Archive for the ‘RVW Releases’ Category
In preparation for the 2013 Robotics Summer of Learning, we’ve released updates for the Palm Island (v2.1.0), Operation Reset (v3.1.0), Curriculum Companion (v2.4.0), and Level Builder (v2.0.11) Virtual Worlds!
In Palm Island, Operation Reset, and the Curriculum Companion, we’ve added two highly-requested features: Graphics Quality Control and Update Notifications.
Graphics Quality Control
In the Options section of each virtual world, we’ve added a new Graphics Quality setting. Choosing LOW (FASTER) will reduce the visual quality of the virtual environment, but will allow the virtual worlds to run more smoothly on older computers. MEDIUM is the default setting and is a balanced choice between quality and speed on most computers. Choosing HIGH (SLOWER) will improve the visual quality and is the most resource intensive; it is only recommended if you have a newer computer with a dedicated graphics card.
If your computer is connected to the Internet and you log in using your CS2N account in the virtual world, it will now check if there is a newer version of the virtual world available. If an update is available, a notification about the new version appears with a DOWNLOAD NOW button. Simply press it to download the latest version available!
RVW Level Builder
We also updated the RVW Level Builder! We have improved the performance of the menus and fixed an issue where line tracking tiles were getting “stuck” once they were placed. Thank you to everyone who has sent in feedback! We’ve also released a series of videos to help get started with the Level Builder:
The updates can be downloaded from the RVW Level Packs Download area at ROBOTC.net or RobotVirtualWorlds.com.
We recently added a great new feature to our Robot Virtual Worlds … the Measurement Toolkit! There is no more guessing on how far a robot needs to travel to solve programming problems. It allows for intelligent path planning and navigation. You can now have students do the math, show their work, and explain how they solved the problems.
Check out our newest video that talks about what the measurement toolkit can do in RVW!
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
The RVW team is excited to announce our latest update to the RVW Level Builder, which allows you to create, share, and solve your own virtual challenges! Download it here! This update includes a long list of new features and improvements, and you’ll discover the biggest change when you select the new IMPORT button in Build mode:
Pressing the IMPORT button will launch the RVW Model Importer. Until now, your challenges have been limited to the objects that we’ve prepackaged with the Level Builder. With the Model Importer, you can import any object that you’ve created in SolidWorks or Autodesk Inventor (saved as .STL files) and use them in your virtual challenges. Check out this video for a quick overview:
The Model Importer is an extremely powerful and versatile tool. Once you import your object, you can customize its level of detail, color, scale, mass, and many other properties that affect how it will behave in the 3D Virtual world.
Once you’ve imported an object and set its properties, you can use it in your virtual challenges, just like any of the included objects.
To support you as work with the Level Builder and Model Importer, we’ve created a series of 6 short tutorial videos that teach you everything that you need to know:
Don’t have Inventor or SolidWorks installed on your computer? An educational license of Autodesk Inventor is available for free to students and teachers and Solidworks offers a 60-day free trial for educators. If you’d like to try out the Model Importer right away, here is a .ZIP file you can download that contains a few models you can use: Sample Model Importer Files.
Other changes to the RVW Level Builder include:
- The new default directory for your levels is in your Documents folder, making it easier to share your files
- New robot models with improved graphics, physics, and performance
- The ability to view your levels in 3D in Build mode (right-click your mouse and drag to activate)
- Lots of small fixes and performance improvements
Written by Ryan Cahoon and Jesse Flot
The Robot Virtual World team is thrilled to announce their latest level pack: Robots to the Rescue – Operation Reset.
Robots to the Rescue – Operation Reset is the third version of our virtual world set in a crystal mining colony on Planet H99. An intergalactic storm has knocked out all of the systems in the colony, and it’s up to you to program the colony’s robots to restore power to Communication Towers, collect the Unobtanium energy crystals, and refuel the rocket. In game testing, some of the things middle and high school kids said were “It’s fun!”, “It’s like a video game!”, “I like that I get to see my code work immediately.”, and “I like the story behind the missions.”.
Operation Reset represents several months of hard work on new features and huge improvements to the Robot Virtual World technology. Here’s sneak peak of some of them:
Updated robot models with attachments:
Programmers will enjoy more interactivity with the world than ever before. Our Mammalbot (right) and Buggybot (left) robots are both included, and each have a Gripper and Vacuum attachment for delivering fuel barrels and collecting Unobtanium fuel crystals.
When starting the first set of missions, players are presented with slideshow-style tutorials that explain the mission ahead and direct them to sample ROBOTC code they can use. All of the missions are designed to be solvable using either Standard ROBOTC or the Natural Language, so new and experienced programmers alike will enjoy solving the them.
Multiple Starting Points and Remote Control Zones
As players recharge the Communication Towers in the colony, they will unlock additional Mission Insertion points in the world. These insertion points allow the programmer to have consistent starting points as they write code to solve missions. Also, when a Communication Tower is recharged, direct robot control (using keyboard keys) in the nearby zone is unlocked, allowing you to remotely control the robot’s movements. Insertion points and remote control zones are displayed using the in-game Dashboard, which updates to reflect player progress.
Advanced User Interface
The brand new user interface conveys tons of information while taking up a minimal amount of screen space. As players complete missions, the “bubbles” corresponding to Communication Towers, Unobtanium Crystals and Fuel Barrels will be colored in. You can also switch between the Vacuum and Gripper attachments on the robot, change starting locations, and view recent in-game messages.
New Interactive Game Elements
As the robot travels through the mining colony, it will interact with new Bi-Directional Boost Pads (top) and Robot Lifts (bottom). Both elements will re-situate the robot in the world, providing consistency each time you run your code.
When the robot completes missions or interacts with different in-game elements, the programmer will be rewarded with achievements. Users can create a Local account or use their CS2N account to track their progress and view their achievements. If you don’t already have a CS2N account, you create one for free, here: https://www.cs2n.org/signup
Gameplay Media and Support Material at RobotVirtualWorlds.com
We really want to make sure you know all of the support material that has been created to go along with Operation Reset. We’ve generated Getting Started Guides, Lesson Plans, and Programming Rubrics that will help you use the Robot Virtual World software in the classroom. The full set of materials can be found at http://www.robotvirtualworlds.com/ under Getting Started. Check out the site to find Gameplay videos, Mission Overview videos, World Maps, and more!
To download the Operation Reset virtual world, visit https://www.cs2n.org/activities/robot-virtual-worlds/operation-reset (log in with your CS2N account to view the download link) or http://www.robotvirtualworlds.com/. We value your feedback! Post any thoughts or ideas you have about Operation Reset at the ROBOTC.net forums.
Using Operation Reset requires a ROBOTC 3.x license. If you’re still using ROBOTC 2.x, check out our special promotional pricing available through the end of the year.
Following up from an earlier post, new versions of the FTC Ring It Up and VEX Sack Attack Virtual Worlds are now available!
In version 1.50 of Ring It Up, all arm, wrist, and gripper motors now include encoders, allowing you to get feedback and implement precise control over the robots. We’ve also swapped the Compass Sensor for the Gyroscope, which was highly requested by FTC teams. New Sample code for the encoders and gyroscope is installed with the world.
In version 1.50 of Sack Attack, we’ve added encoders to the arm motors on all of the robots, and a potentiometer to the scooper motor on Scooperbot, giving you very precise control. All robot models have also had the Compass sensor replaced with a Gyroscope, better aligning them with the real world VEX system. As with the Ring It Up world, Sample code for all of the new functionality is included.
We genuinely appreciate all of the feedback and comments we’ve received about these worlds, and we hope that these changes show that we’re listening. Keep the feedback coming!
Adding support for all of the new inputs required a significant update of our back end, so these versions require ROBOTC 3.54 or later to be installed. Happy programming!
The project that you’ve all been waiting for is here at last! We are thrilled to announce that our first version of the Robot Virtual World Level Builder is now available. Configure your own levels out of a wide selection of classroom-themed assets: balls, cylinders, boxes, walls, line tracking tiles, and more. Challenge yourself, or share your levels with students, classmates, or teammates. It’s a free download for all ROBOTC for RVW users, so what are you waiting for?
Once you have the Level Builder installed, you can launch it within ROBOTC by going to Window > Open RVW Level Builder Utility. (Note that you must have ROBOTC 3.50 or newer installed, and that Virtual Worlds must be selected as your Platform Type.)
- Use CREATE to configure your own virtual world level out of classroom themed assets.
- Use PLAY to program a virtual robot to complete a level generated in CREATE mode.
- Drag-and-drop cubes, cylinders, balls, walls, and line tracking tiles onto the table to configure your level.
- Use the PROPERTIES panel to adjust the orientation of the objects.
- Zoom in and out on the table using the slider in the bottom right.
- Your virtual robot will always start on the START tile, facing out.
- Be creative!!!
Once you’ve configured the table to your heart’s content, save it, and press PLAY.
- SELECT LEVEL will automatically be populated with the table that you just configured.
- Additional demo levels are included in the download.
- Choose from several available robots, each with their details listed on the screen.
- Press START LEVEL to load your level with the currently selected robot.
Your level will load with the robot that you selected.
- Compile and Download ROBOTC code to solve the challenge.
- Switch quickly between BUILD MODE and LEVEL SELECTION as you create your perfect level.
- USE the “WASD” keys to easily check out the level before writing code or passing it on to your students or fellow classmates.
More instructions, details, and videos are coming soon! We would love to hear what you think of the Level Builder, so let us know! Any feedback and suggestions are welcome. Most of all, have fun!
New Robot: Clawbot
- Clawbot features a 4-wheel, 2-motor drive system, an arm motor, a gripper, and the full array of sensors. Best of all, it’s fully programmable in ROBOTC!
- Additional sample code for Clawbot is installed with the update, and can be downloaded here.
Pre-loads and Automatic Scoring
- Both Gripperbot and Scooperbot can be pre-loaded with a sack! You can control what side the robot starts on, whether it gets a pre-load, and enable the autonomous duration all from the main menu.
- Scoring is fully implemented in this new version.
- Earn normal points from sacks, bonus points from bonus sacks, and even more bonus points from the autonomous bonus and “parking” your robot before time runs out.
- A cool, new timer and scoreboard keeps track of the match in the top-left corner of the window. Compete with your classmates or teammates to see who can get the highest score before time runs out!
- Driver Control loads are also implemented once the autonomous period ends. Introduce them into the playing field by clicking on the green sack icons in the top-right corner.
- Ever wonder why your Ultrasonic sensor “sees” the values that it does? Enable the new Sensor View to see what’s triggering the Ultrasonic sensor and the heading of your compass.
- We’ve improved the robot-sack interaction on all of the robots.
- The lighting and contrast of the game have been enhanced, making it easier to grab and score the sacks.
- Lots of small tweaks and adjustments.
To view the original post for the VEX Sack Attack virtual world (complete with video), visit this link.
UPDATE: Version 1.2.2 of the Ring It Up virtual world is now available, which includes additional starting points and memory management improvements.
Support for the IR Seeker and IR Beacon
- As the title implies, the IR Seeker and IR Beacon are both emulated in this new version. From the robot selection screen, you can choose whether your want your robot to start with the Compass or IR Seeker.
- The IR Beacon is randomly placed along one of the three columns, just like the real game.
- We’ve even added a cool, new “Sensor View” mode so you can see how the robot is detecting the IR Seeker, Sonar, and Compass values.
- Additional sample programs for using the IR Seeker are also installed with the update, and can be downloaded here.
- Both Scissorbot and Gripperbot can be pre-loaded with a striped ring!
- You can control what side the robot starts on, the color of it’s pre-loaded ring, and enable the autonomous duration all from the main menu.
- Scoring is fully implemented in this new version.
- Concepts like the weighted rings, owning pegs, line score bonuses and corner goal bonuses are all simulated.
- Cool, new timer and scoreboard in the top-left corner of the window. Compete with your classmates or teammates to see who can get the highest score before time runs out!
- We’ve improved the lighting and contrast of the game, making it easier to grab and score the rings.
- Improved robot-to-ring interaction and control.
- Lots of small tweaks and adjustments.
To view the original post for the FTC Ring It Up virtual world (complete with video), visit this link.
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!