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Thread: cRIO

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Question cRIO

    I have been trying to learn more about the actual engineering behind the FRC 2012 control system, particularly the computer engineering in the cRIO, digital sidecar, analog and solenoid breakouts, and the related control components.

    My question is this:

    What does cRIO stand for?

    I know the c is for compact (compact RIO, and the unit is sometimes referred to by the as the NI-RIO (National Instruments)

    What is a RIO? Is it a general term for an independent controller? Does it have a specific association to National Instruments and LabView?

    I can't be the only person who wonders this...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: cRIO

    cRIO stands for Compact Realtime Input and Output. It's a term used only by National Instruments, you can't buy an Agilent RIO for instance. The input and output portion is pretty self explanatory, and compact just means its a small form factor. By realtime they mean that the system runs a real time operating system instead of a general purpose operating system. The definition of a real time operating system is a little fuzzy, but in general it means that every operation is guaranteed to complete in a well defined amount of time. This is needed in applications where it is critical that something happens (like a servo moves or an air bag deploys) exactly when you want it to, and not just when the computer gets around to it.

    You can find more info on cRIO at

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Newfane, NY

    Default Re: cRIO

    The VxWorks wiki is worth a look if you want to know more about the OS the cRIO is running. This is the heart of the cRIO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Smile Re: cRIO

    Thanks for all the info, everybody! This was really helpful!

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