In this section I hope to give a brief explanation of each of the electrical components. By the end, you should be able to correctly identify and understand the functionality of each of the devices. Lets begin.
At the center of every robot is a brain. The roborio, produced by National Instruments, is what provides a large majority of the functionality to a robot. While it's not the only processor on board it, it does a majority of the computing. The roborio serves as a hub for sensors, signal wires, and other electronic devices and allows them to all communicate. If your into computers you can think of the roborio as the motherboard/processor.
Power Distribution Panel (PDP)
The PDP provides power to not only the various electrical components but also to the motors. The battery is directly plugged into the PDP and the PDP regulates and distributes this power safely around the robot.
The Talon is a motor controller. It takes power from the PDP and gives fine motor control. The talons take their orders from the roborio. Because the output of the talon is connected to the motors (1 motor per talon) you can use this system to turn your motors on, off, or anywhere in between. The talons can also do some really fancy in regards to controlling your motors, but that can be saved for a programming lesson.
Talons are preferably connected to the PDP in a "Butterfly" layout like shown above. This keeps wires short and things easy to maintain. A more advanced reasoning behind this is the concept of resistance. Longer wires create more resistance, so keeping everything as short as possible really improves your robot performance.
Voltage Regulator Module (VRM)
The VRM is a small device that is used to deliver electricity to various low power devices such as LEDS or sensors. Similarly to the PDP, the VRM distributes electricity all over the robot.
Pneumatics Control Module (PCM)
The Pneumatics Control module is used to control the various pneumatic components such as the compressor and solenoids. We will go over pneumatics in another lesson but for now you can just understand that the PCM is another small PDP, similar to the VRM.
The radio allows us to wirelessly control the robot. We connect to the robots wifi signal and control the roborio wirelessly.
This is a wiring diagram showing how all the components are wired together. We will go into a ton more detail about most of this stuff but this a good graphic to visualize everything.