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Blocks Programming

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  • Blocks Programming

    The Blocks Programming looks like a great option and I'd like to give it a test drive. However, I have only ZTE phones available to me. The Systems Requirements section (2.1) in the Blocks Training Manual says Marshmallow OS is required. Because ZTE use KitKat, can someone confirm that ZTE phones will not be able to use Blocks?

  • #2
    Originally posted by emeflag View Post
    The Blocks Programming looks like a great option and I'd like to give it a test drive. However, I have only ZTE phones available to me. The Systems Requirements section (2.1) in the Blocks Training Manual says Marshmallow OS is required. Because ZTE use KitKat, can someone confirm that ZTE phones will not be able to use Blocks?
    Hi Emeflag - you should be good to go with Kitkat and the ZTE speed. I test regularly using those devices.

    Tom

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    • #3
      Tom... I've been experimenting with Blocks Programming and like what I see. I put a simple TeleOp program together in no time. This may be a great solution for a rookie team with young students and little technical support. Are you aware of any bugs or problems with Block Programming that might prevent a team from committing to using it? Block Programming appears to be using only the LinearOpMode. Is OpMode not available? Also, I don't understand how to have a program added to the Autonomous menu on the Driver Station.

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      • #4
        Blocks programming questions might not be appropriate in this Forum, but here goes. When connecting my Chrome browser to the Robot Controller Android I'm having problems with the blocks interface identifying the motors, servos, and sensors on the robot. I have activated the appropriate configuration file and connected the robot-controller to the robot with all controllers found. Yet, there are no motor, servo, or sensor entries found under the "Actuators" and "Sensors" side bar. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by emeflag View Post
          Blocks programming questions might not be appropriate in this Forum, but here goes. When connecting my Chrome browser to the Robot Controller Android I'm having problems with the blocks interface identifying the motors, servos, and sensors on the robot. I have activated the appropriate configuration file and connected the robot-controller to the robot with all controllers found. Yet, there are no motor, servo, or sensor entries found under the "Actuators" and "Sensors" side bar. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?
          I think you should start a new thread for this.

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          • #6
            Just an FYI: I found the problem with Blocks Programming having trouble finding Actuators and Sensors in the configuration file. I was using our team's programming robot to test out blocks. Students are always changing configurations so we often directly edit the configuration XML file. I noticed an XML line with an empty name: <ModernRoboticsI2cRangeSensor name="" port="2" />. I removed this line and all is well. Although the FTC control system is not impacted by this line, apparently Blocks Programming is impacted but gives no error.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by emeflag View Post
              Just an FYI: I found the problem with Blocks Programming having trouble finding Actuators and Sensors in the configuration file. I was using our team's programming robot to test out blocks. Students are always changing configurations so we often directly edit the configuration XML file. I noticed an XML line with an empty name: <ModernRoboticsI2cRangeSensor name="" port="2" />. I removed this line and all is well. Although the FTC control system is not impacted by this line, apparently Blocks Programming is impacted but gives no error.
              I'll take a look and fix that. I also directly edit the configuration XML files. I guess (for now, until I fix this bug), if you directly edit the configuration XML files, watch out for this.
              Last edited by Comrade 17; 12-14-2016, 02:41 PM. Reason: quote

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              • #8
                Comrade17 - Thanks. Just a few comments RE: blocks: 1) I wanted to transfer *.blk and *.js files from one ZTE android to another. I could easily download the files to my laptop but was unable to figure out how to use blocks programming to then upload the files to the other phone. I was able to use "adb" to move these files to /sdcard/FIRST/blocks but this may not be the best approach for a novice programmer. 2) I'd like to see an improved error message reporting capability. Currently blocks programming appears lacking in sending error messages, or perhaps I'm not looking in the right places. 3) It would be nice to have the capability to create a program that could be placed in the "autonomous" menu on the Driver Station. Great job with Blocks Programming.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by emeflag View Post
                  Comrade17 - Thanks. Just a few comments RE: blocks: 1) I wanted to transfer *.blk and *.js files from one ZTE android to another. I could easily download the files to my laptop but was unable to figure out how to use blocks programming to then upload the files to the other phone. I was able to use "adb" to move these files to /sdcard/FIRST/blocks but this may not be the best approach for a novice programmer. 2) I'd like to see an improved error message reporting capability. Currently blocks programming appears lacking in sending error messages, or perhaps I'm not looking in the right places. 3) It would be nice to have the capability to create a program that could be placed in the "autonomous" menu on the Driver Station. Great job with Blocks Programming.
                  Hi Eric,

                  I believe some of these issues have been addressed with the newer versions of the FTC software. Have you tested v2.4 of the FTC Robot Controller app? It has some improved Blocks functionality as well as some bug fixes. It is currently available under the "Beta" branch of the github repository or on the Beta download page of the app inventor (https://frc-events.firstinspires.org...ages/2016/beta).

                  Tom

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                  • #10
                    Here are the specific details:

                    Originally posted by emeflag View Post
                    1) I wanted to transfer *.blk and *.js files from one ZTE android to another. I could easily download the files to my laptop but was unable to figure out how to use blocks programming to then upload the files to the other phone. I was able to use "adb" to move these files to /sdcard/FIRST/blocks but this may not be the best approach for a novice programmer.
                    In v2.4, the "My Op Modes" page has a button to "Download Selected Op Modes" and a button to "Upload Op Mode".

                    Originally posted by emeflag View Post
                    2) I'd like to see an improved error message reporting capability. Currently blocks programming appears lacking in sending error messages, or perhaps I'm not looking in the right places.
                    I don't understand what you mean. Can you explain this more? Is there an equivalent in Java or App Inventor that is missing from Blocks Programming Mode? (Maybe create a new thread.)

                    Originally posted by emeflag View Post
                    3) It would be nice to have the capability to create a program that could be placed in the "autonomous" menu on the Driver Station.
                    In v2.4, the page where you edit your blocks has a dropdown for Autonomous and TeleOp.

                    Originally posted by emeflag View Post
                    Great job with Blocks Programming.
                    Thank you!

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