WPI/NI Software Integration

The stock software frameworks in the FRC control system has several features used by teams. To leverage these features, the C++ /Java Phoenix API has three additional classes:

  • WPI_TalonFX
  • WPI_TalonSRX
  • WPI_VictorSPX

These are wrappers for the Talon FX/SRX and Victor SPX, that provide:

  • LiveWindow support
  • Motor Safety features
  • Compatibility with DriveTrain classes

C++ / Java Drive Train classes

To leverage the Drive Train classes in WPILib:

  • Create your motor controller objects like normal.
  • Create the Drive object like normal.
  • Call setRightSideInverted(false) so that when moving forward, positive output is applied to left and right.
  • Adjust setInverted() so that motors cause robot to drive straight forward when stick is forward.
package frc.robot;

import com.ctre.phoenix.motorcontrol.can.*;
import edu.wpi.first.wpilibj.*;
import edu.wpi.first.wpilibj.drive.*;

public class Robot extends TimedRobot {
  WPI_TalonSRX _talonL = new WPI_TalonSRX(1);
  WPI_TalonSRX _talonR = new WPI_TalonSRX(0);
  DifferentialDrive _drive = new DifferentialDrive(_talonL, _talonR);
  Joystick _joystick = new Joystick(0);

  public void teleopInit() {
    /* factory default values */

    /* flip values so robot moves forward when stick-forward/LEDs-green */
    _talonL.setInverted(false); // <<<<<< Adjust this
    _talonR.setInverted(true); // <<<<<< Adjust this

     * WPI drivetrain classes defaultly assume left and right are opposite. call
     * this so we can apply + to both sides when moving forward. DO NOT CHANGE

  public void teleopPeriodic() {
    double xSpeed = _joystick.getRawAxis(1) * -1; // make forward stick positive
    double zRotation = _joystick.getRawAxis(2); // WPI Drivetrain uses positive=> right

    _drive.arcadeDrive(xSpeed, zRotation);

    /* hold down btn1 to print stick values */
    if (_joystick.getRawButton(1)) {
      System.out.println("xSpeed:" + xSpeed + "    zRotation:" + zRotation);


It is advantageous to setup Talon / Victors in this fashion so that positive (green) represents forward motion. This makes integrating the other control modes into your drive train simpler.

C++ / Java Motor Safety Feature

The Java classes WPI_TalonFX, WPI_TalonSRX, and WPI_VictorSPX all implement the motor safety interface.

The C++ classes WPI_TalonFX, WPI_TalonSRX, and WPI_VictorSPX do not inherent the motor safety abstract class, but they do implement the exact same routines. This means the same routines can be called on the Phoenix WPI objects.