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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 The new “Automatically Update VEX Cortex” option will detect if your Cortex is out-of-date, and automatically download the latest version of the Master CPU and ROBOTC Firmware files if needed.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

Released: ROBOTC Driver Suite V2.4

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More 3rd party 3rd party drivers

Does a 3rd party 3rd party driver make it a 4th party? I’m not sure, you decide.  In any case, my good man Gus at HiTechnic has provided a very nice driver for the new HiTechnic Super Pro Board.  Thanks for that!

I also added a driver for the totally awesome Mindsensors Touch Panel sensor and their very versatile Sumo Eyes sensor.  Big thanks to Mindsensors for providing me with the sensors!  The Touch Panel driver still needs a bit of work; I need to add the ability to calibrate it and allow the gesture code.  I’ve made a start but I’m still trying to figure out exactly how they work.  I tried calibrating it once and that really messed it up.  A simple factory reset fixed it, of course, no permanent damage was done, just some mild panic on my side and me thinking I had killed my panel (I was not a happy camper, trust me!).  Deepak from Mindsensors had a quick fix which was actually in the docs, if I had bothered to read them a bit more carefully. Note to self: Read The Fine Manual!  Oh and don’t calibrate the panel, it’s really not necessary.  Trust me.

Changelog

* common.h: added better round() function
* DIMU-driver.h: fixed signed to unsigned conversion
* LEGOUS-driver.h: fixed boneheaded I2C address error
* Added MSSUMO-driver.h for Mindsensors SumoEyes sensor + test program
* Added MSTP-driver.h for Mindsensors TouchPanel sensor + test program
* Added HTSPB-driver.h: for HiTechnic Super Pro Board + tonnes of examples
* HTMAG-test1.c: cleared up some things in test program

Where can I download it?

You can get it at the usual place: [LINK].

[Original article]

Written by Xander Soldaat

December 8th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Posted in General News,NXT

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Released: 3rd Party ROBOTC Driver Suite V2.0b1

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After many, many months of stalling, I’ve finally got my act together and finished up 2.0 beta 1 of the Driver Suite. I’ve made a LOT of changes, mostly internal but I hope you like them.  Keep in mind that this is a first beta release, so I need all the feedback I can get.  My email address is in the header files, I am sure you’ll find it.

The biggest change is the way I am now handling the HiTechnic Sensor MUX.  Rather than having to scan the SMUX for attached sensors, the individual sensor driver configures the SMUX for its specific port. This makes it much easier to use.  In order to not have to compile the Sensor MUX code into your program if you don’t own one, I have made it mandatory to include a SMUX specific include file when you want to use it.  This in turn “unlocks” the SMUX specific functions in each driver that is supported by the SMUX.

I’ve also spent a LOT of time and effort to make the drivers leaner in terms of memory and numbers of functions. Some drivers were easier to trim than others. One of the ways I have done this is by removing all single value functions from drivers where it made sense.  An example of this is the HiTechnic and Mindsensors accelerometers.  You can no longer just fetch one axis, you have to get all three at once.

I cannot guarantee backwards compatibility with programs made to work with the 1.x driver suite, too many changes have been made.

I’ve decided to forego the individual changelogs in each driver and example file, it’s becoming too much work, so I am not going for just the one changelog for all the files.

  • Removed unnecessary common.h includes from examples
  • Changed arrays from structs to just typedefs, all drivers have been adjusted
  • Motor mux stuff split off from common.h
  • All SMUX supported drivers now use new SMUX mechanism
  • Modified common.h to separate SMUX functions from rest using defines
  • Removed ubyteToInt from all drivers and common.h
  • Test programs have had their sensor types reconfigured, you will need ROBOTC 2.26
  • HTSMUX-driver.h newly added, has all the new SMUX functions split from common.h
  • MMUX-common.h newly added, contains all the MMUX functions split from common.h
  • Added min/max functions for floats
  • light-common.h: newly added, adds RGBtoHSV conversion (thanks Mike Henning, Max Bareiss)
  • HTCS-driver.h/HTCS2-driver.h: added functions for HSV values
  • HTMC-driver.h: Improved relative heading algorithm 
  • Added DGPSreadTravHeading() to DGPS-driver.h and fixed commands
  • Removed single axis functions from HTAC-driver.h
  • Removed functions for single signal strength in HTIRS and HTIRS2.
  • Removed No Wait functions from EOPD driver
  • Removed HTIRL-NG, is now named HTIRL
  • Changed arguments from byte to ubyte in MSLL-driver.h
  • All applicable Mindsensors sensors now have an optional "address" argument that can be ommitted if using the default (thanks for the suggestion hedgepigdaniel)

The version of ROBOTC these drivers have been tested with the most is 2.26 beta. Other versions may work, but I haven’t checked. If you are having trouble with another version of ROBOTC and these drivers, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

You can download the beta 1 right here: [LINK].

Written by Xander Soldaat

April 27th, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Posted in General News,NXT

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Released: 3rd Party ROBOTC Driver Suite V1.7

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A new release of the Driver Suite has been uploaded to Source Forge.
Changes:

  • Added Dexter Industries GPS driver + test program
  • Added Mindsensors Numeric Pad + test program
  • Added new "driver" with statistical functions
  • Changed HTGYROstartCal in HTGYRO-driver.h to do more sampling for calibration data
  • HTRCXreadResp in HTRCX-driver.h now clears all of the response buffer
  • Made all calls in TMR-driver.h more robust when used in multiple threads.  No guarantee that this works.

Thank you’s:

  • Mindsensors for giving me one of their Numeric Keypad sensors
  • HiTechnic for giving me an Angle sensor
  • Dexter Industries for giving me a GPS sensor

You can download it from the usual spot: [LINK].

Written by Xander Soldaat

November 11th, 2010 at 9:58 am

Posted in General News

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