Announcing our “Don’t Break Your Bot” Whitepaper

The Howdy Bots are pleased to present the “Don’t Break Your Bot” whitepaper. This paper will walk you through the steps of how to setup and test a mechanism on your robot. It will also show you how to use CTRE hardware and software, as well as PIDF and Motion Magic control, while keeping damage from small testing errors to a minimum. The whitepaper is split up into three different parts: motivation, understanding your mechanism, and test setup with CTRE’s Phoenix Tuner. Additionally, the whitepaper also includes robot testing, tuning PIDF and Motion Magic constants, and additional recommendations.

The goal of this whitepaper is to show you all the steps of using Motion Magic without the “guess and check” that can lead to breaking of mechanisms very quickly. Another goal of this whitepaper is to show teams how to control high-power, robust mechanisms. We know this is a challenging step for any team, and here at the Howdy Bots, safety is our number one concern for students, mentors, and the robot itself. To solve this, we have implemented tools and processes that enable us to test and iterate over a solid foundation, knowing the system will behave as expected consistently, even before plugging in the motors. We hope that this whitepaper can help your team!


Modified JVN spreadsheet (to calculate Motion magic and PIDF constants)

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