For Robots and Drivers

Driver Station Tools

On This Page

STEP 1: Install the National Instruments Update Suite

STEP 2: Update the RoboRio Firmware

STEP 3: Image the RoboRio

STEP 4: Configure the Radio

STEP 5: CAN Bus Tools - Updating CAN Devices Firmware

Resources and Documentation

Who owns all the pieces?

NOTE: The NI Tools and DriverStation are Windows based tools. These tools are not required by developers, but they are required in order to configure your RoboRio, and all CAN connected devices. These tools are used to update the firmware on the Power Distribution Panel (PDP) and the Pneumatics Control Module (PCM). Developers who do not require a DriverStation, can skip to Development Tools.

NOTE: The Shuffleboard, SmartDashboard and Outline viewer are critical tools used in the debugging of your robot. They are distributed with the development tools, and so the development tools must be installed on the DriverStation laptop even if this laptop is not being used for development. After completing the steps below, go to installing the Development Tools.

STEP 1: Install the National Instruments Update Suite (including the DriverStation)

Install the National Instruments RoboRio Tools and Driver Station

The National Instruments Update Suite contains the DriverStation software and some of the tools required to configure the robot hardware. Click the download button to the left. You will need to create a National Instruments account to download the FRC Update Suite. The activation key can be found in your Kit of Parts but is not required for a trial installation.

WPILib provides complete instructions for installing the National Instruments Update Suite. Key components in the suite are:

STEP 2: Formatting and Imaging the RoboRio

Use the RoboRio Imaging tool to update the Firmware and assign the Team Number to the RoboRio

New for 2019: The browser interface is no longer required to update the firmware on the RoboRio.

What is the difference between updating the Firmware and Formatting the RoboRio? The firmware a lower level of software that controls the RoboRio device, and the image a higher level of software, and is used to set the team number on the device. In order to image the RoboRio, the Firmware must be at the latest version.

  • start the RoboRio Imaging Tool which is a Windows based application installed as part of the Update Suite (in STEP 1 above). A desktop icon is created as part of the install process.
  • Connect to the RoboRio using a USB Cable (do not use an Ethernet connection)
  • scan for available RoboRIOs

Update the Firmware first (the latest version of firmware (Jan 2019) is 6.0.0.):

  • Select Update Firmware in the radio button on the right and enter the Team Number
  • click the Update button

To Format the RoboRio:

  • Select Format Target and enter the Team Number
  • click the Reformat button

Note: it is not required to Edit the Startup Settings. The default settings should work for most teams

WPILib provides detailed instructions for imaging the RoboRIO.

STEP 4: Configure the Radio

Configure the Radio

Configure the Radio in order to be able to connect to the robot wirelessly.

The current radio configuration is version is 19.1.1 (Jan 2019). It can be downloaded from the Configuring the Radio page below.

NOTE: Networking and connections issues are the most and frustrating and least well understood challenges in FIRST. The Radio Configuration Utility is no exception to this rule.

It is important to carefully follow all of the steps in the documentation for Configuring the Radio.

STEP 5: CAN Bus Tools - Updating CAN Devices Firmware

CAN Bus Tools

The CAN bus tools supplied by CTRE can be used to update the CAN Bus device Firmware. This tool is required to update the firmware on the Power Distribution Panel (PDP) and Pneumatics Control Module (PCM) and to update any CAN based Victor or Talon speed controllers.

To install the CAN bus tools:

  • download and install the CTRE Phoenix Framework Installer. Ignore the fact that it is on the Hero Development Board page, this is the correct tool!
  • Connect to the RoboRio using a USB Cable (do not use an Ethernet connection)
  • Start the Phoenix Tuner (not the LifeBoat)!
  • Click 'Install Phoenix Library/Diagnostics' button to download the tools to the RoboRio
  • Use the CAN Devices tab to view and update CTRE connected CAN devices.

Additional Software


The SmartDashboard automatically shows all of the Robot Data.


An updated SmartDashboard

Outline Viewer

Outline Viewer is a browser for all of the Network Table data shared between the Driver Station and the RoboRio including data that is not in the SmartDashboard portion of the network tables. This tool is useful for debugging purposes.

NOTE: These components are required to debug information coming from the RoboRio. They are distributed with the development tools. Installation of the development tools is required on the DriverStation in order to get the Shuffleboard and Outline Viewer. See installing the Development Tools

NEXT STEP: Install the Development Tools

Additional Resources and Documentation

Wpilib Support Documentation

FRC Software Component Overview - complete overview of FRC Software including C++, Java, Labviews programming and robot config tools. Lots of information here but not all of it is required for Java programmers.

The key components required for Java teams are the Driver Station, imaging tools to format the roborio, and the Shuffleboard dashboard

Changes coming in 2019

You can learn more about the changes, and other plans for 2019, in the Building and Contributing to WPILib presentation from the FRC Championship:

RoboRio Configuration Dashboard

The RoboRio config dashboard must be used to update firmware on all CAN bus devices. This tool requires Silverlight which is only natively supported on Internet Explorer. Silverlight is not supported using the Edge browser.

  • When connected by USB cable: go to
  • When connected by radio: go to http://robotRIO-team-FRC.local

Key IP Address Lists

  • roboRIO USB:
  • roboRIO mDNS: roboRIO-####-FRC.local (where #### is your team number with no leading zeroes) You should be able to use this address to communicate with the roboRIO over either interface through ping, browser, etc.
  • Robot Radio: 10.TE.AM.1 (where TE.AM is your 4 digit team number with leading zeroes if required)
  • DHCP range: 10.TE.AM.20 to 10.TE.AM.199

Who owns all the pieces?

From the Building and Contributing to WPILib presentation at the FRC Championship:

NOTE: CAN Bus Tools are supplied by Cross the Road Electronics (CTRE)