What do you think of the LCD screens?

Hey guys my team might buy an LCD screen soon but we want to know what are the advantages of having one?

What will the LCD screen be able to do for us that we couldn’t do without it?
What benefits will it give us?
And lastly is it worth buying?


Ignoring the cost for a moment, I find the LCD display extremely useful during software development, is it necessary? not really. Can it’s functionality be found in other areas? yes. I use with the cortex and RobotC so these comments apply to that environment.

For me it’s most useful function is to be ability to display the internal state of software without having to be connected to the debugger. A simple example would be displaying the values of the line tracker sensors and the decisions made based on them. If you are using RobotC you can also achieve this using the debug functionality, including the ability to show a simulation of the LCD, but being able to be independent of the development environment is always useful.

I would say it’s a good addition if…

  1. You have already become competent programmers and are working on more sophisticated code.
  2. You already have enough basic parts, motors, batteries etc.

If you do buy, don’t forget the necessary serial Y cable, why this is not included as standard I don’t know.

I heard it is useful. Not tried it though.

We found that the LCD was a great addition to the robot to get insight into how it is configured without being connected to a computer. There is more programming required to make it useful but it can really pay off. For example we had multiple autonomous programs last year and through the use of the LCD display we could identify which autonomous was selected and the team added feedback to identify which position on the field corresponded to the program selected. Another great use was getting feedback while operating the robot on the field, simple things like displaying a tuning parameter such as for a PID control loop and allowing the driver to update the value via control pad inputs then displaying that on the LCD was very useful. It does require a fair amount of coding to decide what to display and if you want interaction via the control pads or LCD buttons. We used Easy C last year and it was fairly straight forward to set up if a bit tedious for the students to enter all the options.

Cheers Kb - Team 1166 Mentor