I was digging through my robotics closet a few weeks ago, and I found this box. In it, there was a small white robot and a very long USB cable. I did some digging, and it turns out that this little robot is called a Finch, and it’s specifically designed for computer science education. Now then, I thought, this would be a great way for people to learn how to program the actual competition robot. So now, my latest project is converting the standard Finch library into a simulation of the RoboRIO, and more specifically WPILib, used by FRC teams.
How to do it?
WPILib is a massive, complex library that includes tools and support for sensors far outside of the Finch’s capacity, so first I need to specify exactly which sensors and motor control systems I’m going to support. That should be easy, as all I have to do is compare the Finch’s sensor suite with the WPILib supported suite. Once that is done, I will need to look at how WPILib controls the sensors I want to control, as I want to have this new library get as close as possible to the real thing.
As always, here is the GitHub link to the repository I have set up to hold all the source files.