Wednesday, September 27, 2017

No Thursday Offsite This Week

We won't be holding a Thursday off-site meeting for programming this week.  Instead, we will be having a LabVIEW party at the robotics room on Saturday from 9:00-2:00.  Bring your laptop if you have one, as a limited number of team laptops will be available.

-- Len

2018 Control System Beta

Congratulations Team!

We have been selected to participate in the 2018 Beta Testing program for FIRST! This is a huge honor and responsibility, as there are only 30 teams globally who were selected for each language, and many of those spots are being held by long-time Championship-level teams that have been beta teams for several years.  We are specifically assigned to test the new version of LabVIEW and the respective FIRST code libraries.

So what does this entail for us?  We will be thoroughly testing the 2018 software and potentially new hardware ahead of most teams.  We have to document what we’ve learned.  We need to give feedback to FIRST and their suppliers.  We need to share what we’ve learned and become an authoritative contact for other teams.  Like I said above, this is a huge responsibility.

This will take the efforts of the entire team, as we will have to get both Toasty and Moldy back into competition shape.  Specific to the process that FIRST uses, I need to collect 9 other official participants (students and mentors), as soon as possible.  If you are interested, just post below or send me an e-mail indicating your interest.

-- Len

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Welcome New Members!

Hi Team!

First of all, welcome to all of the new members who expressed interest in programming, coding, or “anything” at today’s meeting.  I’m sorry that I wasn’t there to meet you, but I’ll get to know you soon enough.

If you haven’t visited the team website yet, you should get into the habit of checking it out at here.  The Buzz page is automatically updated with stuff from the team’s various social media feeds.  Very soon, we will be updating the main site with more recent content and adding a programming blog.  This will be a persistent place for much of the information that I send out over e-mails, and a place to have discussions over different coding topics.  The site also has a calendar under the Team Resources area that should be the most up-to-date scheduling for meetings.  Our items will be deep red in color, but you should also check out other events (especially the pink ones).

For those of you new since last week, we use two different languages or environments for programming our robots.  We use LabVIEW, a graphical-based language for main robot control and the off-field dashboard.  We use Python with OpenCV to do our vision programming.  I now have the VirtualBox VM ready for Python programming with OpenCV, which mimics the system used on our vision processing computer.  This can be installed on your own computer, so that you can get up to speed as fast as possible.

To spread the love, we will have a VirtualBox install party at the Evansic house tomorrow (Thursday) night.  It is the next red block on the team calendar.  Bring your laptop (Mac, Windows, or Linux), and you too can get your own tools to play with and learn Python and OpenCV!

If you can’t make it (I know, short notice), the VM and other related information will be available when the website is updated.

— Len