Archive for the ‘General News’ Category
We are extremely excited to announce our new teacher certification courses! A “Robotics Academy Certified Instructor” is officially certified by Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy. The certification will provide an official and public recognition of your competencies and capabilities to teach, program, and troubleshoot educational robots. Check out our most recent video that gives you some more details …
Contact email@example.com to learn more!
- What is the certification?
- The certification is proof from a robotics education world leader that you know how to program and troubleshoot robots.
- Does this course offer college credit?
- The course offers continuing education credit and documents that you have participated in 36 hours worth of instruction at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy. It is not a college credit course.
- What happens if I don’t pass the certification test?
- The certification test is offered after you complete the course. If you don’t pass the certification test, you will have the opportunity to retake the exam one month later.
- Can I use Robot Virtual Worlds in my classroom?
- How do I register for the course?
- Go to Professional Development Robotics Academy Classes 2013 and follow the instructions.
- Does the Robotics Academy take Purchase Orders?
- When should I register?
- As soon as possible. The courses are limited to 24 students per class and will fill up quickly.
- When are courses offered?
- You can find a list of all classes available here – Professional Development Robotics Academy Classes 2013
All ROBOTC related training is listed below:
June – August 2013
We are thrilled to announce the new Single and Team perpetual licenses available for Robot Virtual Worlds!! Previously, we only offered Classroom licenses for perpetual users, but due to user requests, we have now added Single and Team options. Read the rest of this entry »
Martin Mason, professor of Physics and Engineering at Mt. San Antonio College and ROBOTC user, has developed a new VEXduino Shield. He created a board that you can plug in VEX sensors but, combined with ROBOTC, uses an Arduino to control the robot instead of a Cortex or PIC. Combining the Shield with an Arduino, some VEX parts, and a small breadboard is a perfect recipe for teaching electronics with the ROBOTC for Arduino!
We understand the challenges robotics classrooms face every day in terms of cost, number of robots, batteries, and homework. That is why we created Robot Virtual Worlds (RVW). With RVW, every student can experience the same benefits of learning robots, right on their computer. RVW currently simulates popular real-world VEX, LEGO, and TETRIX robots in a 3D environment; while using the same language, ROBOTC, to program both your virtual robot and your physical robot.
To help you get started and get a better understanding of what RVW can do, we are offering five FREE webinars on Google Hangout every Monday in April at 4pm EST with project manager, Jesse Flot, and some members of his team! We will show you a brief tutorial on the specific topic of the day then take a few questions from the Google Hangout chat or on twitter using hashtag #RVWHangout.
At each webinar, we will be giving out a discount code for Robomatter, the robotics education store, and a chance to win a one-year license for ROBOTC 3.6!!! To tune in live, follow Robomatter on Google+ or visit ROBOTC.net/hangouts the day of the event (you will need a google+ account or twitter account to submit questions.)
Listed below are the specific dates with topics that we will be covering …
We are very excited to announce that today is the first day of Spring and …. the first day of ROBOTC 3.60! ROBOTC is the premiere robotics programming language for educational robotics and competitions. ROBOTC is a C-Based Programming Language with an Easy-to-Use Development Environment. We are really proud of this release and can’t wait to hear what you think! Remember, we could not do this without your support and feedback. We hope you’ll continue to share your comments with us, either in the forums or on our Facebook or Twitter page.
Read the rest of this entry »
Thank you to everyone who downloaded the new RVW Level Builder and provided feedback! We’ve released version 2.01 of the software, which addresses the issues some of you were seeing. It can be downloaded here, under Available Level Packs.
If you haven’t tried out the Level Builder, you definitely should. It allows you to create your own challenges to solve and share with others. (More detail can be found here, in the original blog post) The latest version even includes the Model Importer, which allows you to use your own 3D objects that were created in Autodesk Inventor and SolidWorks:
Here are the major fixes in this release:
- Fixed some large models getting distorted on import
- Auto-generated collider can now be edited
- Added error reporting readout to Model Importer to improve debugging
- Fixed crash conditions when model library is empty
- Removed scale reference from generated model thumbnails
- STL importer better handles small differences in ASCII STL file formats
Thanks again to everyone who provided feedback!
- Jesse Flot
More great news for Robot Virtual World users! Operation Reset version 1.5.2 is available and includes some fixes and great new features. The most notable of the new features is what we’re calling the Measurement Toolkit.
Research conducted with the Robot Virtual Worlds (RVW) has shown that it is actually a more efficient tool for teaching how to program than real robots. RVW allows you to learn how to program with motors and sensors, but without the wasted time of charging batteries, resetting the robot, repairing damaged parts, and so on. That said, one limitation of the Virtual Worlds has been that you couldn’t just place a tape measure and protractor in the world like you could with a real robot… until now. The Measurement Toolkit takes all of the guess-and-checking out of using the Virtual Worlds, and more importantly, allows them to be used as extremely valuable tools for teaching and reinforcing crucial math concepts like proportionality.
The Measurement Toolkit consists of 3 new buttons, placed along the right side of the Operation Reset interface:
- SHOW The SHOW button turns the Measurement Toolkit on or off. When turned on, it will display the distance and angle to “key objects” in range of the robot. For Operation Reset, this means objects like the Charge Cubes (see below), Fuel Barrels and Crystals. Turning the Measurement Toolkit on also creates a line coming out of the robot that shows its heading (the red line below), and enables you to ADD your own “key point markers” in the world.
- ADD The ADD button lets you to place your own “key point markers” (see below) in the world, allowing you to find key distances and angles for your robot to traverse. Once the Measurement Toolkit is turned on, you must also click the ADD button to enable it. Once you do, simply click on the spot in the world where you would like a marker to be created and one will appear, along with the distance and angle from the robot (see below). Up to three sequential markers can be created by clicking on multiple spots in the world, allowing you to do some intelligent path planning. When your robot drives into one of the key point markers it is removed, and the next key point updates to show it’s distance and angle directly from the robot. If you’re unhappy with any of the points that you create, you can right-click with your mouse, and the last point you created will be removed.
- CLEAR The CLEAR button removes all of the markers that you’ve created in the world. It is only enabled if you have created your own key point markers.
The Measurement Toolkit will change how you use Robot Virtual Worlds and enable new possibilities whether you’re using them in the classroom, for fun at home, or to help prepare for a robotics competition. We’ve already included it in Palm Island: Luau Edition, and will be updating our existing worlds to include it. We’re also producing some video materials that show step-by-step how to use the new functionality, so be on the lookout for those in the coming weeks.
As always, we appreciate any feedback you have about the Robot Virtual Worlds, Operation Reset, and the Measurement Toolkit. Please share it on our Facebook page, here on the blog, or the ROBOTC.net forums.
- Jesse Flot
To be more precise, this new Luau Edition of Palm Island is really a “reintroduction”. Our first version of Palm Island was released in the summer of 2011. Since that time, we’ve learned quite a bit and developed a lot of great features, so we decided to put together this major upgrade to the world.
Whether you’ve used the original version of Palm Island or this version is your first, you will appreciate just how beautiful and vibrant this world is. Take a look at this comparison picture between the two versions (more pictures below):
Of course, the changes are much more than skin deep. Players are immersed in a world where they are programmers-in-training under Commander Roxie Rivet-minder. In addition to programming their robots to traverse the boardwalk path as part of the typical training regiment, they will have to prepare for a Luau Commander Rivet-minder is throwing by setting Lobster Traps, collecting Coconut Clusters, and placing Trash Bins. Just look at some of these shots from the world:
There’s a ton of new features and functionality included in Palm Island: Luau Edition, too many to give justice to in one short blog post, so we’ll be highlighting different features in the coming days and weeks. A quick snapshot of some of these new features includes:
- A completely refreshed world with new art and immersion elements
- New side missions, a keyboard control area, and a line tracking element
- An in-game map and interface that updates as the player makes progress in the world
- A new Tutorial system that allows content to differ whether you’re using Virtual Worlds for Mindstorms or Virtual Worlds for VEX Cortex
- Two highly detailed, printable maps of the island, and a new issue of Robotics Today Magazine
- Measurement tools that allow you to quickly view the distance and angles your robot needs to move
- A new main menu to log in, quickly get to content, switch between robots, and enable/disable features in the world
Of course, the best thing that you can do is download and install Palm Island: Luau Edition from the RVW Level Packs page. Like all of our Virtual Worlds, Palm Island is completely free if you have a Robot Virtual Worlds license, and if you don’t have one you can try it for free. We would love to hear your thoughts about Palm Island! Please share them on our Facebook page, here on the blog, or the ROBOTC.net forums.
- Jesse Flot
ROBOTC community member Mike McFarlane has recently released a plugin for the popular Sublime Text Editor. This new plugin will allow users to edit .c files on both Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms, which can then be opened and compiled in ROBOTC (the Sublime Editor will not be able to compile the code to a robot, unfortunately).
Quote from Mike (full post on the ROBOTC forum):
“I’ve written a plugin for the elegant and productive Sublime Text editor that will allow you to create and edit RobotC code on Mac, Linux and Windows. It’s got autocomplete on the full set of RobotC functions and variables, search via functional and platform category, tabbing between a functions values, syntax aware colouring and code snippets. Only v0-2 right now, but it works…It’s not possible to compile or debug outside the RobotC IDE, but I’ve got some ideas on ways to get the files quickly in and out the IDE.”
Any features you’d like to see added in the future?