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Software recommendations for next year ...

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  • Software recommendations for next year ...

    We have been working hard to develop new programmers for our team so that it can be sustainable as high school seniors graduate out and new people come in.

    One of the biggest challenges, in addition to learning java and the libraries, is the ability for team members to
    build and run their code.

    Learning Java

    There are lots of resources on the web for learning Java. But it would be great to have a small set of self-paced, recommended alternatives.

    Document the libraries much better

    IMHO, the library documentation leaves a great deal to be desired. By way of example, while RUN_TO_POSITION is a documented mode for motors with encoders, the formal javadoc documentation tells us nothing about how to use it or how not to use it. Basically, learning how it works combines experiments with word of mouth, and with FTC Forum research. A bit more description with examples would go a long way.

    Build and run code

    Currently, building and running robot code, even if there are no sensors or motors involved, requires having two (compatible) Android phones in your possession. Kind of like FRCSim for FRC robots, it would be great to at least enable developers / learners to run a "Drive Station" and a "Robot Controller" in emulation. I have done this successfully, EXCEPT for simulating the WiFi direct connection between these two. Maybe somebody has figured this out. Maybe FTC HQ and/or Qualcomm could help us with this small enhancement.

    It would be even cooler if there were some kind of "micro K9" people could build or buy that used servos, maybe something that simulated larger motors and encoders, and a few sensors, so that learners could see a real bot working.

    I welcome feedback from other members of the community.

    Martin Haeberli
    (de-)Mentor, FTC 7593, TigerBots

  • #2
    Currently the only FTC simulator that I know of is, which is now outdated but going to be revived once I can take care of lots of other code things. By the way, what needs to happen on it, is that we need to decompile the FTC SDK (which is allowed by the current BSD license), and replace the FTDI driver, with a networked driver that sends to calls to the simulator, I worked on refactoring the UDP protocol to TCP but I had start working on my FTC team before I finished that.