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Announcing ROBOTC 3.5! Beta Version Available Today

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The ROBOTC Development team is proud to announce thatROBOTC 3.5 for the LEGO Mindstorms, VEX Cortex and PIC, Arduino, and Robot Virtual World platforms will be available on September 7th, 2012. The new ROBOTC 3.5 update will be free-of-charge for ALL existing ROBOTC 3.0 license holders. Download a Beta version (3.45) today to get a sneak peak at all of the new features and enhancements available in ROBOTC 3.5!

ROBOTC 3.5 has a number of new features and enhancements:

  • Full ANSI-C support to support pointers, recursion, and stacks with an updated compiler and updated robot firmware.
  • New and Updated Debugger Windows:
    • “Local Variables” to monitor variables in the current task or function.
      (Note: Local variables are only available when your program is suspended)
    • “Global Variables” to monitor variables available to your entire program.
    • “Call Stacks” to monitor function calls in the currently selected task.
  • Updated Documentation and Wiki (www.robotc.net/wiki) – Still in progress!
  • Support for Standard C commands – sprintf(), sscanf(), support for character arrays, unsigned variables, etc.
  • Support for the Arduino family of controllers (Uno, Mega, Mega 2560) with future support and expanded functionality for the Arduino Leonardo and Due controllers.
  • Updated Robot Virtual Worlds support to include additional sensors and motors.
  • Improved Robot Virtual Worlds performance to simulate more realistic physics and robot behaviors.
  • Support for the new MATRIX building system with the NXT.
  • Many general enhancements and bug fixes – more in-depth change log to come with the ROBOTC 3.5 official release.

Please remember that the Beta available today should not be installed across entire school sites–this is a beta version, so install at your own risk!

You can participate in the ROBOTC 3.45 Beta version by downloading a copy here. Please note that the Beta version will uninstall your existing version of ROBOTC; the Beta will use your existing licensing so there is no need to ‘Deactivate’ before installing. If you have any issues/questions with the ROBOTC Beta, please e-mail betasupport [at] robotc [dot] net for assistance and to alert us of any issues to be fixed between now and release day.

Written by Tim Friez

August 24th, 2012 at 11:24 am

New Version of the RVW Curriculum Companion Challenge Tables!

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The ROBOTC Robot Virtual World team is extremely proud to announce a brand new version of the RVW Curriculum Companion Tables for both LEGO and VEX. This new version (2.2.1) contains an incredible number of enhancements and new features. It is a free update for all existing Robot Virtual World users. Read on to find out more!

New Login Functionality
If you have an account on the Computer Science Student Network (CS2N.org), you can now log in and earn achievements. This also allows you to save your progress – marking the challenges that you’ve completed so far. If you don’t have a CS2N account, what are you waiting for?


If your computer isn’t online, you can also create a local account to log in and track your progress locally. If you’re not interested in tracking your progress, you can always take advantage of the “Log In as Guest” feature, too.


Achievement Badges and Updated User Interface
As the new login functionality implies, we’ve also added achievement badges to the challenges! You can earn Motivation badges as you work through a given challenge, Progress badges as you complete challenges, and Mastery badges when you complete specified sets from the Movement, Sensing, Remote Control, and Variables sections of the Curriculum Companion Challenges. For additional background information on badges, visit this page on CS2N.

We’ve upgraded the user interface to indicate which challenges have achievement badges. Challenges with badges have a star next to their name on the list on the left. Clicking on the challenge provides additional detail.


Whether you’re logged in with a CS2N or a local account, the new Badges section displays all of the challenges that you’ve earned so far.


From the Badges section, you can also generate a PDF of all of your Progress and Mastery badges.


And if you’re using your CS2N account, you can check your progress on your Achievements page.


New In-Game Animations and Notifications
We’ve also added brand new animations and achievements to the challenges. You’ll be notified when you complete the challenge, or if your robot does something that that causes it to fail. Motivation and Progress badges will appear as you earn them on the challenges.


Challenges that require a number of laps to be performed or for certain lines to be crossed now include visual cues such as counters and 3D makers.


Robot Physics and Size Improvements
All VEX, LEGO and TETRIX robots have had their size and physics adjusted to more closely match their real-world counterparts.


Many More Small Fixes and Enhancements
There’s too many in this category to list, so try the latest version out for yourself! Download it here.

For more information about the Robot Virtual World software, or help getting it up and running, visit this page.

Written by Jesse Flot

July 23rd, 2012 at 3:49 pm

New Virtual World: The Ruins of Atlantis!

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The Robot Virtual World team is proud to announce a brand new virtual environment: The Ruins of Atlantis!

European, Asian, and African histories all reference an ancient city named Atlantis. According to legend, Atlantis was the center of trade and commerce for Eurasia thousands of years ago. Atlantis had incredible wealth due to a combination of prolific natural resources, people that were gifted and wise, and because it was located on a trade route used by Europeans, Asians, and Africans.  For years we’ve thought that Atlantis was a myth, but with the emergence of new robotics technologies we are able to explore areas of the world that humans have never been to before.  Read on to learn more.

The Ruins of Atlantis Virtual World is designed to reinforce behavior-based programming in a fun and meaningful way. Students can practice their ROBOTC programming, using a full set of virtual motors and sensors on exciting new robots, 6000 meters below the surface of the ocean. Example code found in the Sample Programs > Virtual World folder built-in to ROBOTC will help them collect as many gems and coins as possible throughout the world.

Here’s video of the new AnemoBot traveling through the Ruins of Atlantis.

Click here to download the Ruins of Atlantis.

Need help setting up Robot Virtual Worlds? Visit this page!

Written by Jesse Flot

May 11th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Posted in NXT,Releases,VEX

Major Improvements in ROBOTC 3.05 for VEX Cortex

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ROBOTC 3.05 contains a number of enhancements that should be very exciting for VEX Cortex users. This is a free update for all ROBOTC for Cortex and PIC users (yes, even if you were using 2.3x)!

The ROBOTC 3.05 installer now includes the VEX Cortex and Prolific USB-to-Serial drivers. You no longer need to remember to download and install these separately.

We’ve heard your feedback! The new “Automatically Update VEX Cortex” option will detect if your Cortex is out-of-date, and automatically download the latest version of the Master CPU and ROBOTC Firmware files if needed. There’s no need to go through the long process of manually downloading each firmware, or put the VEX Cortex in “bootload” mode! The same functionality has been implemented for the VEXnet Joysticks as well.

Also included is a new version of the Master CPU Firmware from VEX Robotics. This version restores the functionality from the 2.x firmware, which allowed programs to run even when VEXnet was turned on (but not used).

New Standard Models! Standard models for the popular Robotics Academy robots and PLTW Training Testbeds have been added, and can be used to automatically configure all of the motors and sensors, hassle free.

New and improved sample programs! New sample programs for the VEX Mecanum Wheels and Line Tracking Kit have been added. others have been improved.

You now have the ability to give your robot a custom name. This will be a crucial enhancement for competition teams, and should be helpful for classroom settings, too.

Written by Jesse Flot

January 13th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

ROBOTC version 3.05 has been released!

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Hi all,

We’ve just released ROBOTC 3.05. Head on over to the download pages to download the latest version!

Change log:

NXT:

  1. Allow “File Management” window to play multiple sound files and not just a single file.
  2. Fix bug in implementation of NXT intrinsic function “I2CGetSensorInfo”.
  3. Holding down gray EXIT button on NXT will now eventually power off the NXT.
  4. Re-enable support for “sendMessage” on NXT.
  5. Updated FTC Joystick Driver to include diagnostics and added a critical section around the “no joystick data” fields to prevent false starts.
  6. “DrawEllipse” was broken for emulator. ‘short’ variable was overflowing; ‘long’ was needed.
  7. Constant for total number of motors for Tetrix was incorrect (too small). Result is some user defined names for 12V Tetrix motors were not being defined. Applies when Tetrix motor controller was configured on sensor port S3 or S4. Now Fixed.
  8. Included range checking on game controller joystciks to fit in one byte. Few users reported errors about seeing 2-byte joystick values.

VEX:

  1. New Automatic Firmware Updater for VEX Cortex – Choose one menu option and ROBOTC takes care of the rest (putting into bootload/downloading both master and ROBOTC firmware)
  2. Updated installer to automatically install the VEX Cortex drivers and Prolific USB-to-Serial Drivers upon install.
  3. Updates to the RVW Natural Language files to include remote control and microcontroller button commands.
  4. New standard model files for PLTW Testbeds
  5. By default “Com Port lists” will not include all serial ports. They will only the ports that match the current platform/use selection. A registry preference (“Advanced Environment” tab) can be used to restore to the current (3.04 release) of including all ports.
  6. Updated Error Messages for Firmware/Program downloads.
  7. New Sample Programs for 4-motor joystick control.
  8. Added new variable “bStopTasksBetweenModes” to allow VEX users to disable the allTasksStop function from running between autonomous and teleop modes

General/Other:

  1. Compiler was not generating error when “typedef” variable was used in an expression. Fixed.
  2. ADD “__NAME__” to preprocessor predefined variables.
  3. Fix code generation bug for “const string” array variables. Compiler would incorrectly use empty string instead of reference to array variable in constant pool.
  4. Rightmost character of block of italic formatted source file had “slant” clipped by the background of the next block of text. Fixed.
  5. Expand opcodes for “shift left/right” to support ‘long’ variable as shift size amount.
  6. Fix definition of “degreesToRadians” intrinsic. It was not working when the parameter was a numeric constant.

Written by Vu Nguyen

January 13th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

ROBOTC 3.04 is now available!

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Hi all,

We’ve just released ROBOTC 3.04. Head on over to the download pages to download the latest version!

Change log:

  1. Fixed silent updater bug
  2. Modified sensor scale and full count settings for gyros for VEX PIC.
  3. Eliminated deprecated warning for “#pragma platform”. Remove warning on “#pragma competition”
  4. dited BuiltInVariables.txt to include Battery & Power Control category, including 3 new entries for VEX battery level.
  5. Added intrinsic to ROBOTCIntrinsics to return BackupBatterLevel value.
  6. Corrected BuiltInVariables.txt to prevent displayLCDPos from appearing in “Undefined Entries”
  7. Updated BuiltInVariables.txt to reflect additions to VEX Display commands
  8. Modified RobotCIntrinsics.c setLCDPos command to “setLCDPosition”
  9. Merge fixes from 32Bit branch for >160 subroutines.
  10. Rebuild VEX firmware files because they were out of date.
  11. Change text for button on VEX remote screen from “Enter” to “Center”.
  12. Support on Prolific cables for workaround to protocol errors for IFI defined special Cortex messages. Previously was only implemented on integrated USB-to-Serial.
  13. Correct incorrect code generation for a parameter “call by reference” variable which is itself a “call by reference” variable.
  14. Add new intrinsics for VEX LCD to specify line and char position of the “Put”. Add alias “setLCDPos” for “displayLCDPos”
  15. Bump version to 9.04 / 3.04. Rebuild firmware.
  16. Eliminate NXT EXE encrypted file headers. It causes a bug with >160 subroutines on NXT. Need to rebuild NXT firmware to support this change.
  17. When return statement from a “non void” function is unreachable because function contains an infinite loop compiler used to generate an error message that “No return statement from non-void function”. Now it generates a warning that an infinite loop prevents return.
  18. Timer values on VEX (and NXT) were incorrectly truncated to 16-bits instead of preserving the 32-bit value.
  19. Incorrect code generation for assignments when the expression is a compound expression and it uses an intrinsic function that refers to the ‘l-value” of the assignment.
  20. Fixed Licensing System but when deactivating any product but ROBOTC for Mindstorms and it was the only product in the list.
  21. Hid two options in the “NXT Brick” menu to prevent crashing when in RVW mode
  22. Fixed an issue where the “Toggle Comment” button may crash ROBOTC when used near the beginning and end of a file.
  23. Fixed an issue where the “View” menu on the NXT was displaying incorrect data with the NXT Encoders.
  24. You can now drag/drop files to the ROBOTC application and also associate .c and .h files with ROBOTC.

Written by Vu Nguyen

October 10th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

ROBOTC 3.03 is now available!

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Hi all,

We’ve just released ROBOTC 3.03. Head on over to the download pages to download the latest version!

3.02 to 3.03 Change log:

  • Fixed issue with nMotorEncoderTarget when issuing a positive target with a negative speed.
  • Removed windows that would cause Virtual Worlds to crash when opening.
  • Fixed problem with large files not compiling to robot controllers. The Maximum size of user program was incorrectly given as 16K. Changed to 128K. Also added error messages to prevent “silent” failure.
  • Fixed “File – Print Preview” and “Print” commands to properly print source code.
  • ROBOTC will no longer crash if Fantom is not available.
  • Fixed issue with ROBOTC Auto-Updater. ROBOTC will now properly notify you when a new version is available.
  • No longer validate perpetual license and check for updates on every startup. This is now a periodic check.
  • Corrected a bug with an incorrect cast that was causing crash in compiler code optimization.
  • Fixed issue with VEX remote screen display where buttons were not emulating the correct value when pressed.

 

Written by Vu Nguyen

September 26th, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Cortex,FTC,NXT,Releases,VEX

ROBOTC for Cortex and PIC 2.32 Released

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Hey everyone!

We have just released an update to ROBOTC for CORTEX & PIC.
Click here to download the latest version

Teams Attending VEX World Championships at Disney World, Florida:
You should update to Version 2.32 of ROBOTC for Cortex and PIC and update your Master Firmware and VEXnet Game Controller Firmware before arriving to the competition. This is not a mandatory update, but is strongly recommended to ensure compatibility with the VEX Game Fields at Disney.

2.32 Changelog:

  • Master Firmware upgraded from 2.72 to 2.81 / Fixes idle motor issues
  • VEXnet Joystick firmware upgraded from 2.32 to 2.41
  • Downloading the Joystick Firmware no longer prompts ROBOTC Firmware download as well
  • Updated Natural Language Library to version 2.0, adding additional functions
  • Updated ROBOTC Sample Program Library
  • Updated ROBOTC Help File
  • Corrected the icons for the ROBOTC Toolbar Icons
  • Robot > Software Inspection feature available
  • Minor bug fixes

Written by Tim Friez

April 7th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

ROBOTC for Mindstorms 2.26 BETA Available

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We’ve just released ROBOTC for Mindstorms 2.26 BETA. Download it now!

This version fixes a few issues we’ve found and applies to both the NXT and TETRIX/FTC platforms. If you are using this version for FTC, please install this version.

Changelog:

  1. Added Xander’s driver library (version 1.6)
  2. Fixed ROBOTC behavior not to automatically disabled TETRIX motors in a low-voltage situation.
  3. Fixed incorrect “SizeOf” function.
  4. Disabled Bluetooth Debugging information in the “Debug Stream” Window.
  5. Fixed issue with “Registering” when doing a manual activation with ROBOTC.

Written by Vu Nguyen

October 4th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Posted in NXT,Releases

ROBOTC for Cortex and PIC 2.25 released!

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The Robotics Academy is happy to announce the release of ROBOTC for Cortex 2.25.

We’ve made lots of changes in ROBOTC from 2.20 to 2.25. We’re continuing to improve ROBOTC with the Cortex system. This new version is fully compatible with the VEX Cortex and the VEX PIC systems, along with the VEXnet upgrade system for the VEX PIC.

Click here to download the latest version

Firmware Downloader Built-In: Firmware Download for ROBOTC Firmware, Cortex Master Firmware and VEXnet Joystick Firmware built into ROBOTC now!

Download Method Chooser: Easier to choose how you want to download your program. Always defaults to VEXnet and USB, but you can manually choose to disable VEXnet and download over USB only.

Quick Preferences: This allows you to set key preferences with only the click of a button. Make ROBOTC work the way you want it to!

Other New Features and Bug Fixes:

  1. Build is able to program both PIC and Cortex platforms successfully.
  2. “Auto save” before compile was broken.
  3. “Previous Platform Type” was not being correctly saved into Windows Registry.
  4. Add code to handle “Device Removal” and “Device Acquire” without long hangs of application.
  5. Added a flag to Preferences -> Internal” to indicate whether firmware downloading should be read verified.
  6. Fix “Priority” column in “Task Status” debugger pane. It was not properly displaying.
  7. Move “Debug Stream” from Super-User to “Expert” menu.
  8. Add a 250 millisecond delay after telling Cortex to enter download mode before attempting the autobaud sequence.
  9. VEX Cortex Integrated Master Firmware Loader inside of ROBOTC.
  10. Add support for run-time strings in the VEX LCD display routines.
  11. Fix conlict between Digital pin 4 and 10. They both share the same external interrupt index and it was possible to hang the Cortex. Fix makes both pins work correctly — previously pin 10 was not working — for external interrupts. But the hardware prevents supporting sensors that require external interrupts on both pins at once.

Written by Vu Nguyen

September 2nd, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Releases,VEX

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