Students Meet Athena

Student representatives from Team 624 traveled to Austin on August 8th, 2013 to attend the unveiling of the new “Athena” robot controller as part of National Instruments Week. Team members Bill Waters, Daniel Lambert, James Yoder, and mentor Lana Henderson got a hands-on look at the new controller that will be used for FRC robots beginning in the spring of 2015. Representing FIRST at the conference were FIRST President Don Bossi, FRC President Frank Merrick, and Kit of Parts Manager Kate Pilotte. Also on the panel of speakers were Greg McKaskle, Chris Rake, and Joe Hershberger, all from National Instruments. Students were pleased with the early details of the controller’s capabilities. The new controller is slightly smaller and lighter than the current cRIO controller and also has a greater range built-in functions as well as a dual core processor. While at the convention center, students got a chance to see NASA’s new Griffin lunar lander on display and took a quick tour of the Expo.