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New video series for FTC sensor help

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  • New video series for FTC sensor help

    Hi everyone,

    We're started a new video series to teach teams how to use off-the-shelf sensors from a variety of sources on their robot. During our two years in FTC, we've noticed that many teams struggle with programming using sensors both for autonomous and for driver assistance during TeleOp. Our hope is that teams can learn something from these videos that will be useful to them in their upcoming season.

    The sensors we are covering are some that are already used in FRC but that we have not seen used in FTC much or at all.

    Episode 1: The "Leftoverbot Control System" describes how we used our leftovers from the old control system (pre-ResQ) to make robots for outreach events at no cost to us.

    Episode 2: We program a Sharp Analog Distance Sensor (< $10)

    Episode 3: We wire and program a generic potentiometer (< $1)

    With more episodes on the way and source code posted on GitHub (as we figure that out).

    We'd love it if teams could check out our YouTube Channel and subscribe if you like what you see. We'd also love to hear any comments or feedback you have to help us make our future videos even better!

    You can find it here:



  • #2
    Episode 4 on how to program a holonomic drive in Android Studio is up. It's not a sensor, but it's also something that we've not seen a lot of sample programs floating around for.

    Next time, we'll look at how to wire a hall effect sensor using the digital inputs.


    • #3
      We added a new episode about using a Hall Effect Sensor as a limit switch.

      Please let us know if these are useful and if there is something in particular we should try (before we get too distracted by the season starting!)


      • #4
        We updated the code base to SDK 2.35, and we also added a video in the last couple of weeks about our ResQ robot:

        Youtube channel:

        Source code:

        Web site:

        Episodes so far are:
        - The LeftoverBot Control system
        - Sharp Distance Sensor
        - Potentiometers
        - Programming a Holonomic Drive Train
        - Hall Effect Sensor
        - Tour of our 2015-16 ResQ Robot

        If you have any questions or just want to drop us a note, please do!
        Twitter: @ftc4962
        Email: [email protected]


        • #5
          Mandy, Bria,

          Thanks for producing these videos. They are well made and very helpful.

          Cheers, Ollie


          • #6
            You're welcome! We are having a great time filming them, although now that we are into the season we have less time for it.

            We added a new episode about how to wire a $2 beam break sensor for use with the Modern Robotics DIM. You can use these to detect the presence of an item in a particular location (like a ball in your loader or shooter). The one we wired and tested seems to work pretty well.

            It uses the same code as the other generic digital switches.

            It does require two digital ports on the DIM. The first one needs three pins for the receiver (voltage, signal, ground) and the second one needs two pins for the transmitter (voltage, ground).

            We didn't have to do anything special to get it to transmit on the second digital port. the pin seemed to be turned on already. If yours doesn't work automatically, you might need to turn on the pin, but I'm not 100% sure.

            Youtube channel:

            Source code:

            Web site:


            • #7
              We wrapped up a busy couple of months and don't compete again until mid-January, so we may have some time to shoot a video or two over the holidays.

              Which sensors or programming concepts would teams be interested in us doing next?

              It seems that the most popular sensor videos have been on the Beam Break and Hall Effect. The most popular one overall is on programming an omniwheel drive train. It seems that is a popular option, though we've seen more mecanum wheels in competition than anything.

              We have an analog ultrasonic that we plan to try, but programming those shouldn't be too different than what we've already done. We could also do one on beginning autonomous using encoders (but there are already some samples out there for that, including in the API). You can post here or email us ([email protected]) or message us on twitter (@ftc4962) if you have any suggestions. Thank you!


              • #8
                Have you done anything with the Adafruit multiplexor for using multiple I2C sensors?


                • #9
                  It would also be nice to have a video on the Adafruit IMU