Getting Started

Welcome to RobotPy! RobotPy is a community of FIRST mentors and students dedicated to developing python-related projects for the FIRST Robotics Competition.

RobotPy WPILib is a set of libraries that are used on your roboRIO to enable you to use Python as your main programming language for FIRST Robotics robot development. It includes support for all components that are supported by WPILib’s Java implementation. The following instructions tell you how to install RobotPy on your robot.

If you want to run your python code on your computer (of course you do!), then you need to install our python development support tools, which is a separate project of ours called pyfrc. For more information, check out the pyfrc documentation site.


Once you’ve got robotpy installed on your robot, check out Anatomy of a robot to learn how to write robot code using python and RobotPy.

Automated installation

RobotPy is truly cross platform, and can be installed from Windows, most Linux distributions, and from Mac OSX also. Here’s how you do it:

Unzip the RobotPy zipfile somewhere on your computer (not on the RoboRIO), and there should be an there. Open up a command line, change directory to the installer location, and run this:

Windows:   py install-robotpy

Linux/OSX: python3 install-robotpy

It will ask you a few questions, and copy the right files over to your robot and set things up for you.

Next, you’ll want to create some code (or maybe use one of our examples), and upload it to your robot! Refer to our Programmer’s Guide for more information.


From the same directory that you unzipped previously, you can run the same installer script to upgrade your robotpy installation. You need to do it in two phases, one while connected to the internet to download the new release, and one while connected to the Robot’s network.

When connected to the internet:

Windows:   py download-robotpy

Linux/OSX: python3 download-robotpy

Then connect to the Robot’s network:

Windows:   py install-robotpy

Linux/OSX: python3 install-robotpy

If you want to use a beta version of RobotPy (if available, you can add the –pre argument to the download/install command listed above.

Manual installation


This isn’t recommended, so you’re on your own if you go this route.

If you really want to do this, it’s not so bad, but then you lose out on the benefits of the automated installer – in particular, this method requires internet access to install the files on the RoboRIO in case you need to reimage your RoboRIO.

  • Connect your RoboRIO to the internet

  • SSH in, and copy the following to /etc/opkg/robotpy.conf:

    src/gz robotpy
  • Run this:

    opkg install python3
  • Then run this:

    pip3 install pynivision robotpy-hal-roborio wpilib


When powered off, your RoboRIO does not keep track of the correct date, and as a result pip may fail with an SSL related error message. To set the date, you can either:

  • Set the date via the web interface

  • You can login to your roboRIO via SSH, and set the date via the date command:

    date -s "2015-01-03 00:00:00"

Upgrading requires you to run the same commands, but with the appropriate flags set to tell pip3/opkg to upgrade the packages for you.