Archive for the ‘General News’ Category
The ROBOTC Development Team is excited to announce our latest update, ROBOTC 4.50! This update is for the LEGO MINDSTORMS (NXT and EV3) robotics systems and includes new features, functionality and a load of bug fixes.
Important Setup Information for ROBOTC 4.50:
LEGO NXT Users:
- Simply update to the latest ROBOTC firmware from inside of ROBOTC.
LEGO EV3 Users:
- All users will need to update the LEGO EV3′s Kernel by connecting the EV3 and selecting “Robot Menu -> Download EV3 Linux Kernel” from inside of ROBOTC. The version number (1.07X) is the same to keep alignment with the EV3 Programming Software and LEGO’s releases.
- After updating your EV3′s Linux Kernel, you’ll also need to update the ROBOTC firmware from inside of ROBOTC.
ROBOTC 4.32 —> 4.50 Change Log:
General new features:
- Graphical blocks can now be copied, cut and pasted
- Graphical actions, such as adding, deleting and moving a blocks, changing parameters and their values can be undone and redone.
- The Graphical repeat and while blocks values can now be adjusted without a keyboard using spin buttons.
- Large amounts of data in debug stream no longer causes debugger to hang.
- Fixed issue when mixing PLTW building licenses with other license types.
- When changing the motor type in the Motor and Sensor Setup utility, the additional parameters, such as PID, drive side, encoder type, are reset to their default values.
- UAC prompt now appear only once for installing multiple RVW packages.
- The toolbar buttons are sized to the individual content, instead of the largest one.
- Recursive pre-compiler statements are correctly identified and no longer crash the IDE.
- The Graphical block library’s expansion/collapse state is now preserved when switching between files.
- LineTrackLeft help text has been corrected.
- Fixed issue of undefined entries in text libraries.
- Hover over text for NL text commands no longer has artifacts.
- Building licenses now check and update their local status whenever an active internet connection is available.
- Fixed issue with the Advanced RBC file saving adding an additional “rbc” to the file name.
- Opening RBC/RBG files with “download on open” no longer prompts for save and add a “00#” to the end of the file name.
- Fixed issue where the “Advanced save as macro” feature did not load RVW options correctly.
- Joystick issue with Graphical and Natural Language fixed;’ waitUntil(), displayButtonValues() and displayControllerValues() now function correctly.
- Disconnecting an EV3, with the debugger running, no longer causes the IDE to hang.
- Missing sensor commands have been added to the EV3 text library.
- Fixed issue of incorrect NXT sensor variables when dragged into program from the text library
- Fixed mistakes in examples for the help documentation of the EV3 motor commands.
- EV3 standard models and sample code have been updated with the default mode for the Gyro set to Rate and Angle and the Color sensor mode set to Color.
- Corrected issue where nPgmTime was erroneously identified as a signed long in the help.
- Added numerics to Color name values in help documentation.
- Wireless Searching for NXT in EV3 context has been removed.
- Fixed issue where the return value of getColorName() opcode expected a long, but the TLegoColors is a byte, this could cause memory corruption.
We’re here to help you make the most of your school year. That’s why we’re making some small tweaks to our webinar schedule, based on your feedback. To help you guys gear up for the competition season, we’re making the following changes:
- Wednesday, September 9: Using ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Worlds to prepare for VEX Competitions
- Tuesday, September 29: CS2N Automated Assessment Tools
- Tuesday, October 21st: Using Robot Virtual Worlds in the Classroom
Running a STEM robotics classroom can seem a little overwhelming, especially if resources are tight. How can you keep your classroom running smoothly if you don’t have a lot of resources? It’s easier than you might think. Here are a few tips to help:
1. Use virtual robots. Virtual robots, like Robot Virtual Worlds, are a great way to add to your robotics classroom without adding to your costs. Designed to supplement physical robots, Robot Virtual Worlds allows you to teach robotics with fewer robots and more easily organize and keep track of your classroom.
You can also more easily mange students who are working at different levels, assign robotics homework, and use simulated fantasy worlds to capture students’ imaginations and make learning fun. Visit robotvirtualworlds.com to get started with a free 10-day trial.
2. Explore grants and other funding options. Curious about grants but don’t know where to start? There are a lot of grants and funding for STEM teachers, if you only know where to look.
Project Lead The Way has a great list of grants, as well as some information on citizen philanthropy on its site. And, Edutopia’s “Big List of Educational Grants and Resources” page is also worth a visit.
3. Take advantage of free resources. While this one seems obvious, it’s not always obvious where to go for quality resources. STEM is a hot topic right now, which means there’s a lot to sort through on the internet. Here are just a few of the free resources we like:
- Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy LEGO Robotics Resources: This site provides all of the tools and information necessary to successfully teach with LEGO robots.
- Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy VEX Robotics Resources: This site provides all of the tools and information necessary to successfully teach with VEX Cortex and VEX IQ robots.
- National Science Teachers Association – Freebies for Science Teachers: Free resources for you and your classroom.
- Social Media: Both Twitter and Facebook are a great place for STEM teachers to share resources.
4. Invest in training. Investing in the right training will help you get the most out of your STEM classroom. Because STEM requires students to take a more active role in their learning process, look for training programs that provide practical, hands-on experience to help you manage your STEM classroom and maximize your resources.
By partnering with Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy, Robomatter is able to offer a full line of training for STEM robotics teachers. Click here to learn more about online and onsite training for VEX and LEGO platforms.
5. Take advantage of contests and giveaways. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to get free stuff. There are lots of organizations who want to help STEM teachers and students. Take a look at these sites for some ideas:
We know you dedicate a lot to making sure your students have a great school year and we want you to have a great year, too. Show us how you plan to use the Robomatter PLTW Upgrade Pack to uncomplicate your classroom and you could win great prizes for you and your school!
Here’s how it works: Send us a short video about your PLTW robotics classroom or school and how you plan to use the PLTW Upgrade Pack to extend your students’ robotics experience. We’ll pick three finalists from all of the entries and let the community vote on who they think should win.
- The finalist with the most votes will receive: A PLTW Upgrade Pack + 50 Robot Virtual Worlds Homework Packs (180-Day License) + the ROBOTC VEX Cortex Video Trainer to help you get the most out of Robot Virtual Worlds and ROBOTC (valued at $1798 MSRP)
- The first runner-up will receive: A PLTW Upgrade Pack + the ROBOTC VEX Cortex Video Trainer
- The second runner-up will receive: 50% off the purchase of a PLTW Upgrade Pack + the ROBOTC VEX Cortex Video Trainer
Entering the contest is easy. Just follow these three steps:
- Start by making sure you have a valid ROBOTC/PLTW 2015-2016 License ID. You’ll need this to submit your entry.
- Make your video: Show us how you think the upgrade pack can help you, your students, or your school. (Videos should be no longer than three minutes.)
- Submit your video by 11:59 EDT on September 20, 2015.
We’ll announce the three finalists on September 23rd. Voting will begin at noon ET on the 23rd and will continue until 11:59 pm ET on September 30th. Limit one vote per person, per day.
To learn more, visit : http://robotc.net/pltw/contest
To make sure you’re ready to take on the school year, we’ll be hosting a series of webinars to help you get your robotics classroom up and running. Check out our webinar schedule below and visit http://robotc.net/hangouts to join!
If you can’t make a webinar, don’t worry! Each webinar will be recorded, post here, and posted on http://robotc.net/hangouts the following day. Check out the past webinars below …
Learn everything you need to know about getting your PLTW robotics classroom up and running with ROBOTC. This C-based programming language has an easy-to-use development environment and is the premier robotics programming language for educational robotics and competitions.
(Starts at 1:56)
ROBOTC is the most used language for the VEX IQ Challenge, and for the VEX Robotics Competition. Robot Virtual Worlds provides a virtual environment for robotics teams to learn the program. Put the two together and you have a powerful combination that can help your team be competition-ready. And, you also have a great way to provide open-ended programming challenge for students of all abilities, whether those students will be competing or not. Learn more in this great webinar!
- CS2N Assessment Tools: September 29 @ 7:00 pm EDT
We know that all teachers love grading, right? Computer Science Student Network’s (CS2N) Automated Assessment allows teachers to keep track of their students’ submissions, scores, and progress. Learn how to create a CS2N Group for your different classrooms, import student rosters, automatically track progress of Robot Virtual Worlds, and how to utilize some of the free courses offered through CS2N.
- Using Robot Virtual Worlds in the Classroom: October 21 @ 7:00 pm EDT
You may have heard about Robot Virtual Worlds, a high-end simulation environment that enables students to learn programming without a physical robot. But, how do you use it in the classroom? Join this webinar to learn the many ways Robot Virtual Worlds can help you simplify and extend your robotics classroom.
Simon Burfield (a.k.a. Burf …an amazing nickname!) designed and programmed a VEX IQ Motorized Skateboard! This VEX IQ skateboard uses 2 VEXIQ brains / batteries, and 16 motors connected to 8 omnidirectional wheels. It is also programmed in ROBOTC!
Check out Burf’s website here for more cool project!
Do you have a cool project you’d like to share? If so, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ve probably heard of Robot Virtual Worlds, a high-end simulation environment that enables students to learn programming, even if they don’t have direct access to a physical robot. But what are the benefits of Robot Virtual Worlds and how can you use it in your classroom?
Robot Virtual Worlds is a great tool for you, your students, and your classroom. Our infographic shows just a few of the ways Robot Virtual Worlds can help you uncomplicate your classroom by:
- Helping you teach more efficiently with fewer resources
- Lowering the cost of staring a robotics classroom
- Managing students working at different levels
- Keeping students engaged
- Capturing authentic assessment and tracking individual student progress
Robot Virtual Worlds is not designed to replace your physical robots. Instead, it’s designed to help you enhance what you’re already doing in your classroom, and help you teach faster and more efficiently with fewer resources. Looking for ideas on how you can use Robot Virtual Worlds in your classroom? Here are just a few:
- Have students use Robot Virtual Worlds to test their code before working with a physical robot
- Use Robot Virtual Worlds to assign robotics homework
- Use Robot Virtual Worlds to create your own virtual challenges
- Use simulated fantasy worlds to capture students’ attention and make learning fun
- Provide a virtual environment for robotics teams to learn to program
You can also check out these real-world stories from teachers who have used Robot Virtual Worlds in their classroom:
From July 14th thru July 27th students with China ROBOTC have been attending The 2015 ROBOTC Nighthawk Robotic Camp hosted by the World and California State Champion Nighthawks Robotics Club, at Murrieta Valley High School. The students are being instructed by Mr. Kevin Bradley, the instructor and coach for the Nighthawk Robotics Club, and Franz Froehlich, a MVHS student which during the summer of 2014 instructed a VEX camp in China for the China ROBOTC company. During the camp students began learning to program robots through the ROBOTC Virtual Worlds. The students are then able to take what they have learned in the virtual world and transfer it into the physical world by building and programing robots to complete challenges set before them by the Nighthawk Robotics Club.
Through this camp the students will be able to apply their newly gained knowledge to complete the iSTEM robotics challenge events. As well as get the experience and knowledge to prepare them for the new VEX game “Nothing but Net”.
– Terry Sy
The latest chapter within the VEX CORTEX Video Trainer Curriculum is now available … Competition Programming! Located in the Engineering Section, this chapter includes lessons designed to help students prepare their programs for a VEX Competition.
Some of the lessons you’ll learn within this chapter includes:
- Creating a Competition Legal Program with the ROBOTC Competition Program Template
- Performing a hardware-based test of a competition program with the VEXnet Competition Switch
- Testing a competition program through ROBTOC with the Programming Hardware Kit
The PLTW Upgrade Pack Includes:
Designed to enhance your physical robot classroom, Robot Virtual Worlds is a high-end simulation environment that enables students to learn programming without a physical robot.
ROBOTC Graphical uses the same Natural Language commands you’re used to, but with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface.
With the PLTW Upgrade Pack, you can program both VEX CORTEX and VEX IQ robots using the same ROBOTC programming language!
Want access to Robot Virtual Worlds, ROBOTC Graphical, and VEX IQ Programming?
The upgrade includes access for 100 seats for the entire school year.