This section discusses the control of motors and pneumatics through motor controllers, solenoids and pneumatics, and their interface with Java and C++ WPILib.
A motor controller is responsible on your robot for making motors move. For brushed DC motors such as CIMs or 775s, the motor controller regulates the voltage that the motor receives, much like a light bulb. For brushless motor controllers such as the Spark MAX, the controller regulates the power delivered to each “phase” of the motor.
Another name for a motor controller is a speed controller.
One can make a quick, non-competition-legal motor controller by removing the motor from a cordless BRUSHED drill and attaching PowerPoles or equivalents to the motor’s leads. Make sure that the voltage supplied by the drill will not damage the motor, but note that the 775 is fine at up to 24 volts.
Connecting a BRUSHLESS motor controller straight to power, such as to a conventional brushed motor controller, will destroy the motor!
FRC Legal Motor Controllers
Motor controllers come in lots of shapes, sizes and feature sets. This is the full list of FRC® Legal motor controllers as of 2023:
DMC 60/DMC 60c Motor Controller (P/N: 410-334-1, 410-334-2)
Jaguar Motor Controller (P/N: MDL-BDC, MDL-BDC24, and 217-3367) connected to PWM only
Nidec Dynamo BLDC Motor with Controller to control integral actuator only (P/N 840205-000, am-3740)
SD540 Motor Controller (P/N: SD540x1, SD540x2, SD540x4, SD540Bx1, SD540Bx2, SD540Bx4, SD540C)
Spark Motor Controller (P/N: REV-11-1200, am-4260)
Spark MAX Motor Controller (P/N: REV-11-2158, am-4261)
Talon FX Motor Controller (P/N: 217-6515, 19-708850, am-6515, am-6515_Short) for controlling integral Falcon 500 only
Talon Motor Controller (P/N: CTRE_Talon, CTRE_Talon_SR, and am-2195)
Talon SRX Motor Controller (P/N: 217-8080, am-2854, 14-838288)
Venom Motor with Controller (P/N BDC-10001) for controlling integral motor only
Victor 884 Motor Controller (P/N: VICTOR-884-12/12)
Victor 888 Motor Controller (P/N: 217-2769)
Victor SP Motor Controller (P/N: 217-9090, am-2855, 14-868380)
Victor SPX Motor Controller (P/N: 217-9191, 17-868388, am-3748)
Pneumatics are a quick and easy way to make something that’s in one state or another using compressed air. For information on operating pneumatics, see Operating pneumatic cylinders.
FRC Legal Pneumatics controllers
Pneumatics Control Module (P/N: am-2858, 217-4243)
Pneumatic Hub (P/N REV-11-1852)
A relay controls power to a motor or custom electronics in an On/Off fashion.
FRC Legal Relay Modules
Spike H-Bridge Relay (P/N: 217-0220 and SPIKE-RELAY-H)
Automation Direct Relay (P/N: AD-SSR6M12-DC200D, AD-SSR6M25-DC200D, AD-SSR6M40-DC200D)
Power Distribution Hub (PDH) switched channel (P/N REV-11-1850)