the three phases of robot operation, how to design robot subsystems, and the basics of creating commands.

About the Presenter: Steve Peterson is the Programming and Electronics Mentor for Team 3018 -- Kennedy RoboEagles in Bloomington, MN. He works for Microsoft Corporation as a Principal Architect, where he recently completed work on Visual Studio 2012. Steve has been an invited presenter at many industry conferences and workshops.

Workshop Videos:

 2. The Design Process (From Brainstorming to Final CAD Design)

Workshop Description: In this workshop, we would like to go over the design process and how to bring students’ brainstorming ideas on the first day to a final robot design in about the first week of build season. We will also show how the entire team can take part in the designing of the robot using CAD, regardless of the team’s size or structure. We will cover how teams can begin by going over the rules and then how to use a simple CAD software to quickly communicate ideas in 3D to the rest of the team. After the team has created designs using the simpler software, we will show how to use Inventor Fusion (though for this step other simple CAD software could be used). Then we will go over how to take those basic designs and develop them into a single final one that can be made by the team.

All of this workshop is part of Built by Design or BXD for short. Built by Design is an interactive tutorial series that is hosted on bxd.autodesk.com. This website includes all of the tutorial videos and PowerPoint’s that we used in the workshop but it also has a place where people can download an organized parts library use the icon dictionary for the terms they don’t know, and most of all, take part in the student challenges forum. This gives students the chance to share their CAD designs with the robotics CAD world and get feedback on them. This workshop and website to go with it will help teams have a better experience with design and CAD.

About the Presenters: Amy Wiegand, Brady Dirksen, Brennan VandenHoek, Dan Sakaguchi, Dylan Washburne, Ian Walters, Quentin Luvaas and Trystan Bartley. We were all on local first teams thoughout Oregon. We come from as far out as McMinnville to all the way to Beaverton and all places in between. Collectively, we are from seven different FRC teams. On our local FRC teams we take on a variety of responsibilities. Some of us were sub-team leads, or team captains, or part of the build team, or even the founding members of the team. Of the eight of us, six of us are going to be seniors at our local high schools. The other two are going to be freshmen in college at Oregon State University and Stanford. Both of whom are planning on helping out with FRC in some way whether that be mentoring a team or volunteering at the regionals. Together with all of our different backgrounds we comprise the eight students that interned at Autodesk this summer and came up with the plan to try and make the design process easier for teams. This group really shows the diversity of FIRST at its best.

Workshop Videos:

3. Robot Builder

Workshop Description: RobotBuilder for text-based languages for the 2013 FRC Control System.

About the Presenter: Brad Miller is the Associate Director of the Robotics Resource Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Brad enjoys taking complicated subjects and making them easy to understand. Some of the projects he has worked on include developing WPILib, the software library used by all FIRST Robotics Competition teams as the basis for its robot programs. He is starting the FIRST/WPI Research Center initiative, a system for getting robotics engineering research and project work into the hands of FIRST.

Workshop Video:

4. Introduction to Command-Based Programming

Workshop Description: Series of videos using the command-based programming model in WPILib. We take a fairly complex robot that has a number of subsystems that use PID control and timed tasks and create the program from scratch using Java and Netbeans. We demonstrate how easy it is to get very complex behavior with a simple program.

About the Presenter: Brad Miller is the Associate Director of the Robotics Resource Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Brad enjoys taking complicated subjects and making them easy to understand. Some of the projects he has worked on include developing WPILib, the software library used by all FIRST Robotics Competition teams as the basis for its robot programs. He is starting the FIRST/WPI Research Center initiative, a system for getting robotics engineering research and project work into the hands of FIRST.

Workshop Videos:

5. Smart Dashboard

Workshop Description: This video is the first in an upcoming series of videos on using the SmartDashboard. It can be used from either C++ or Java.

About the Presenter: Brad Miller is the Associate Director of the Robotics Resource Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Brad enjoys taking complicated subjects and making them easy to understand. Some of the projects he has worked on include developing WPILib, the software library used by all FIRST Robotics Competition teams as the basis for its robot programs. He is starting the FIRST/WPI Research Center initiative, a system for getting robotics engineering research and project work into the hands of FIRST.

Workshop Video:


2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff Workshops

Workshops Descriptions

Recordings