There are two programming languages that are available to teams in FIRST Tech Challenge. These are called LabVIEW and ROBOTC. There are pros and cons to each and here we list some of the ones we've found. Considering these, we chose to use Robot-C, but there are benefits to both.
ROBOTC pros and cons
- It is text based, so it is more like what is used in the industry today. It is a C programming language for robotics.
- There is more help online for ROBOTC than LabVIEW.
- more teams use it in FTC
- It isn't free and you have to buy it separately from the pieces.
LabVIEW pros and cons
- Takes up computer space - LabVIEW is a visual based programming language (kind of like NXT-G). It takes up a lot of memory.
- During tournaments, it may lag a bit behind. When using the controller, there may be a delay in the reaction of the robot.
- it is a legal language for FRC, if your team wants to transition into FRC later.
- It is free, unlike ROBOTC
- It is visual based, and related to NXT-G.
Hands-On Programming Workshop
On November 3rd, 2012 Fish in the Boat held a workshop at Burnsville High School. Below is the Programming workshop powerpoint used.