Archive for the ‘Beta’ tag
The ROBOTC Development Team is happy to announce the first beta version of ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.X!! This version (4.03 Beta) support both the VEX Cortex and VEX IQ platforms in the same programming environment. This 4.03 Beta version can be installed along side of your existing ROBOTC 3.x installation. Download ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.03 Beta today!
This beta version includes ROBOTC’s Natural Language 2.0 for the VEX IQ platform. Programming robots has never been easier than the new and improved Natural Language 2.0. Learn more about Natural Language and download our new documentation at http://www.vexteacher.com (Note: the VEX Cortex will continue using Natural Language 1.0 to maintain backwards compatibility.)
Important Note: All users will have a 30-day free trial period with ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.03 Beta – we will be opening up the order processing for upgrades and new ROBOTC 4.x licenses within in the next few weeks.
Here’s a few notes before you get started with the new build with VEX IQ:
- Make sure you use the VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility and update your VEX IQ Brain to version 1.07 or later – this is required to use the new 4.03 Beta Version of ROBOTC for VEX Robotics
- If you are using the VEX IQ Color Sensor, there is a new firmware version available for it as well. Upgrade the IQ Brain to version 1.07, then connect your VEX IQ Color Sensor and use the “Update” button.
- Inside of ROBOTC, you’ll want to download the latest ROBOTC firmware (version 10.03) to your VEX IQ. Use the “Robot -> Download Firmware” option to download this new firmware onto the VEX IQ Brain.
Here’s a few notes before you get started with the new build with VEX Cortex:
- There is new ROBOTC firmware for the VEX Cortex system. Use the “Robot -> Download Firmware” option to download this new firmware onto the VEX Cortex microcontroller.
- The default platform when starting ROBOTC for VEX Robotics for the first time is now VEX IQ. Cortex users can switch the platform back to Cortex mode by using “Robot Menu -> Platform Type”
- The VEX Cortex Master Firmware and VEX Cortex Joystick Firmware are still the same from ROBOTC 3.62.
After the firmware(s) has been updated, your VEX Robotics systems should be good to go! Take a look below for the basic change log and let us know if you have any questions/concerns, or if you run into any issues. A more comprehensive change log will be coming in the near future!
4.03 Beta Change Log:
- Updated RBC Macro Files to support VEX IQ
- Fully updated CHM documentation to support VEX Cortex and VEX IQ changes
- Full support for VEX Cortex 269 and 393 Integrated Motor Encoders (IME) with PID and “move to target” functionality and motor ramping for smoother movements.Added new commands for VEX Cortex IME-based movements. Commands are similar to VEX IQ implementation.
- VEX PID Overview: http://www.robotc.net/wiki/VEX_PID_Control
- VEX Integrated Motor Encoder Functions: http://www.robotc.net/wiki/VEX_PID_Control_Functions
- Updated numerous commands to remove capital letters at the beginning of function names for consistently – older programs may generate warning messages, but will still work.
- Support for the “%f” (float) formatting code for the VEX IQ LCD Display.
- Encoders were being reset when program was stopped by the user, but not at the start of a new program. This has been updated so encoder reset occurs when program is started or terminated by the user (encoders are not reset when the program is suspended, only terminated).
- Fixed issue with “Software Inspection” dialog overwriting the “last firmware downloaded filename.
- (VEX IQ) Preserve “auto ID” sensor types for using sensors not defined in motors and sensors setup. Don’t allow overwrite with “sensorsNone”.
- Numerous other small bug fixes and enhancements (in depth change log coming soon!).
The ROBOTC team is happy to announce the ROBOTC 3.59.0 BETA release. We’ve made a number of enhancements and repaired a number of user issues. Some of the major updates are:
- Added support for proxy server when activating ROBOTC.
- Add watchdog timer support to VEX Cortex to alleviate processor crashes that can occur with static.
- Fixed a bug in the NXT color sensor that now allows you to read individual RGB values.
- Updated with the latest version of the 3rd party sensor drivers for NXT. (Thanks Xander!)
See below for the more detailed changelog. You can download ROBOTC 3.59.0 here!
3.54 to 3.59 BETA Changelog
- Add watchdog timer support to VEX Cortex. This will allow the VEX Cortex User Processor to “restart” automatically once the processor crashes/is halted. Useful for any potential static issue that may cause the User Processor to “crash”.
- Change watchdog implementation from “windowed” watchdog to standard watchdog (no window, reset any time). Increase watchdog timeout to 0.75 seconds.
- In Debugger Motors display the last motor was not always properly updated. Fixed.
- Enable emulator for VEX PIC. Fix subsequent bug with “Motors” debugger display for VEX PIC locking up IDE when emulator is enabled; this bug should be limited to VEX PIC Emulator only.
- VEX PIC downloading was failing when master firmware was out of date. Getting stuck in a repetitive loop that wasn’t exiting. Fixed.
- VEX PIC was not executing user programs. Bug was that “start of flash file system VTOC” needed to be aligned on 4-byte boundary. Previous change had added a 1-byte field to the header preamble and there was not a corresponding 3-byte file added for VEX PIC. ARM platforms worked OK. This may also have broken Arduino (i.e. any 8-bit) platform).
- Added a Conditional Compile flag for tUARTs to avoid confusion between uartOne and UART1
- There are two separate flags for “allow any serial port for communications” — one for VEX Cortex and one for all other platforms. This was not obvious. Preferences “Environment” tab was only updating flag for non-Cortex; this has been changed to update the appropriate flag based on platform setting. The VEX Cortex flag can also be updated in the “VEX Cortex” tab.
- User configurable UART setup was screwed up for the platforms whose “uart 0″ is fixed as non-configurable and usable only for system communications port to PC — i.e. VEX Cortex, VEX PIC. The ROBOTC IDE was storing the data in the persistent data table (at start of flash file system) offset by one entry. I.E. data for “uart 1″ on VEX Cortex was stored in “uart 2″, etc.
- NXT color sensor read RGB individual values broken with pointer implementation. Change “getMemoryParmXXX” function calls to “getCommonParamaterValueXXX” function calls. Check rest of firmware for same mistake.
- New feature for 3rd Party Sensor Driver Suite to set the two digital I/O lines on NXT sensors. Added two new sensor types (sensorCustom, sensorCustom9V) for this along with two new property intrinsic variables to set I/O line direction and values; these intrinsic variables are bit masks (2-bits) for the two lines.
- “setPixel” intrinsic (and corresponding “clearPixel” and “invertPixel”) take “unsigned” parameters. But implementation was using “signed” parameters and not properly range checking if parameters were negative. If negative, then should do nothing. Instead they were incorrectly wring to invalid buffer address which eventually caused a firmware crash.
- Fix issue for “Motors” tab for Arduino in “Motors and Sensors Setup” property sheet. Was incorrectly trying to setup “encoder information for motor”, but Arduino platform does not “associate encoder sensor with motor” — which is currently only a feature for VEX Cortex.
- Added Support for Proxy Server when activating ROBOTC – Users can set Proxy preferences under “Detailed Preferences – General – Environment”.
- Incorrect generation of compiler error message when double pointer (i.e. “**”) is used.
- “Print” a range of pages was not working when the starting page was not ’1′. Fixed.
- Remove incorrect error message from error “Assignment between two different pointer types” when one side of ‘=’ is a ‘void *’.
- Compiler was incorrectly generating error message for “Expected a pointer expression in a pointer expression with ‘++’ or ‘-+’ operand. Compiler was incorrectly checking to verify the right operand was an integer value.
- Compiler was incorrectly generating error message for “Invalid pointer expression” in a pointer expression with ‘+’ or ‘-’ operand. One operand of the expression must be a pointer and the other operand must be an integer (without implied conversion of a pointer to an integer). Compiler was incorrectly checking for the integer — the expression incorrectly had a “!” in it!
- Change code generation of ‘var arg’ for pointers to be consistent with standard C — i.e. the value of the pointer is placed in the argument. This may result in an additional instruction generated when argument is a ‘string’; previously RobotC got too cute trying to save this extra instruction which only worked for “%s” format codes but was broken for “%d” on a pointer.
- In ‘sprintf” implementation for “%s” and “%p” format codes– change from “get Address of parameter” to”get value of parameter” to match corresponding change in compiler code. Also minor cleanup of “%s” and “%p” format codes.
- Assignment expressions of “<char * variable> = <char constant> were generating compiler error because the “<char constant>” was evaluated as a “string” type. Added code in “get expression type” to check for this and not generate error as the compiler auto converts “string” to “char *” during code generation.
- Fixes an issue with the Live Start Page and “check for updates” that may have caused crashes.
- Improved validation of pointer expressions. Fix bug in calculating expression type of pointer expressions like “<ptr sub-expression> + <numeric constant>”; the result was (always?) incorrectly set as “long *”? Also added check that “=” of pointer is from a pointer of the same type – otherwise generate error message.
- Fixed consistency in implementation of “random” intrinsic property.
- Eliminate compiler error message in constant expression evaluation of sub-expressions using “*” operator. If either of the two operands is ‘zero’ then result is zero regardless of whether the other operand is a compile time constant.
- Do not generate additional errors — “too many parameters” specified — when procedure is “compiler generated undefined symbol”.
- When switch between “real robots” and “emulator”, the function that calculates “size of RAM pointer variable” was not being called. It adjusts between 2-byte (VEX PIC, Arduino) and 4-byte (Emulator, VEX Cortex, NXT) pointer sizes. No issue with VEX Cortex and NXT as they only use 4-byte pointers. But a problem with VEX PIC and Arduino where real robots use 2-byte RAM pointers! Added the appropriate call to function setup.
- Small code optimization for “postfix –”/postfix ++” operators to avoid temporary. In some cases they can be simplified to prefix operands.
- Incorrect initialization of static variables in “inner scope” for local procedure. They were initialized every time inner scope block was accessed rather than once on program startup.
- Debugger Panes for “Locals” and “Globals” (especially Globals) was not properly handling updates to ‘long’ and ‘float’ variables. Globals was completely broke — only lower two bytes of 4-byte variables was being updated which broke ‘long’ and ‘float’ variables. In both, ‘char’ variables were updating a short value — i.e. overwriting following characters.
- Fix problem with incorrect user code using a “short” variable and “sprintf” format code of “%f”. This can crash ROBOTC VM firmware if the short variable is not aligned on a 32-bit boundary.
- Add additional entries for StringFind for Character Constants and added test program.
- Redefine datalog opcodes and intrinsics. Legacy datalog incompatible with 3.5x VM operands which split memory variables and intrinsic properties into separate items.
- Firmware for all platforms now call “datalogHandlerInit()”. Conditional compile will define as NULL macro if a platform does not support Datalog. Datalog support is now conditionally compiled via “bHasDatalog” define rather than hard-coded as NXT only.
- Fix incorrect compiler type checking error when string constant is assigned to a char pointer.
- Fix bug in check for “is this a preprocessor string comparison expression”.
- Eliminate preprocessor string comparisons in Natural Language and replace with “defined(_Target_XXX_) where “_Target_XXX_” are three new system defined preprocessor variables — “_target_Robot_”, “_Target_Emulator_” and “Target_VirtWorld_”. Sample programs modified appropriately. Legacy user programs using legacy definitions will still work but will generate a compiler warning about non-standard extension.
- Add registry flag to enable compiler extension to allow preprocessor expressions support for string comparisons. Generate compiler error message if encountered without the flag being set.
- “cast” code generation fix. Previously when cast changed sign of result the ‘cast’ was applied before expression was converted to ‘int’ size used during a calculation. So casting a “ubyte” to “int” incorrectly converted it to a “signed char”. What should happen is “ubyte” expression gets evaluated into an “int” as part of expression evaluation (all expressions are evaluated at ‘int’ (or higher) level in “C”) and then the cast to “int” has no additional effect.
- Function to extract numeric “COMxxx”. Expanded syntax to support successful parsing of “(COM99)” previously would not accept extraneous characters.
- Add improved Dialog for selecting Communications Port. It uses a list box to display information about the port. Add check box to select any communications port.
- Compiler crash when parsing invalid syntax of ‘?’ expression. Compiler was not handling the case when “NULL” pointer returned from parsing sub-expression. The “NULL” was incorrect.