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 Help us understand what do you do with PROGRAMMING your robots for BEST Robotics:
 We use the default program as such 1 7%
 We modify the default program as needed 0 0%
 We use the example/old programs and modify them as needed 2 15%
 We write our programs from scratch 10 76%
Multiple choice poll. Total votes: 13   Please or register an account to vote.


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shiremath

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Posts: 59
Reply with quote  #1 
TAKE A POLL! It doesn't matter what programming software you are using.
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jgraber

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Posts: 112
Reply with quote  #2 
Its really kind of all of the above,  re EasyC/RobotC
since I wrote the default program for BEST (to a specified function from Game team),
which was modified (made simpler) from previous default program,
which used examples from all my previous experience in programming,
but my tutoring gets updated each year as I learn or tryout new things, such as:
 - Sense,Plan,Act Methodology
 - Global Constants to help self-document program
 - Deadband and joystick scaling
 - Latches and statemachines
 - Motor Slew control
 - Simulation and debugging built in
 - Motor PID control (in future maybe)


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shiremath

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Posts: 59
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for your response, Joel.

I am specifically curious about what teams tend to do when it comes to programming their BEST robot. Do you know much about the teams in your hub? What % of them use the default program you give them and what % create their own customer program(s)?
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jgraber

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Posts: 112
Reply with quote  #4 
At Texas BEST Regional 2014 competition (Bladerunner, windmill game), here is the % as self-reported.
21 teams used a RobotC custom program
19 teams used an EasyC custom program
12 teams used an EasyC default program with a few tweaks
6 teams used the default program as is
4 teams used a Simulink custom program

If the totals dont add up to 61 teams, it means I fudges some numbers with the defaults.
I'll encourage collection of similar data for 2015.  
I'm guessing that the prize money will encourage more teams to try Simulink in 2015.
To get a better idea of the programming level, maybe we can even ask teams to turn in a printout of their program at compliance check.

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EvansPhysics

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Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #5 
Having not had our local competition yet, I can only attest to what I saw at mall days.

My team had programmed in RobotC since joining best, only dabbling with simulink one year.  This summer, one member of our team went through the Simulink training videos and then ran a Simulink training session at our kickoff day.  He then went to a nearby hub on their mall-day and helped about a dozen teams with their simulink code.  At our mall day, he and I helped a few more.

We are definitely seeing more teams use Simulink.  I think the prizes have helped stir interest as I don't remember seeing many teams in our area use it in the past.
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KevinH

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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #6 
Our team moved to Simulink last year.  Our programmer and robot have been successful with it, having won the Simulink Award at South's BEST last year.  He did the Simulink Summer training, helped with our hub's programming class at kickoff, and helped a couple new teams in our hub get started using it this year.

Initially I would recommend a team start with the default program and play with it some and then create their own program.  Use the simulation feature.  Buy one of the compatible gamepad controllers to use the simulation, it really helps the programmer when testing new logic without the cortex and even before the robot is constructed/wired.

I too think hubs should at least record at compliance what is being used to program the robot if not require a hard copy of the program.  I also agree the new cash incentives for teams for the software and simulation section in the notebook (random drawing from hub winners) and the separate regional Simulink Award encourage teams to at least try out Simulink.
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