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Problem with RobotC Application? 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 14
Post Problem with RobotC Application?
My FTC team has recently had a few experiences that seem to indicate a problem with the RobotC application. We expect it was even behind some problems where we had three motors burn out, so I was hoping we might be able to get some help here.

In the most recent occurence of the problem, I was driving the robot around with a joystick using RobotC, the program working fine, when suddenly the robot ceased to recieve any new commands and perpetually moved backwards (from two DC drive motors), which I think was the last direction I was driving it in. I went over to the computer and clicked Stop on the debugger window, but the mouse showed the busy symbol and the window "greyed out" (like it does when it gets hung up or inactive), and the robot's program did not stop. Then I went over and switched the TETRIX battery off so that the robot wouldn't burn the motors out. Shortly after that (about 5 seconds after I clicked Stop in RobotC), the robot's programmed finally stopped, presumably from recieving the Stop command from the laptop. After exiting the debugger windows, turning the battery back on, and redownloading and running the program, everything worked fine again.

In a previous occurence about a week ago, I looked at the debugger windows while trying to give the robot commands from the joystick before trying to stop the program or turning the battery off, and I noticed that the joystick control window was not acknowledging the moves I made on the joystick (with the green dots).

From these symptoms, it seems that the RobotC application occasionally gets hung up and takes a long time to send new commands to the robot. We're worried about this problem because it seems that it can (and perhaps did) cause out motors to burn out, if they try to move while being stuck for too long. Is there any way we can get this fixed?



Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:47 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:42 am
Posts: 590
Post Re: Problem with RobotC Application?
It sounds like the issue you're running into is that the Bluetooth link is dropping out.

The ROBOTC debugger is constantly polling from the NXT brick to update all of the values. If the bluetooth link drops out, ROBOTC hangs waiting for the message from the Fantom (NXT) Driver. Because of the Fantom timeout times, it looks like ROBOTC is "hung" but it's really the fantom driver isn't sending anything back to ROBOTC.

So basically, the bluetooth link being dropped is causing ROBOTC to hang. We'll look at a way to improve the visibility when this is the issue.

If you just need to drive the robot around, you may want to use the "ROBOT - NXT Brick - Joystick" window instead so it's only sending the joystick commands and not the whole series of debugging information.

Timothy Friez
ROBOTC Developer - SW Engineer

Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:53 am

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 14
Post Re: Problem with RobotC Application?
I see... so the bluetooth link can get dropped for a while but then be regained?

We do have several debugger windows up (servos, NXT devices, global variables, and joystick), so you're probably right.


Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:43 am
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