Implementation of User Interface for Real Time Control for Wearable Orthotic Device
Robotic control is a challenge for all applications, and simultaneous wireless control of multiple robots is an even greater challenge. In 2009, the FIRST Robotics Competition migrated to a new control system that relied on wireless communication (802.11n standard) between the controllers and the robots. This new control system was developed and implemented over the course of a single year, and nearly 2,000 teams competed with the new system during the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition season. The National Instruments (NI) CompactRIO embedded controller served as the center of the control system, and this controller was augmented with additional hardware to interface with the robot and its controllers. The specific components of the 2009 FRC control system consisted of a driver control system, a wireless communications system and an onboard robot controller. The controller was programmable in LabVIEW and C/C++ using the WPI Robotics Library that was written to support the new controller. This paper describes the components of the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition Control System and explains how the system enabled the use of vision systems, feedback control, autonomous control, and system monitoring. The experiences of an award winning team that participated in the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition provide examples of the utility of this new robot control system.