Archive for the ‘Level Builder’ tag
The robot marathon has started! As the large autonomous vehicle drives down the empty street, it decides when and where to turn. The bot navigates through the streets, using the dashed lines as guides. There are a lot of potential wrong turns that it avoids as it rolls by houses and picnic tables. Eventually, it drives under the banner at the finish line much to the programmer’s delight.
Did this happen in your town? Maybe! In fact it might be happening in your town right now because it’s not a physical robot – but a virtual robot driving through a virtual town!
This is a game level created by Robotics Academy high school intern, Eddie, for the Beacons and Barriers level design competition. Eddie used Autodesk Inventor to create some of the models and imported them into the Robot Virtual Worlds Level Builder.
The competition asks participants to create a level for RVW Level Builder, including Checkpoints and obstacles, through which players will navigate a robot. In addition, participants must write instructions for the level.
How He Created the Level
Eddie used the design process discussed in the Computer Science Student Network’s (CS2N) course for level design called Create Your Own Level with RVW Level Builder.
This process starts with brainstorming and research. He jotted his notes on a piece of paper. You’ll notice in the image that the drawings are not perfect, that some things were crossed out. That’s perfectly fine – in fact – that’s what you want to do.
The process of jotting your ideas on paper allows you to see ideas. If they aren’t good or they won’t work like you thought they might, then you can modify them or come up with ones that will work. Notice how Eddie crossed out the first drawing with the curved road? He realized that roads might be easier to construct if they were straight.
Eddie then mapped out his level – showing the start tile, finish tile, checkpoints, and obstacles (in this case: grass). He then drew how the tiles should look. Afterward, he modeled the tiles using Autodesk Inventor. The Inventor Tutorials course on CS2N was helpful in showing him, step by step, how to create an object, export it and then import it into RVW Level Builder.
Once he made his level, Eddie tested it and wrote down ideas for ways to test it. He then gave the level to a peer to test. The test results proved that the level worked well and wasn’t too hard.
For the last phase, Eddie wrote the instructions for the level, zipped the level and the instructions into the same folder and submitted it to the competition.
How You Can Create Your Own Level
This was Eddie’s first time using the RVW Level Builder and he has had limited experience using Autodesk Inventor. He learned how to use these programs by enrolling in free courses at www.cs2n.org. You can too! And since they are online, you can learn at your own pace
Check out the courses:
Introduction to Inventor – Learn the basics of Inventor.
Create Your Own Level with RVW Level Builder – From ideation to product release, learn how to create levels using the RVW Level Builder.
Inventor Tutorials – Step by step instructions on creating an object in inventor and importing it into RVW Level Builder.
Once your level is complete, upload it to one of our level design competitions on CS2N.
We are happy to share a brand new Computer Science Student Network (CS2N) course called Inventor Tutorials. This tutorial will show you step-by-step how to create a plate of spikes in Autodesk Inventor and import that object for use in the Robot Virtual Worlds Level Builder.
Autodesk Inventor is a robust tool used primarily to make 3D Models of mechanical parts and virtually assemble those models to make complicated objects. In addition, Inventor allows users to easily create technical drawings of parts for machine shops and instructions.
The RVW Level Builder is a tool included in Robot Virtual Worlds that allows you to create custom levels and challenges. The tool provides an empty virtual table accompanied with a library of various types of 3D models to construct the level. In addition, the tool allows you to create way points, objects and hazards. You can even import your own 3D models!
Sign up for CS2N and enroll in the course today at – Inventor Tutorials!
We are happy to announce a new course on CS2N, Create Your Own Level with RVW Level Builder. In this new course, you will go through the steps of making your own custom level in Robot Virtual Worlds‘ Level Builder!
The class is structured on a 5-phase version of the engineering process (Concept, Design, Production, Testing, Release). In each phase, you will take a further step towards completing your level, either through planning, creating, or testing your level.
Level Builder enables users to easily create levels and challenges for others to solve. Teachers can create custom challenges for their classrooms or generate unique challenges for each student. Multiple real and fantasy themed robots and objects are available for use. You can also import your own objects with the 3D Model Importer. Your level plays like any other virtual world. You can access all of the motors and sensors on the virtual robot to solve the challenge using ROBOTC code.
Sign up for CS2N and this FREE course today - Create Your Own Level with RVW Level Builder. And don’t forget we have a Level Builder competition going on until August 31, 2013, Beacons and Barriers, with a chance to win some great prizes!!
We are very happy to announce the official prizes for the Robotics Summer of Learning competitions! We will be giving away VEX IQ and NXT Kits; ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Worlds licenses; and two $1000 scholarships. There will be three competitions eligible for prizes: CS2N VEX Toss Up Challenge, CS2N FTC “Ring It Up!” Challenge, and Robot Virtual Worlds Beacons and Barriers.
Each competition will be broken up into three divisions. Each player is eligible for only one prize per competition. The official rules are listed on the official Robotics Summer of Learning page.
Competitions are open now, so sign up today!
- Middle School Division – 6th to 8th Grade (for the 2013-2014 School Year)
- High School Division - 9th to 12th Grade (for the 2013-2014 School Year)
- Open Division - Teachers, Mentors, Coaches, Educators, Hobbyists, Everyone!
The official rules are listed on the official Robotics Summer of Learning page.
Start programming today for your chance at these awesome prizes!
Robot designed by Drew Ellis from The Noun Project and the Trophy is from The Noun Project.
Get ready to create all new levels in the Robot Virtual Worlds’ Level Builder! Sign up for Beacons and Barriers, the Robotics Summer of Learning level design competition.
Beacons and Barriers is a design competition primarily intended for kids aged 12-18, but open to all, that is focused on creating fun and challenging levels using the Robot Virtual Worlds’ (RVW) Level Builder and Model Importer. In addition, the participants will write a succinct and easy to read set of instructions for completing the level. The competition is hosted online at the Computer Science Student Network (CS2N).
This competition offers a unique opportunity for students to create levels and get feedback from their peers. They will also give feedback on their peers’ work. Everyone learns not only how to evaluate projects logically, but also how to effectively communicate their assessment.
Entries will be judged based upon their difficulty, uniqueness, length, and fun factor. Their instructions will be judged on their ease of comprehension and grammatical correctness. The project’s final score for the competition will be based on the scores given by their peer reviewers.
There will be three divisions for this competition: Middle School, High School, and Open. The top five in each division will win the prizes listed below. Students in Middle School and High School who place in the top five will need to submit verification from their school about the grade they will be entering in for the 2013-2014 school year. The top entries from the competition will also be highlighted in a blog post after the competition, and the 1st place level will be posted on future CS2N Level building competitions as a benchmark for success.
Registration for the Beacons and Barriers level building challenge is available now, and is open to all members of the CS2N community.
Registering is easy:
1. Visit the Beacons and Barriers Main Page
2. Login to your account or register for CS2N.
3. Click on the box under “Step 1: Register.”
The final level file and instructions are due by August 31st, 2013. Don’t forget to look at the rubric that your level and instructions will be evaluated on. The files must be submitted in a zipped folder containing the .rvl file for your level and either a .pdf, .rtf, or .txt file that contains your instructions.
If you have any questions, whether it is about the RVW level editor, the competition, or how to do things like zip files, create pdfs, and so on, send your question to CS2N through “Contact Us”
We’ll do our best to respond to your question as soon as possible.
Remember: The competition does not end with the submission of files. Participants must grade and give feedback on other projects during the first two weeks of September (September 1st until September 14th, 2013). Each participant will have 5 other projects that they must review and give feedback. Participants will not be able to win prizes if they do not complete their evaluations. After the evaluation period ends, participants may choose to give their evaluators feedback on how useful their evaluation was.
The final winners of the competition will be announced on October 1st, 2013
We designed the RVW Model Importer so students and teachers can expand upon the learning already going on in their classrooms. We released the first version with support for importing Stereolithography format (.STL) files because these allowed models to be made using the engineering industry-standard Autodesk Inventor and Solidworks solid modeling software packages already used in many classrooms. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a universally-supported format for 3D models, so, while we hope to release support for more formats in the future, we knew we were excluding some powerful and easy to use tools.
One of these was SketchUp, an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program originally created by Google and now developed by Trimble. (We like it enough that we even made a set of introductory tutorials.) Thus, we were happy to discover there’s now a plugin for SketchUp that allows models to be exported as STL files. Here’s a set of instructions to get you started. These were developed using SketchUp 8, but should work as well using newer versions.
- Make sure you are logged in on your computer as a user account with Administrator privileges.
- If you don’t already have it installed, download and install SketchUp. You can get started learning how to model either using our tutorials on CS2N or the Getting Started guide developed by Trimble.
- Download the plugin file from https://github.com/SketchUp/sketchup-stl/raw/master/sketchup-stl-1.0.0.rbz.
- Open SketchUp, then open the Window menu and choose Preferences, then select the Extensions page.
- Click the Install Extension button and select the plugin file you downloaded in step 2.
- A popup window will appear asking you to confirm that you want to install the extension. Click Yes.
- If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you may need to allow SketchUp to make changes to your system when prompted.
- Click OK in the popup telling you the plugin has been installed. Confirm that the checkbox next to the STL Import/Export plugin is checked, then click OK to close the preferences window.
If you’re looking for models to experiment, look no further than SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse: open the File menu, then 3D Warehouse, and select Get Models.
To export a model as an STL file in SketchUp:
- Activate the Select tool by clicking the pointer icon on the toolbar or by opening the Tools menu and clicking Select.
- Click on the model in the scene you want to export. A blue box will appear around it.
- Open the File menu and choose Export STL.
- Name the exported file and click Save.
- A popup will appear telling you how many faces and lines have been exported. This lets you know that the export process has finished.
You now have an STL file you can use with the RVW Model Importer. Check out the Model Importer overview video for directions:
At this time, there is a limit to the complexity of models that RVW can use. If when importing you get a message that says “Mesh could not be reduced enough to be compatible with RVW,” you’ll have to make a simpler version.
Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know we are changing the time for today’s Google Hangout webinar to 6pm EST. We will be talking about the Robot Virtual Worlds’ Level Builder and Model Importer! We hope you’re able to attend and join in on the discussion! Visit http://ROBOTC.net/hangouts to join us and watch the live video stream.
Thank you to everyone who downloaded the new RVW Level Builder and provided feedback! We’ve released version 2.01 of the software, which addresses the issues some of you were seeing. It can be downloaded here, under Available Level Packs.
If you haven’t tried out the Level Builder, you definitely should. It allows you to create your own challenges to solve and share with others. (More detail can be found here, in the original blog post) The latest version even includes the Model Importer, which allows you to use your own 3D objects that were created in Autodesk Inventor and SolidWorks:
Here are the major fixes in this release:
- Fixed some large models getting distorted on import
- Auto-generated collider can now be edited
- Added error reporting readout to Model Importer to improve debugging
- Fixed crash conditions when model library is empty
- Removed scale reference from generated model thumbnails
- STL importer better handles small differences in ASCII STL file formats
Thanks again to everyone who provided feedback!
- 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
We’ve just produced an exciting video that shows off the new RVW Level Builder! Check it out to see how easy it is to get started with the powerful new software.
Download the initial version of the software, here. For more information on the Level Builder, visit this page.