2012 Software


This page describes how we set up the programming computers and robot code for the 2012 competition season.

Robot Code

All of our robot code from 2012 and the off season is posted on our website.  By using our code, you agree to and must email us telling us what you used from it and what you used it for. 

Programming Laptops

It is very confusing as to what needs to be installed for the software system to work.  This is what we have learned so far.


  • The top most level of documentation for the robot control software system is accessed from the Kit of Parts page which points to the Robot Control System page.  From this page, you can go to the National Instruments FRC page or directoy to the  Getting Started with the 2012 Control System link that walks you through how to set up the control system, wireless router, image the cRIO, and other things.  The FRC Updates page covers updates for all of the game including "Control System" updates.
  • The National Instruments FRC page looks like it is the main entry point into the 2012 FRC software and documentation.  It has a brief discussion in the main frame on the overview tab talking about the content.  It has tabs accross the top of the page to different sections and resources.
    • The Documents page (click on the documents tab at the top of the main frame) looks like a great place to find more resources.  The first document is the very helpful Getting Started with the 2012 Control System document.
    • Download the software updates for LabVIEW FRC.  I installed the first two updates to get the 2012 cRIO imaging tool to work.  I had to copy the 2012 image version 43 to the right place for the download to work.  I also had to turn off the Windows Firewall to talk to the cRIO.
  • The WPILib Project comes from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and contains resources for programming an FRC robot in C++ or Java (the C++ and Java versions of the WPILib update for 2012 FRC Season). This FIRST Forge project includes a bug tracker, documentation, source code, WPILib releases, and a wiki (including an FAQ and release notes). To get started, please download the C++ or Java Getting Started Guide from the Documents section.  These pages look like they talk mostly about how to write code for the robot.  I did not see much on how to install the software.

Programming Laptop Setup

These are the steps I took to set up a programming Windows XP Pro 32 bit laptop to image the cRIO.  This is a first cut at these notes.  I hope to improve them.  The links take you to zip images of the DVD's and the NI USB drive.  Use your Subversion password for disk images.  Michael

The second time through the installation process on the "Uranium" laptop, I did the following:

  • Turned off the antivirus software.
  • Installed FRC Tools from National Instruments USB disk.
    • This installed Microsoft Silverlight.
    • Gave a message saying "WARNING: Windows Firewall Might Be Enabled.  When you first use NI Vision, a dialog might appear that gives you the option to receive information over the network.  National Instruments recommends you select "Unblock" so that you can use the networking features of NI Vision.
    • Rebooted
    • Ran "NI Update Service" and installed the 47.7 MByte update.
    • Rebooted
  • Installed Wind River Workbench 3.0.1 with VxWorks 6.3 for FIRST Robotics Competititon 2012 - Disk 1
    • Includes: VxWorks 6.3 with Service Pack 1, Workbench 3.0 with Service Pack 1, Wind River GNU Compiler 3.4.4, Wind River Compiler 5.4.0, and Lite5200 Boards Support Package.
    • Read the "FIRST_Robotics_Competition_2012_README_FIRST.pdf" document.
      • Gives detailed installation directions
      • Gives directions on how to uninstall the 2011 FRC software before installing the 2012 FRC software.  Since the Uranium laptop has a pristine installation of Windows and no past FRC software, I did not uninstall any of the software.
      • Provides advise on how to use the software
        • Page 4: After starting Wind River Workbench, you can navigate through the Workbench environment to find Wind River documentation. The easiest way to find documents in Wind River Workbench is to select the Help > Help Contents menu item. This starts the help system in a browser, and provides search capability across all installed documents. We recommend doing the tutorial in the Wind River Workbench Users Guide.
        • Page 22: 3.2 Using Wind River Workbench 3.3.1 with VxWorks 6.3: Once you have completed the installation process, you may see two Wind River Workbench icons on your desktop. Be sure to select the icon for Wind River Workbench 3.3. Do not launch Wind River Workbench 3.0. For Windows 7 and Windows XP 64-bit host operating systems, you must use Wind River Workbench 3.3.
        • Page 23: Chapter 4: Mandatory Software Updates from FIRST:  As a reminder, after completing the software installation instructions contained in this document, all teams must fetch and
          install mandatory software updates from the FIRST Web site.
          Up-to-date information on known problems, patches, and documentation are also available from the FIRST Web site:
        • Page 24: Chapter 5: Wind River Documentation Notes for FIRST Robotics Competition 2012:  The Wind River VxWorks Platforms Getting Started Guide is located at the root of Disc 2.
          Additional documentation can be found at C:\WindRiver\docs\extensions\eclipse\plugins.
          For VxWorks specifically, see C:\WindRiver\docs\extensions\eclipse\plugins\com.windriver.ide.doc.vxworks.
          For example, a PDF is located in the
          s_guide_6.3 directory.
  • Install Java
    • Went to java.sun.com and installed:
      • Java SE Development Kit 6 Update 30
      • Java SE Runtime Environment 6 Update 30
      • Download and install NetBeans IDE 7.1 "Java SE".  Add in the C/C++ pack.
        • Select Tools/Plugins
        • In the Plugins dialog box, click the Available Plugins tab, and scroll to the C/C++ category.
        • Select the C/C++ and Gdbserver checkboxs and click Install to start the NetBeans IDE Installer.
  • Install Eclipse IDE for C/C++ and Java development. (Optional)  Indego Packages are the current release as of Jan 28, 2012.
    • The Installing Java and Tools section on page 6 of the  Getting Started with the 2012 Control System document has a link to the "Documents" section of the WPILib website.  There is a "Java Getting Started Guide" in the Documents/RootFolder/C++andJavaDocumentation section.  There are several other documents that look like they would be helpful for C++ and Java there.
    • Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers (includes Incubating components).  Told it to skip 'pom.properties' because it asked for a password and I did not have one.  Same for 'pom.xml'.
    • Moved unzipped Eclipse directory to c:\Program Files\Eclipse and link in the eclipse.exe to the "All Users" start menu.  Make sure that all of the users have permission to access the eclipse files.
    • Start Eclipse.  
      • Run Help/CheckForUpdates and install any that are found.  Restart Eclipse if needed.
      • Go to "Install New Software..."
        • Select "All Available Sites" under "Work with:"
        • There are many options.  Under "Programming Languages" select "Eclipse Java Development Tools".  Install it.
        • Check for Updates again.  Install them if needed.
  • Install Language specific updates.
  • Install Updates
    • The FRC Updates page covers updates for all of the game.  It includes "Control System" updates that mandate installation of the "Utilities portion of the FRC Software 2012 update".  This links to a National Instruments page that says "There are 3 mandatory updates for the NI FIRST Robotics Software 2011 and they should be installed in the following order:"
    • While setting up the HP Pavilion dm1 non SSD laptop, we had to install the LabVIEW update to get the cRIO image.  We copied the FRC_2012_v43.zip file from Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\LabVIEW 2011\project\CRIO Tool\FRC Images to \WindRiver\WPILib\cRIO_Images so that the cRIO Imaging 2012 tool could find it when the "Wind River Workbench (C++)" option was selected.


  • Jaguar Controlers
  • 2CAN is used to communicate with the Jaguars.  The software download page for the 2CAN is on thehttp://www.crosstheroadelectronics.com/2CAN.htm website.  It probably is a good idea to use the software listed in the FIRST section.  Brian says that you connect the 2CAN to a laptop and somehow set the computer network settings up to talk to the 2CAN and then access a webpage on the 2CAN to update the firmware.  See page 12 in the C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\2CAN\2CAN User Manual_v_1_4.pdf file on a programing laptop or download it from the http://www.crosstheroadelectronics.com/2CAN.htm website.  Michael Sept 2011. 
    • 2012:  Downloaded User Manual and Firmware into  C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\2CAN.   Added Start menu link to the 2CAN directory called "FRC 2CAN Firmware and User Manual."   I installed the firmware update utility.  Here are links to them on the MVLS Spartan Robotics Website:
  • The first time through, I did the following.  The second time through, I found the clear directions in the very helpful Getting Started with the 2012 Control System document.

    Jerry gave Parker some notes on Jan 16, 2012.  They are:

    It looks like the intended place to get the cRIO image is bundled in the WPILib distribution at http://firstforge.wpi.edu/sf/frs/do/viewRelease/projects.wpilib/frs.2012_update_for_c.frc_workbench_update_v2993 . See also http://firstforge.wpi.edu/sf/frs/do/listReleases/projects.wpilib/frs.2012_update_for_c

    These are the steps it takes to set up a programming laptop to compile, download, and run code on the 2012 robot.  (Parker, fill in these steps.)

    Classmate PC