Programming 2013

This year, we started programming right after kickoff. Our team had a fairly large programming team consisting of the following people: Matt Arroyo, Dale Keith, Sam Lewin, Liz Maurais, Cody Paquette, and Jacob Tilton. While waiting for the CADD model and the prototype, we began lessons in Java and object oriented programming, led by our mentors Mr. Lewin and Mr. Narkis.

Programming lessons
Learning as we go along

Things like classes, arguments, and strings were discussed. Seeing as the members of our programming team all had different computer hardware, configuring the development computers took a long time. Once we had something to work with, we began programming things like the odometer and the drive train. Sharing code among the team was a breeze thanks to our use of Subversion, located on a server inside our Programming Den. Day after day, our programming team was hard at work pondering ideas, fixing bugs, integrating software with hardware, and scribbling down ideas on windows that were used as whiteboards. The programming team was a very tight knit group this year, helping out each other whenever possible, while still providing a challenge to overcome.

Hard at work
Hard at work

Software development is key to the success of the robot’s performance on the field and the we hope the group’s effectiveness will translate to great execution during the competition

Programming Workshop


On Saturday December 10th, several Team 501 students went to Pembroke Academy in Pembroke, NH to attend a Programming and controlling the cRIO workshop. At the workshop, WPI’s Brad Miller showed off some new features in the 2012 FRC programming library for Java and C++. Mentors and students got to ask questions and see a live demo of some of the new features in action. Later in the workshop, Kevin O’ Connor , a software engineer from FIRST, showed off the capabilities of the Microsoft Kinect system that will be included in every 2012 FRC kit of parts. The Kinect will allow teams to use gestures in order to control their 2012 robots. Furthermore, teams will be able to customize the gestures that are part of the Kinect. After lunch, National Instruments’ LabView was demonstrated and those in attendance were able to see the features of LabView with an FRC robot. The workshop was very informative overall and allowed people to have a small taste of what’s coming when Kickoff 2012 rolls around on January 7th.