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ROBOTC Driver Suite 4.x: Big Changes Ahead

The 3.3.1 release of the Driver Suite is hopefully the last of the 3.x series.  I’ve now started working on implementing a new architecture for Driver Suite 4.x.  Some things will change, some remain the same:

  • Sensor related data is now kept in structs, so buffers will no longer be shared by similar sensors.
  • Local variables will be removed or a least kept to a minimum.
  • Lots of use of function overloading, I’d like to get rid of the 3-5 letter prefix to all the function names, as much as that is possible.
  • The sensor initialisation function will automatically set the sensor type correctly if it’s not optimal.  This is one of the most frequently occurring problems that I get mailed about.  I may make it possible to override it, as in, disable the check but it will be on by default. The initialisation function will also do whatever sensor configuration is necessary to make it work with reasonable default values.  You can reconfigure the sensor with other values, if applicable, through other functions.
  • Complete overhaul of the API, make everything more consistent.
  • Migration from SVN  to GIT, a public GIT branch will be made available in time. [partially done]
  • The new Driver Suite will be called ROBOTC Driver Suite and is hosted on the same repository servers as ROBOTC’s own source code to make co-releases easier. [done]
  • Restructuring of the directories in the Driver Suite [done]
    Directory Structure of ROBOTC Driver Suite
    This restructuring has the added effect of making the examples NOT work out of the box until the include file path has been configured correctly in ROBOTC.  This will force people to set it up properly.
  • I’m going to work see if I can make working with the Mindsensors SensorMUX as transparent as with the HiTechnic one.
  • The Driver Suite will continue to be made available via zip files on the official SourceForge page.
  • If you have suggestions or comment, let me know by email, not by leaving a comment, that way I can archive them and keep them all in one place.

I’ve already got a working example and driver that seem to work quite nicely for the Dexter Industries Thermal Infrared Sensor.  Please note that the function names have not been finalised yet, this is a proof of concept.

This is not an April Fool’s joke, by the way!

#pragma config(Sensor, S1,     TIR,            sensorI2CCustomFastSkipStates) 
//*!!Code automatically generated by 'ROBOTC' configuration wizard               !!*//

* dexterind-thermalir.h provides an API for the Dexter Industries Thermal Infrared Sensor.  
* This program demonstrates how to use that API. 
* Changelog: 
* - 0.1: Initial release 
* Credits: 
* - Big thanks to Dexter Industries for providing me with the hardware necessary to write and 
*   test this. 
* License: You may use this code as you wish, provided you give credit where it's due. 

* Xander Soldaat (xander_at_botbench.com) 
* 30 march 2013 
* version 0.1 

#include "dexterind-thermalir.h"

task main () {

  // declare and initialise the sensor 
  tTIR tir; 
  initSensor(&tir, S1);

  nxtDisplayCenteredTextLine(0, "Dexter Industries"); 
  nxtDisplayCenteredTextLine(1, "Thermal Infrared"); 
  nxtDisplayCenteredTextLine(3, "Test 1"); 
  nxtDisplayCenteredTextLine(5, "Connect sensor"); 
  nxtDisplayCenteredTextLine(6, "to S1"); 


  // set emissivity for light skin 
  setEmissivity(&tir, TIR_EM_SKIN_LIGHT);


  nxtDisplayCenteredTextLine(0, "Dexter Industries"); 
  nxtDisplayCenteredTextLine(1, "Thermal Infrared"); 
  while (true) { 
    // Read the currently detected ambient and object temp from the sensor 

    nxtDisplayTextLine(3, "A: %3.2f", tir.ambientTemp); 
    nxtDisplayTextLine(4, "O: %3.2f", tir.objectTemp); 

About Xander

Xander Soldaat is a Software Engineer and former Infrastructure Architect. He loves building and programming robots. He recently had the opportunity to turn his robotics hobby into his profession and has started working for Robomatter, the makers of ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Words.