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Level I

Thoughts on Add-Ins, or Making Scripts Accessible to the Non-Scripter (2019-US-EPO-230)

Level: Intermediate


Kristopher Kriechbaum, Mechatronics Engineer, Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jeffrey Seiden, Mechatronics Engineer, Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jacqueline Sly, Robotics Engineer, Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory


The Sample Caching Subsystem of the Mars 2020 rover is a complex robotic system which requires extensive testing to verify and validate functionality. The test programs produce copious amounts of data, primarily time histories. The quantity of data requires that nearly all team members are involved in data review, analysis and curation in some capacity. We developed a suite of tools that we share with the team via an add-in that allows our JMP users, from novices to experts, to perform common repetitive tasks. The add-in includes basic items, such as quick importing for specific file types, to more advanced items, such as automated analyses and standardized reports. This add-in is used by dozens of engineers on a daily basis to explore, analyze and draw conclusions about the performance of our system. Our setup consists of many custom JSL functions and scripts, all run via menu items in the add-in. We will share various lessons, tips and tricks we discovered while building the add-in that allows it to be easily used by the team and maintained by a smaller group.