scout updates: more plans for making the scout robot's software [updates]
Okay so, again in an effort to make out lives so much easier. I had a debate with myself this morning along the lines of: why am I even bothering to sit here and develop c++ code for the RoboRIO if that isn't even the focus of this project and what we are trying to do? I mean let's be honest here with software and hardware architecture. What makes absolutely the most sense is actually, to just use the RoboRIO simply like a CAN Controller. It has no other job than to receive the desired motor position/velocity commands from the Jetson TX1, and send those to the SparkMAXs, and possibly send back some information for calibration and etc. Because of this, it might just be a lot easier to develop the whole RoboRIO code not in c++ or whatever, but just with the straight, in-built LabVIEW that runs very natively on the RoboRIO. Here are some relevant links:
LabVIEW for FRC link walks through installing LabVIEW: https://docs.wpilib.org/en/latest/docs/getting-started/getting-started-frc-control-system/labview-setup.html
REV Robotics LabVIEW API for the SparkMAX controllers. This has all the code for the PID position and velocity control of the SparkMAXs: http://www.revrobotics.com/sparkmax-software/#labview-api
Understanding how to program in LabVIEW for FRC. This link walks us through the basic programming: https://docs.wpilib.org/en/latest/docs/getting-started/running-a-benchtop/creating-benchtop-test-program-labview.html
Now there's still a few problems to solve:
(1) We need to get LabVIEW and figure out How to control SparkMAXs with the API.
(2) We need to figure out how to get the Jetson TX1 to communicate with the RoboRIO to send and receive information from it.
(3) We need to figure out how to simulate the FRC Driver Station signal to activate Teleop Mode using the ROS framework on the Jetson TX1. We want the Jetson TX1 to enable our robot.
(4) And only after all of that nonsense can we start figuring out how to control the legs, how to sense the environment and etc.
To figure this all out, I'm going to start by asking some questions on the FIRST Robotics form - Chief Delphi.
Hopefully we will be able to get a response from some helpful online people. Once these two issues are solved, we will be out of the IT issues weeds for the most part and everything else will be software like how do we model the robot, do we want PID control, where do we put the legs and etc. These are just technicalities that we need to understand to start helping us build the rest of the software for scout.
This evening, however, what we will do is get LabVIEW downloaded and get it installed on our windows development computer, and we will mount and wire in the RoboRIO. We're going to complete this project by solving the issues one problem at a time. This does, also, likely mean we didn't NEED to build WPILIB or VSCode or anything for the Jetson TX1, but no matter. We will, at the end of this project, compile the build requirements to make it as well as a full-fledged parts list.