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ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.56 Available for Download!

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ROBOTC 4-56 VEX
 

The ROBOTC Development Team is excited to make our latest update available to you, ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.56. This is primarily a maintenance release which contains many stability fixes. Keep reading for a full list of changes and improvements below.

Updates for all robot platforms:

  • When saving a C source file, you can now opt to keep a backup of the previous version of the file. This behavior can be enabled through the preferences.Sourcefile Backup
  • Under certain conditions, semaphores could be given to a task that had not unlocked it. This has been corrected.
  • Previously, the compiler would count both prototypes and actual function implementations separately, reducing the number of functions available to you. This has been corrected.

Updates specific to VEX IQ:

  • The display would incorrectly show that it the debugger was being used, when disconnected from the PC.
  • There was a mismatch between the amount of available variable memory. This could lead to unpredictable results due to stack corruption with very large programs. The amount has been corrected. Most users will be unaffected by this change. Users with programs that use a large amount of variables, should verify their programs still compile.
  • Support for future VEX IQ firmware changes.

Download ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.56 today and let us know what you think of the improvements!

Written by Jesse Flot

August 16th, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Download ROBOTC for LEGO MINDSTORMS 4.56!

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ROBOTC 456
 

The ROBOTC Development Team is excited to make our latest update available to you, ROBOTC for LEGO MINDSTORMS 4.56. This is primarily a maintenance release which contains many stability fixes. Keep reading for a full list of changes and improvements below.

Updates for all robot platforms:

  • When saving a C source file, you can now opt to keep a backup of the previous version of the file. This behavior can be enabled through the preferences.
    Sourcefile Backup
  • Under certain conditions, semaphores could be given to a task that had not unlocked it. This has been corrected.
  • Previously, the compiler would count both prototypes and actual function implementations separately, reducing the number of functions available to you. This has been corrected.

Updates specific to the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3:

  • The way text files are saved has been changed to prevent the “65000 temp files” issue that some users were seeing.
  • WiFi has been removed from the communications pane. This is unsupported and was left visible as an oversight.
  • Joystick control for the EV3 has been fixed.
  • The EV3 sound code was partially rewritten for stability reasons.

Updates specific to the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT:

  • Operation Reset samples were not working correctly, this has been fixed.

Download ROBOTC for LEGO MINDSTORMS 4.56 today and let us know what you think of the improvements!

Written by Jesse Flot

August 16th, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Student POV: How ROBOTC Changed the Way we do Robotics

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HOW ROBOTC

We, as a team from the Federal Institute of Sergipe (Aracaju, SE, Brazil), have started to meddle with robotics about half a year ago. After some hard work with the hardware and mechanical aspects of the build, we headed to the most crucial thing: the algorithm, intelligence itself. There, we’ve hit an obstacle. A considerable one.

“Talos”, the Robot

“Talos”, the Robot

First, we’ve tried to use the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 software, the one where you use blocks to build programs directly to the brick. That, proved very unsustainable as we move along. The code kept getting bigger, and more unclear to work by as it grew. As we’ve kept getting the needs for a clear code interpretation and source sharing, it was no longer an option.

We’ve then tried a couple other options, as the LeJOS and EV3DEV, but as we we’re implementing an Arduino Pro Mini and an Arduino UNO, we needed a better grasp on the protocols that runs between them. We’ve decided to use I2C and found out that both of the options didn’t have the tools needed to debug and test with. That along with the inconsistency (the robot just didn’t work for no reason 1 out of 20 times), have presented us with a challenge.

There were times when we just didn’t know if a software/framework with the tools we needed existed. We still had an option, we had to try ROBOTC.

We haven’t done it before on one fact: It was paid. But it had a 10-day trial, and we still had to try. And it was fantastic.

We could instantly try it out, it had a firmware of it’s own (with a 1-click install, which makes thing extra-practical) and a really smooth learning curve. An extensive documentation, a really broad community and many many tools to debug from. But does it have an I2C test utility? Yes. It has. The code became clearer, the problems we’re gone, we could share the code on Github, it was magical. It even has a couple plans of payment for teams and or students.

I’d suggest ROBOTC to every EV3/NXT user, it is simply the best all-together tool out there.

Arduino UNO on the bottom of the Robot

Arduino UNO on the bottom of the Robot

- Henrique Cunha

Written by Cara Friez-LeWinter

June 1st, 2017 at 8:07 am

VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster Robot Virtual World Now Available!

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RVW Ringmaster
 

We are thrilled to announce the availability of our brand new virtual environment, the VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster! As in years past, this world is made available at the same time as its real world counterpart when unveiled at VEX Worlds!

The competition for this year is extremely exciting! With VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster, matches are played on a field set up as seen below. The object of the game is to attain the highest score by Scoring Rings on the Floor Goal and on Posts, by having Uniform Posts, by Emptying Starting Pegs, and by Releasing the Bonus Tray.

 

 

Using Robot Virtual Worlds will allow you to …

  • Practice programming in the 2017-2018 game right away
  • Compete with your classmates, or online (starting in the Fall)
  • Form strategies using the virtual field
  • Develop and test code on a simulated robot before running code on a real robot!

To help you get started with this new Robot Virtual World, check out our video-based VEX Curriculum Series completely for free to help you get started with programming.

Click the following links for more information and to start playing – robotvirtualworlds.com/ringmaster

Written by Cara Friez-LeWinter

April 25th, 2017 at 7:00 pm

VEX Robotics Competition In The Zone Robot Virtual World Now Available!

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RVW In The Zone
 

We are thrilled to announce the availability of our brand new virtual environment, the VEX Robotics Competition In The Zone! As in years past, this world is made available at the same time as its real world counterpart when unveiled at VEX Worlds!

The competition for this year is extremely exciting! With VRC In The Zone, matches are played on a field set up as seen below. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by Stacking Cones on Goals, by Scoring Mobile Goals in Goal Zones, by having the Highest Stacks, and by Parking Robots.

 

Using Robot Virtual Worlds will allow you to …

  • Practice programming in the 2017-2018 game right away
  • Compete with your classmates, or online (starting in the Fall)
  • Form strategies using the virtual field
  • Develop and test code on a simulated robot before running code on a real robot!

To help you get started with this new Robot Virtual World, check out our video-based VEX Curriculum Series completely for free to help you get started with programming.

Click the following links for more information and to start playing today – robotvirtualworlds.com/inthezone

Written by Cara Friez-LeWinter

April 22nd, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Congrats to our VEX Virtual Programming Challenge Winners!

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We are very excited to officially announce the winners of our VEX Virtual Programming Skills Challenge for both VEX EDR and VEX IQ! Winners of each competition received an invitation for their team to the VEX World Championship — April 19-22, 2017 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

 
VEX EDR Winner: Eagle Engineering (Team # 1138B)

 

VEX IQ Winner: MS of Gao Xin 2 (Team # 1155B)

 

Congrats to both teams!! We look forward to seeing all them at VEX Worlds in a couple weeks!

Written by Cara Friez-LeWinter

March 3rd, 2017 at 3:30 pm

The VEX and VEX IQ Programming Skills Challenge for Robot Virtual Worlds 2017

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Robomatter, VEX Robotics, and the REC Foundation are excited to present low cost, high quality virtual competitions that enable students to test their problem solving and programming skills in the VEX Starstruck and VEX IQ Crossover Robot Virtual World Competitions. And, not only do these virtual competitions provide a great learning experience, you could also qualify for the 2017 VEX Worlds Championship!!
 

This Year’s Games

Both games simulate the single-player Robot Skills and Programming Skills modes of the physical Starstruck and Crossover competitions. However, only the Programming Skills modes of the Virtual simulations are awarded prizes. To participate in the competition, you must update your Robot Virtual World software.

 

starstruckflair

In the Starstruck Robot Virtual Worlds Competition, your goal is to score as many stars and cubes in your zones. You then must hang your robot on your hanging bar.

 

 

crossoverflair

For the Crossover Robot Virtual Worlds Competition, you must pick up the hexballs, score them in their colored scoring area, and then balance on the bridge.

 

Winners Qualify for VEX Worlds!

virtual-challenge-2017

The winners of the Robomatter sponsored VEX Starstruck and VEX IQ Crossover Virtual World competition will receive an invitation to the VEX World Championship April 19-25, 2017 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville Kentucky!

Important Deadlines:

  • Submissions for both contests are due by January 11, 2017.
  • Winners will be announced by February 1, 2017

To learn more about the VEX and VEX IQ Programming Skills Challenge for Robot Virtual Worlds, visit www.robotc.net/recf and visit www.cs2n.org/competitions to sign up!

Exciting News with ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.55!

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ROBOTC 4-55 VEX

 
The ROBOTC Development Team has a brand new update for you, ROBOTC 4.55! A full list of changes and improvements appear below. But we have BIG NEWS to share first…

We are excited to announce that the software required to program VEX robot hardware is finally included with every VEX IQ and VEX EDR kit at no extra charge! Current VEX users can now download the no-cost version of ROBOTC 4.x for VEX directly. Follow these steps to download:

1. Login to your www.vexrobotics.com account. If you don’t have an account, create one at https://www.vexrobotics.com/customer/account/create/

2. Navigate to Software Downloads under “My Account” on the left side of your Account Dashboard.

3. Choose your desired software and follow the download and installation instructions.

 
And here are the highlights of the latest update:

 

Create Graphs from your Datalogs

 

Datalog Graph

Want to know what running your robot into a wall looks like to your accelerometer? Curious about how ambient light intensity varies throughout the day? Datalogging now supports (live) plotting of incoming data gathered on the robot brain. Science experiments involving sensor and motor data can be displayed. You can easily find out by gathering the data and having ROBOTC plot the data for you, as it comes in.

 

Datalog Graphical

Datalogging is no longer restricted to just Full ROBOTC, we’ve added easy to use blocks that allow you to access the same functionality in a simple manner.

Additionally, logged data can even be exported for further analysis in a spreadsheet application of your choice.

 

ROBOTC Graphical Variable Support

 

Variable Support

You can now use variables in ROBOTC Graphical, as well as perform various operations on them. You can add, subtract, divide, multiple, whatever your program requires. You can use variables in loops, motor blocks, you name it!

 

ROBOTC Graphical Break and Continue

 

Continue Break

We’ve added two new program flow blocks, break and continue. This was a much requested feature from our more advanced users of ROBOTC Graphical. You can now create more complex programs without creating work-arounds or having to switch to ROBOTC Full.

 

Beta Channel Access

 

Use Beta Builds

Want to have a front row seat when it comes to upcoming features in ROBOTC? Subscribe to the beta channel through ROBOTC’s preference menu and you will be notified when a preview build (such as this one), is released. Try out new and exciting features before we release them to the general public and provide us with feedback. Help make ROBOTC better!

 

Support for VEXos Utility for VEX IQ

 

VEXos

VEXos is a robotics operating system that harnesses the flexibility and power of VEX hardware for the rigors of competition and the diverse needs of education. This operating system, written completely by VEX Robotics, uses real-time processing for repeatable operation at the fastest possible speeds. The “VEXos Utility” program simplifies updating VEX IQ hardware, and is compatible with Windows 7-10, and Mac OS X 10.8 and greater. Find out more about VEXos here!

 

Other changes and bug fixes

 

New features – VEX

  • Compatible with the VEXos Utility for VEX IQ
  • You can control an LED on the VEX EDR from Graphical and Natural Language using the new setLED block or command.

Changes and Improvements – General

  • The default colors in the Assembly window (F9) have new defaults for increased readability.
  • Function tooltips have been revised and corrected where applicable.
  • License error messages have been improved. A short explanation of the error codes is now provided.
  • #info has been added to the list of support #pragma statements, such as #error and #warn
  • The start and stop buttons on the datalogging control have been merged into a single button.
  • Deleting a file from the File Utility was not possible, this has been fixed.
  • We’ve made some visual changes to ROBOTC Graphical including new colours for enhanced readability.
  • Internal improvements to the datalogging system have been made that resolve possible data corruption and inability to disable polling for a specific data series.
  • Saving a New User Model in the Motors and Sensor Setup has been fixed.
  • Various float conversion related issues have been fixed.
  • NaN (Not a Number) detection has been fixed.
  • Sscanf with more than 7 arguments could crash the VM, this has been fixed.
  • Overloaded deprecated function no longer cause warnings.
  • A discrepancy between the compiler and VM regarding the maximum number of tasks has been fixed.
  • An issue with ROBOTC crashing due to a recursive macro has been addressed.
  • The RVW package manager now shows the correct informational icon.
  • Opening the RVW package manager no longer causes an exception under certain circumstances.
  • An issue with the debugStream window background refresh causing a hang when communications with the robot was lost, has been remedied.
  • The Program Debug window no longer crops the status line.
  • You can now use displayInverseString() in combination with a char *.
  • drawInvertRect and drawInvertEllipse were not deprecated correctly, this has been fixed.
  • ROBOTC no longer crashes when clicking the Custom Joystick Config checkbox under Windows 7 and 8. (4.55)
  • The joystick channel dropdown was incorrect in ROBOTC Graphical after changing platforms, this has been fixed.(4.55)

Changes and Improvements – VEX

  • The VexIQ LCD screen has been added to the #debuggerWindows #pragma.
  • A bug in the macro parser prevented the use of the VEX EDR platform when a PLTW license was active. This has been fixed.
  • An issue with debugging and using sscanf on the VEX IQ has been addressed.
  • VEX IQ getGyroRate and getGyroRateFloat return incorrect values, this has been fixed.
  • Starting a new task on the VEX EDR no longer clears the screen.
  • Using drawTextCenteredInUserScreenArea function will no longer throw an exception on the VEX IQ.
  • An issue with the start of flash file system not showing correctly in communication debug message has been fixed.
  • The VEX EDR competition template now sets the platform correctly.

 

Download ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.55 here!

And let us know what you think of the new updates.

Happy Programming!

Written by Cara Friez-LeWinter

August 31st, 2016 at 10:14 pm

Download ROBOTC for MINDSTORMS 4.55 Today!

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ROBOTC 4-55

The ROBOTC Development Team is excited to share our latest official update with you, ROBOTC for MINDSTORMS 4.55, which includes new features, functionality, and bug fixes. A full list of changes and improvements appear below (including an awesome sale for 3.x users), but here are the highlights:

 

Create Graphs from your Datalogs

 

Datalog Graph

Want to know what running your robot into a wall looks like to your accelerometer? Curious about how ambient light intensity varies throughout the day? Datalogging now supports (live) plotting of incoming data gathered on the robot brain. Science experiments involving sensor and motor data can be displayed. You can easily find out by gathering the data and having ROBOTC plot the data for you, as it comes in.

 

Datalog Graphical

Datalogging is no longer restricted to just Full ROBOTC, we’ve added easy to use blocks that allow you to access the same functionality in a simple manner.

Additionally, logged data can even be exported for further analysis in a spreadsheet application of your choice.

 

ROBOTC Graphical Variable Support

 

Variable Support

You can now use variables in ROBOTC Graphical, as well as perform various operations on them. You can add, subtract, divide, multiple, whatever your program requires. You can use variables in loops, motor blocks, you name it!

 

ROBOTC Graphical Break and Continue

 

Continue Break

We’ve added two new program flow blocks, break and continue. This was a much requested feature from our more advanced users of ROBOTC Graphical. You can now create more complex programs without creating work-arounds or having to switch to ROBOTC Full.

 

Beta Channel Access

 

Use Beta Builds

Want to have a front row seat when it comes to upcoming features in ROBOTC? Subscribe to the beta channel through ROBOTC’s preference menu and you will be notified when a preview build (such as this one), is released. Try out new and exciting features before we release them to the general public and provide us with feedback. Help make ROBOTC better!

 

Other changes and bug fixes

 

New features – MINDSTORMS

  • Battery monitoring on the EV3 through the nImmediateBatteryLevel and nAvgBatteryLevel intrinsic variables has been added

Changes and Improvements – General

  • The default colors in the Assembly window (F9) have new defaults for increased readability.
  • Function tooltips have been revised and corrected where applicable.
  • License error messages have been improved. A short explanation of the error codes is now provided.
  • #info has been added to the list of support #pragma statements, such as #error and #warn
  • The start and stop buttons on the datalogging control have been merged into a single button.
  • Deleting a file from the File Utility was not possible, this has been fixed.
  • We’ve made some visual changes to ROBOTC Graphical including new colours for enhanced readability.
  • Internal improvements to the datalogging system have been made that resolve possible data corruption and inability to disable polling for a specific data series.
  • Saving a New User Model in the Motors and Sensor Setup has been fixed.
  • Various float conversion related issues have been fixed.
  • NaN (Not a Number) detection has been fixed.
  • Sscanf with more than 7 arguments could crash the VM, this has been fixed.
  • Overloaded deprecated function no longer cause warnings.
  • A discrepancy between the compiler and VM regarding the maximum number of tasks has been fixed.
  • An issue with ROBOTC crashing due to a recursive macro has been addressed.
  • The RVW package manager now shows the correct informational icon.
  • Opening the RVW package manager no longer causes an exception under certain circumstances.
  • An issue with the debugStream window background refresh causing a hang when communications with the robot was lost, has been remedied.
  • The Program Debug window no longer crops the status line.
  • You can now use displayInverseString() in combination with a char *.
  • drawInvertRect and drawInvertEllipse were not deprecated correctly, this has been fixed.
  • ROBOTC no longer crashes when clicking the Custom Joystick Config checkbox under Windows 7 and 8. (4.55)
  • The joystick channel dropdown was incorrect in ROBOTC Graphical after changing platforms, this has been fixed. (4.55)

Changes and Improvements – MINDSTORMS

  • The original LEGO firmware file operations have been removed, their functionality has been superseded by ROBOTC file operations.
  • EV3 specific datalogging functions have been marked as obsolete. Users should use the new datalogging functions.
  • Restrictions on the file downloading locations on the EV3 have been relaxed a little.
  • Opening the File Utility on the EV3 will create the rc and rc-data folders, if they don’t already exist.
  • Playing a sound file from inside ROBOTC’s on-brick program folder is easier. It will check if a file with that name exists in the rc folder, before checking the built-in sounds folder.
  • A memory leak in the EV3 connection handling has been fixed; disconnecting an EV3 while the debugger was running would eventually exhaust all program memory.
  • Running a motor with a specified encoder count of 0 on the EV3 would produce unpredictable results, this has been fixed.
  • An issue with reading data from the NXT Sonar sensor in the IDE has been fixed.
  • The examples for the deprecated datalogging API on the EV3 have been removed. (4.55)

 

Download ROBOTC for MINDSTORMS 4.55 here!

And let us know what you think of the new updates.

 

And are you still using ROBOTC 3.x?
If so, you can upgrade today for 50% off!

 

Upgrade ROBOTC (1)
 

Email customerservice@robomatter.com to upgrade your license today! (Note: You must provide your existing ROBOTC LicenseID to confirm eligibility.)

Happy Programming!

Written by Cara Friez-LeWinter

August 31st, 2016 at 10:14 pm

Download ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.54 Today!

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Blog ROBOTC VEX
The ROBOTC Development Team is excited to share our latest official update with you, ROBOTC 4.54, which includes new features, functionality, and bug fixes. A full list of changes and improvements appear below (including an awesome sale for 3.x users), but here are the highlights:

Create Graphs from your Datalogs

 

Datalog Graph
 

Want to know what running your robot into a wall looks like to your accelerometer? Curious about how ambient light intensity varies throughout the day? Datalogging now supports (live) plotting of incoming data gathered on the robot brain. Science experiments involving sensor and motor data can be displayed. You can easily find out by gathering the data and having ROBOTC plot the data for you, as it comes in.

 

Datalog Graphical
Datalogging is no longer restricted to just Full ROBOTC, we’ve added easy to use blocks that allow you to access the same functionality in a simple manner.

Additionally, logged data can even be exported for further analysis in a spreadsheet application of your choice.

ROBOTC Graphical Variable Support

 

Variable Support
You can now use variables in ROBOTC Graphical, as well as perform various operations on them. You can add, subtract, divide, multiple, whatever your program requires. You can use variables in loops, motor blocks, you name it!

ROBOTC Graphical Break and Continue

 

Continue Break
We’ve added two new program flow blocks, break and continue. This was a much requested feature from our more advanced users of ROBOTC Graphical. You can now create more complex programs without creating work-arounds or having to switch to ROBOTC Full.

Beta Channel Access

 

Use Beta Builds
Want to have a front row seat when it comes to upcoming features in ROBOTC? Subscribe to the beta channel through ROBOTC’s preference menu and you will be notified when a preview build (such as this one), is released. Try out new and exciting features before we release them to the general public and provide us with feedback. Help make ROBOTC better!

Support for VEXos Utility for VEX IQ

VEXos
VEXos is a robotics operating system that harnesses the flexibility and power of VEX hardware for the rigors of competition and the diverse needs of education. This operating system, written completely by VEX Robotics, uses real-time processing for repeatable operation at the fastest possible speeds. The “VEXos Utility” program simplifies updating VEX IQ hardware, and is compatible with Windows 7-10, and Mac OS X 10.8 and greater. Find out more about VEXos here!

 

Other changes and bug fixes

New features – VEX

  • Compatible with the VEXos Utility for VEX IQ
  • You can control an LED on the VEX EDR from Graphical and Natural Language using the new setLED block or command.

Changes and Improvements – General

  • The default colors in the Assembly window (F9) have new defaults for increased readability.
  • Function tooltips have been revised and corrected where applicable.
  • License error messages have been improved. A short explanation of the error codes is now provided.
  • #info has been added to the list of support #pragma statements, such as #error and #warn
  • The start and stop buttons on the datalogging control have been merged into a single button.
  • Deleting a file from the File Utility was not possible, this has been fixed.
  • We’ve made some visual changes to ROBOTC Graphical including new colours for enhanced readability.
  • Internal improvements to the datalogging system have been made that resolve possible data corruption and inability to disable polling for a specific data series.
  • Saving a New User Model in the Motors and Sensor Setup has been fixed.
  • Various float conversion related issues have been fixed.
  • NaN (Not a Number) detection has been fixed.
  • Sscanf with more than 7 arguments could crash the VM, this has been fixed.
  • Overloaded deprecated function no longer cause warnings.
  • A discrepancy between the compiler and VM regarding the maximum number of tasks has been fixed.
  • An issue with ROBOTC crashing due to a recursive macro has been addressed.
  • The RVW package manager now shows the correct informational icon.
  • Opening the RVW package manager no longer causes an exception under certain circumstances.
  • An issue with the debugStream window background refresh causing a hang when communications with the robot was lost, has been remedied.
  • The Program Debug window no longer crops the status line.
  • You can now use displayInverseString() in combination with a char *.
  • drawInvertRect and drawInvertEllipse were not deprecated correctly, this has been fixed.

Changes and Improvements – VEX

  • The VexIQ LCD screen has been added to the #debuggerWindows #pragma.
  • A bug in the macro parser prevented the use of the VEX EDR platform when a PLTW license was active. This has been fixed.
  • An issue with debugging and using sscanf on the VEX IQ has been addressed.
  • VEX IQ getGyroRate and getGyroRateFloat return incorrect values, this has been fixed.
  • Starting a new task on the VEX EDR no longer clears the screen.
  • Using drawTextCenteredInUserScreenArea function will no longer throw an exception on the VEX IQ.
  • An issue with the start of flash file system not showing correctly in communication debug message has been fixed.
  • The VEX EDR competition template now sets the platform correctly.

Download ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.54 here!

And let us know what you think of the new updates.

 

And are you still using ROBOTC 3.x?
If so, you can upgrade today for 50% off!

 

Upgrade ROBOTC (1)
 

Email customerservice@robomatter.com to upgrade your license today! (Note: You must provide your existing ROBOTC LicenseID to confirm eligibility.)

Happy Programming!

Written by Cara Friez-LeWinter

August 1st, 2016 at 6:00 am