Archive for the ‘RVW’ tag
We will be hosting our final April Robot Virtual Worlds Google hangout tonight at 6pm EST! We will be discussing the competition environments in RVW. This will be your last chance to enter the ROBOTC annual license drawing and get your 15% off discount code for Robot Virtual Worlds! Join us at http://www.robotc.net/hangouts
If you missed any of that past hangouts, check them out here …
Week 1 – What is RVW?
Week 2 – Curriculum Companion
Week 3 – Level Builder with Model Importer
Week 4 – Gaming Environments
Week 5 – Competition Environments
We will be LIVE at 4pm EST today with our free Robot Virtual Worlds webinar! This is the second in a five part Google + Hangout series that will take place every Monday in the month of April. Today’s topic is how to use the Robot Virtual World’s Curriculum Companion.
If you can’t tune in at 4pm EST, we will update this post later in the day with the YouTube recording. If you are joining us live, make sure to send us your questions …
Check out future webinar dates below:
The Robot Virtual Worlds team has been developing a multiplayer game mode, and our group was lucky enough to get a sneak peak last week (and I made sure to record the event for you!)
Check out the video from the preview:
It will work with ROBOTC, have CS2N connectivity for achievements, private rooms so only the people you invite will be allowed in, structured chat rooms, and a lot more!! Look for it to be released at the end of the summer.
What do you think? What features would you like to see included in it?
We understand the challenges robotics classrooms face every day in terms of cost, number of robots, batteries, and homework. That is why we created Robot Virtual Worlds (RVW). With RVW, every student can experience the same benefits of learning robots, right on their computer. RVW currently simulates popular real-world VEX, LEGO, and TETRIX robots in a 3D environment; while using the same language, ROBOTC, to program both your virtual robot and your physical robot.
To help you get started and get a better understanding of what RVW can do, we are offering five FREE webinars on Google Hangout every Monday in April at 4pm EST with project manager, Jesse Flot, and some members of his team! We will show you a brief tutorial on the specific topic of the day then take a few questions from the Google Hangout chat or on twitter using hashtag #RVWHangout.
At each webinar, we will be giving out a discount code for Robomatter, the robotics education store, and a chance to win a one-year license for ROBOTC 3.6!!! To tune in live, follow Robomatter on Google+ or visit ROBOTC.net/hangouts the day of the event (you will need a google+ account or twitter account to submit questions.)
Listed below are the specific dates with topics that we will be covering …
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
More great news for Robot Virtual World users! Operation Reset version 1.5.2 is available and includes some fixes and great new features. The most notable of the new features is what we’re calling the Measurement Toolkit.
Research conducted with the Robot Virtual Worlds (RVW) has shown that it is actually a more efficient tool for teaching how to program than real robots. RVW allows you to learn how to program with motors and sensors, but without the wasted time of charging batteries, resetting the robot, repairing damaged parts, and so on. That said, one limitation of the Virtual Worlds has been that you couldn’t just place a tape measure and protractor in the world like you could with a real robot… until now. The Measurement Toolkit takes all of the guess-and-checking out of using the Virtual Worlds, and more importantly, allows them to be used as extremely valuable tools for teaching and reinforcing crucial math concepts like proportionality.
The Measurement Toolkit consists of 3 new buttons, placed along the right side of the Operation Reset interface:
- SHOW The SHOW button turns the Measurement Toolkit on or off. When turned on, it will display the distance and angle to “key objects” in range of the robot. For Operation Reset, this means objects like the Charge Cubes (see below), Fuel Barrels and Crystals. Turning the Measurement Toolkit on also creates a line coming out of the robot that shows its heading (the red line below), and enables you to ADD your own “key point markers” in the world.
- ADD The ADD button lets you to place your own “key point markers” (see below) in the world, allowing you to find key distances and angles for your robot to traverse. Once the Measurement Toolkit is turned on, you must also click the ADD button to enable it. Once you do, simply click on the spot in the world where you would like a marker to be created and one will appear, along with the distance and angle from the robot (see below). Up to three sequential markers can be created by clicking on multiple spots in the world, allowing you to do some intelligent path planning. When your robot drives into one of the key point markers it is removed, and the next key point updates to show it’s distance and angle directly from the robot. If you’re unhappy with any of the points that you create, you can right-click with your mouse, and the last point you created will be removed.
- CLEAR The CLEAR button removes all of the markers that you’ve created in the world. It is only enabled if you have created your own key point markers.
The Measurement Toolkit will change how you use Robot Virtual Worlds and enable new possibilities whether you’re using them in the classroom, for fun at home, or to help prepare for a robotics competition. We’ve already included it in Palm Island: Luau Edition, and will be updating our existing worlds to include it. We’re also producing some video materials that show step-by-step how to use the new functionality, so be on the lookout for those in the coming weeks.
As always, we appreciate any feedback you have about the Robot Virtual Worlds, Operation Reset, and the Measurement Toolkit. Please share it on our Facebook page, here on the blog, or the ROBOTC.net forums.
- Jesse Flot
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.
The Robot Virtual World team has a fresh round of updates available for you. We’ve listened to your feedback and have made some changes to our Curriculum Companion, Sack Attack, and Ring It Up virtual worlds. Read on for more details!
What’s new in the Curriculum Companion 2.2.4:
- Adjusted the NXT – Obstacle Course table to more closely meet the level specifications
- Adjusted the VEX – Robo Slalom 2 table to give more room between the lines and obstacles
- Adjusted the Camera 2 View of the VEX – Minefield Retrieval Challenge
What’s new in VEX Sack Attack 1.5.1:
- Resolved a bug where motor values were being overwritten
What’s new in Ring It Up 1.5.1:
- Resolved a bug where motor values were being overwritten
- Adjusted robot models to drive straighter
- Adjusted sensor and encoder behavior
- Improved the gripper-ring interaction behavior
Thanks again for the feedback, and keep it coming. You can post it to the Robot Virtual Worlds section of the ROBOTC Forums.