2013 Software


This page describes how we set up the programming computers and robot code for the 2013 competition season.

General Notes

  • We have a released snapshot of our code at the end of 2013 here.
  • The FRC 2013 software notes page summarizes API changes, tool changes, open issues (e.g. in configuring the wireless bridge), and workarounds.  We can now test out robot sensors and actuators using SmartDashboard in Test mode.  Jerry 1/10/13
  • Jerry sent out this notice about available software available to FRC teams.  1/10/13
    Diamond Bullet Studios
    "Catalyst 2013" -- the official Ultimate Ascent simulator. Download from DBSgames.net.
    No registration required. No internet connection needed to play. Customize and control up to 6 virtual robots.
    [This could be great for comparing robot design strategies and game play strategies.] (Evan wrote: I tried the Diamond Bullet Studios simulator, it's really not worth downloading. The controls are confusing, the robots don't move particularly realistically, and the mechanism options are pretty poor.)
    www.roborealm.com/FRC2013 RoboRealm lets you rapidly process camera images to detect field elements. You can use RoboRealm to track positional markers, follow lines, track balls, and augment camera images with additional visual graphics.
    The KOP includes an access code good for up to five copies of RoboRealm for teams that choose to use it in some way for the competition.
    PTC offers their software to FIRST teams: Creo (3D CAD), Mathcad Prime (engineering calculation and documentation), and Windchill (source control?). PTC.com/go/firstgettingstarted
    [We use SolidWorks CAD.]
    The KOP has 20 DreamSpark license keys for 12 months access to MS Visual Studio.
    [The team doesn't use Visual Studio but these tools are an option for anyone who wants to develop their programming skills on Windows.]
    Free Android and iOS apps including Sketchbook Express,  ForceEffect, and ForceEffect Motion.


The FRC documentation is not well layed out.  I have found these sections to be helpful.

Installing the FRC 2013 Software

Notes on how we installed the FRC software for the 2013 season.

  • Getting Started with the 2013 FRC Control System is where I started.  I found it on the FRC 2012 Control System page.
    • I followed the directions to install the NI tools and driver station software.  It took two passes to do this.  This way we will be able to use a laptop to drive the robot.
    • Went to Installing the 2013 FRC Tools and Driver Station (for C++ or Java) and found the 
    • I could not image the cRIO due to missing C:\WindRiver\WPILib\cRIO_Images image.  I found that the Getting Started with the 2013 FRC Control System said to install the language specific updates and directed me to the WPI 2013 FRC Update for C++ page and from there I went to the most recent release rel1416 : Mid season C++ Software Update and installed the WorkbenchUpdate20130118rev3599.exe update.  This installed the C:\WindRiver\WPILib\cRIO_Images\FRC_2013_v47.zip image.
    • Check the FRC Updates page to see if any new updates are required.  Jan 12, 2013.  The WPI Software Updates page also has lots of detailed information.
    • The FRC 2013 Drivers Station page has a link for a NI Driver Station Tutorial.  It has a detailed description of how the Driver Station software works.
    • For the HP Pavilion dm1 laptop named FRC971-ds2 on March 9, 2013, Michael
      • Reinstalled the OS from the recovery partition on the hard disk.
      • Installed 280 MBytes of MS critical updates and 250 MBytes of recommended updates and driver updates from Windows Update.
      • Installed the Dot Net 4.0 distribution as prompted when I tried to install the driver's station software.  Ran updates again after that.
      • Backed up the computer.
      • Installed the FRC Tools only package and then installed the FRC Driver Station software.
      • Installed NI Utilities Update and FRC Driver Station Update as shown above.
        • The FRC 2013 Utilities Software Update 1 Readme that came with the "NI Utilities Update (Required to Image cRIO) download link for version 2.  Jan 12, 2013" said to install the "Follow the steps on the FRC software updates web page to install the FRC 2013 Utilities Software Update 1."  This is a 100 MByte update.  I installed it first and then installed the "NI Utilities Update (Required to Image cRIO) download link for version 2.  Jan 12, 2013".
        • Finally, I instsalled the "Version 3 FRC2013DriverStationUpdate3.0.zip released 2/2/13".
        • Again, the FRC_2013_47 image was not installed by the above.  I went back and found that the WPI 2013 FRC Update for C++ had a more recent update than the one I installed on the HP/Compaq nc8430 laptop.  The most recent one there is called "Mandatory update Rev 3622".  This had the FRC_2013_47 image in it.  I installed it too.
        • The Driver Station Diagnostics screen says that we have DS runing with cRIO image C-2013_v47.
      • Set the IP address to and the subnet mask to  Turned off (unchecked) "Client for Microsoft Networks", "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks", and "IP Version 6".
      • Create a regular user account with user name "Driver".  This is how the 2012 machines were configured.
      • Turn off "Auto Play" for root and driver.  For each user, go to Control Panel/AutoPlay and disable it.
      • From Control Panel/devices, disable "Bluetooth Devices/Ralink Motorola BC8 ... Adapter" and "Imaging devices/HP Webcam-101".
      • Logged in as Driver and opened the "Start/Start Up" folder and copied "Driver Station" into it.
      • Removed all of the icons on the root and Driver desktops.  Added "computer" and "FRC 2013 cRIO Imaging Tool" to the root desktop.  
      • Made the screen backgrounds much simpler.  Used black for the "Driver" account desktop color.

Imaging the cRIO

  • Jan 19, 2013: Programmers 8 slot cRIO.  IP address, Development Environment is Wind River Workbench (C++), Enable NetConsole is selected, CAN Driver Plugin is None, FRC_2013_v47.zip, Device name is ProgrammersCRIO, and the CONSOLE OUT cRIO Switch was set to "off" along with all of the other switches.  When the CONSOLE OUT was set to "on" (shows up as green) and the rest are set to "off", I was getting a "Unable to complete operation because of unexpected error: Error -2147024809 occurred at nisyscfg.lvlib:Initialize (Helper).vi" error.  The depressed side of the switch is the side that is in use (e.g. the CONSOLE OUT switch has the down part on the "2" side of the switch for it to be on.)  Be sure and turn the Firewall off and set the laptop IP address to and the netmask to  See getting Started with the 2013 FRC Control System or Imaging Your cRIO for more information.

D-Link Bridge

  • The FRC updates page has
    • Bridge Configuration Utility Update

      A new version,, of the FRC Bridge Configuration Utility is now available for download on the Technical Resources page.  This updated version provides support for firmware version 2.02, which has been found on some of the D-Link DAP1522 Rev B units included in the 2013 Kickoff Kits.  Teams who have already downloaded the previous version of the utility can download and run the new installer to update the utility on their computer.