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VEX IQ Virtual Challenge – Beltway!

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We are excited to announce our brand new programming game, Beltway, just in time for the kickoff of the VEX IQ Virtual Challenge!

beltway medium

In Beltway, you will program your VEX IQ robot to autonomously score as many cubes as possible during the 2 minute period. The standard Highrise game has been augmented with a conveyor belt around the perimeter and several other game play elements. Click here for a more extensive list of the new rules and game play. Beltway is available in the latest update to the VEX IQ Highrise Robot Virtual World download.

Check out this video of one of the new Virtual VEX IQ models, Clampbot, scoring in Beltway:

We include sample code to help you get started when you install the Robot Virtual World. You can locate it in ROBOTC by going to File > Open Sample Program, and choosing the Highrise folder. Get started today, and keep submitting your high scores and code to CS2N!

Check out our previous post on the VEX IQ Virtual Challenge, here.

Written by Jesse Flot

November 14th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Student Receives First ROBOTC Student Certification

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We are proud to announce that Landon Woollard from Shasta High School in Redding, CA is the first student to finish the CS2N ROBOTC student certification!

Students Robot

Mr. Brian Grigsby teaches the 2-hour per day, 5 days per week Career Technical Education Space, Science, and Engineering class at Shasta High School.  Mr. Grigsby states, “[In this class,] we combine engineering principles with the VEX system with science exploration through NASA data programs (like the Mars Exploration Student Data Teams and the Student Planetary Investigator program) to emphasize how STEM related disciplines work together in our world.” As part of the curriculum he has incorporated CS2N.org and the ROBOTC certification, along with the physical part of building and programming.  Students taking the class get lab science and elective credit for the University of California A-G requirements. The class also satisfies their computer proficiency for graduation.

Mr. Grigsby and Landon were nice enough to answer some questions for us…

Students Computer

What ways has the ROBOTC certification program and CS2N helped you reach your teaching goals?

Mr. Grigsby: It has allowed me to have another measure of student understanding and assessment to my course.  By including ROBOTC certification, I am able to know how much the students truly understand about programming and where they need extra help.

Can you explain how students have responded to CS2N and the curriculum?

Mr. Grigsby: The students had been trained in the area of building and testing physical robots, so adding CS2N into the mix gives students another outlet to experience programming.  They can also design programs and test them on the virtual robots before they test it on their physical robot.  If there are any problems with motors, encoders, or other parts to the robot that are causing problems with their programming, they can go to CS2N and the Robot Virtual Worlds to make sure their programming is solid.  Then they can troubleshoot their physical robot, and learn how to better engineer what they have built.

Landon Grades

What is your favorite part of ROBOTC?

Landon: My favorite part of the ROBOTC course was the creativity required. The creative freedom allowing the accomplishment of various tasks is something that isn’t found in very many classrooms today, and really made it fun and challenging.

What did you find to be the most challenging part of learning ROBOTC?

Landon: What I found to be the most difficult part in learning this language was my previous coding knowledge in Java. I frequently found myself trying to implement many Java keywords into my ROBOTC code and trying to use methods from the

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Java API, which the compiler didn’t like.

What does it mean to have a ROBOTC Certification?

Landon: To me, the ROBOTC Certification means better opportunities. As a student who wishes to study computer science and software design in college, this class and certification course was an excellent opportunity to further expose myself to the coding aspects of computers. Also, having a physical documentation to show to college admissions will set me apart from every other student, hopefully increasing my chances of acceptance.

Landon’s classmate, Marisa Kuntz, was the first female to finish the certification a few weeks later. We want to congratulate Landon and Marisa, as well as Mr. Grigsby!

All Three

To find out more about the ROBOTC student certification, visit:

ROBOTC MINDSTORMS Robotics Certification

ROBOTC VEX Robotics Certification

Note: This is one of the first schools to work through our ROBOTC certification. We are slowly rolling this out to all teachers and students, through CS2N, in the very near future. Check back for more details in the next few months!

Introducing Palm Island: Luau Edition!

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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):
 

Palm-Island-1.0-vs-2.0
 

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:

 


 

As players make progress, they’ll earn badges in the game, which can also be tied to a CS2N.org (Computer Science Student Network) account (click here to create your free account).

Achievements2-Copy
 
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.

Written by Jesse Flot

March 4th, 2013 at 4:38 pm