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Simplified dashboard for use on a VUFINE as a heads-up display
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README.md

VUFINE

In 2017, we used this customized dashboard as the interface for our VUFINE heads up display. The device helped us in competition by allowing our driver to see the camera feed from our robot, gyroscope, and other sources of information, at all times.

We based this interface off the FRC Dashboard framework.

Setup

Dependencies

  • Python 3 (MUST be 3, not 2!)

  • pynetworktables2js

      pip3 install pynetworktables2js
    

    If you don't have administrator privileges, put --user at the end of that command.)

If you're going to be using the preferred method of using the dashboard (as an application through Electron), you'll also need:

  • nodejs & npm
    • If you don't have permission to install these, see this gist for a workaround.
  • Node dependencies (to install, cd into dashboard directory and run npm install)

Configuration

  • In ui.js, there's a large switch statement in the onValueChanged() function which controls the updating of control elements in the dashboard. Example NetworkTables key names are used, but you'll need to change them to match those used in your team's robot code for them to affect anything on your robot.

Configuring Camera feed

In order to run the camera, you must start an mjpg-streamer server on the RoboRIO. To install mjpg-streamer:

  1. Download this installer script from GitHub. This script is for downloading and installing packages to the RoboRIO.

  2. While in the directory where you downloaded the installer script, run:

    Windows:

     py -3 installer.py download-opkg mjpg-streamer
     py -3 installer.py install-opkg mjpg-streamer
    

    Mac/Linux (using bash):

     python3 installer.py download-opkg mjpg-streamer
     python3 installer.py install-opkg mjpg-streamer
    
  3. Update style.css to use the IP of your live camera feed. Usually this is something like roborio-XXXX-frc.local:5800/?action=stream, where XXXX is your team's number.

Running

  1. Connect to your robot's network if you haven't already. (If you're just testing the dashboard and don't currently need to use it with your robot, you can skip this step.)
  2. If you are able to use node/npm, use the section below labeled "Using dashboard as Application." If not, use the section titled "Using dashboard through web browser."

Using dashboard as Application

The preferred method of using the dashboard is to run it using the Electron framework. Your dashboard will be its own application, and will be easy to manipulate.

If you need to interact through the robotpy simulator or similar, run the following command. If not, skip on.

python3 -m pynetworktables2js --robot 127.0.0.1

While in the dashboard directory, run:

npm start

This will start a Python server and open the dashboard application. Note that you don't have to close and reopen the application every time you make a change, you can just press Ctrl+R (Cmd+R on Mac) to refresh the application.

Using dashboard through web browser

The less desirable, but perfectly functional method of viewing your dashboard is to use it like a webpage. This method will work even if you don't have the privileges to install node.js and npm. The standard toolbars from your browser will still be shown and will take up space on the screen, and the experience will be a bit less fluid, but it will work.

  1. Start the Python server independently:

    Windows:

     py -3 -m pynetworktables2js
    

    Mac/Linux (using bash):

     python3 -m pynetworktables2js
    
  2. To view the dashboard, use your browser to navigate to http://localhost:8888.

It is recommended that while using the dashboard on your driver station, you close the top panel of the FRC DriverStation to make room for the dashboard.

Authors

  • Erik Boesen, developer of FRC Dashboard and head of UI team

Special Thanks to Dustin Spicuzza, mentor and head of the RobotPy project, and Leon Tan, developer of pynetworktables2js and former UI team lead.

Modifying

FRC Dashboard, and by consequence this software, is licensed under the MIT license. Basically, modify as much as you like, as long as you give credit to the original source and don't hold us accountable for anything. More information in LICENSE.