Lightning Robotics’ programming team is made up of over 16 students and has 6 mentors. Everyone works on various projects, that all serve to improve the efficiency and functionality of our robots.

Programming creates the brain of the robot, enabling the robot to actually utilize its mechanical parts. We can change how the robot is controlled by using a various programming languages, such as:

  • Java
  • C++
  • Python
  • LabVIEW


There are multiple ways that we can get the robot to move: teleoperated and autonomous. Teleoperated, or teleop for short, is when the robot is controlled by driver controls. Autonomous, or auton, is when we enable all mechanical components to work without user input, this is called auton, short for autonomous.

There are many advanced aspects of programming that our team looks at to improve functionality and efficiency of the robot on the field. We use various sensors to receive useful data that can be implemented into automatic processes and controls. Sensors include:

  • Cameras
  • Encoders
  • Lidars
  • Beam Breaks
  • Hall Effect Sensors


Our vision team utilizes our camera to track various field elements and game pieces to make driving and target tracking easier for the robot. All of the other sensors are used in multiple processes to automate collection and delivery methods of the robot.

All of these ideas and many more make up the jobs of Lightning Robotics Team 862’s programming team!