Yesterday, I got the opportunity to flash a roboRIO. In case you are new to robotics, a roboRIO is the control system of the robot. Often nicknamed the “brain” of the robot, it is essential that we flash it at the beginning of the season. Flashing a roboRIO refers to the process of deleting all the software from last year’s season, and replacing it with new and updated software. In this case, we are updating the firmware, which is essentially the same as software, but lacks the ability to be deleted. I begin my connecting a USB cable from the roboRIO to my computer, and then proceeded to turn on the robot. I went to “file explorer” on my computer, and went to “windows C”, “program files 86,” “National Instruments,” “Labview 2016,” “Project,” and “roboRIO tool.” Once you select the roboRIO tool, click on roboRIO imaging tool. A small window should pop up. Check the box that says, “Format Target,” then enter our team number (3357) and check the “Console Out” box. Hit the “scan” button and wait. Install, “Starlight” if you don’t have it on your computer. If the roboRIO is successfully flashed, you should see all the components like CAN, the batteries, motors, etc., connected to the roboRIO displayed on the Starlight screen. In this case, you can unplug your computer, put the USB cable away, and turn on the robot. You have now finished flashing the robot.
If you are a visual learner, visit the following link to learn about how to flash a roboRIO. (http://wpilib.screenstepslive.com/s/4485/m/24193/l/273817-updating-your-roborio-firmware). This website shows images of what your computer should look like, and may be a little bit more detailed than what I wrote about.
I hope that this article helped you learn a little bit more about flashing, and understanding how a roboRIO works. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me, or any one of the mentors. Stay safe and have a great day!
Hi! My name is Dorris DaGama and I am part of the marketing and programming team for the COMETS! I find that the best way to learn is to teach it to someone else, and I started this blog in order to do so. I hope you find my articles interesting and useful. Please leave me any questions or thoughts in the comment section!