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FTC Cascade Effect Virtual World Available!

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Hot on the heels of the official game unveiling, the ROBOTC and Robot Virtual World team is proud to announce the availability of the new FTC Cascade Effect virtual world! Check out the rules for the new game here.

ftc game
Like past FTC Robot Virtual Worlds, the game elements, scoring, autonomous period, and tele-operated period are all simulated. We also provide three different robot models that can interact with this year’s game objects.

Conveyorbot
Conveyorbot is capable of picking up 4 balls at a time, and dropping them into the movable tube goals. The 4 balls can be any combination of the small golf balls or larger wiffle balls.

conveyorbot

Scissorbot
Scissorbot can pick up any of this year’s game objects: the larger wiffle balls, smaller golf balls, and the movable tube goals. It’s gripper can extend high into the air, allowing it to also drop the balls into any of the goals!

scissorbot

Gripperbot
Gripperbot can also pick up all of this year’s game objects: the larger wiffle balls, smaller golf balls, and the movable tube goals. Its streamlined design and low center of gravity allow it to quickly score balls and move tubes across the playing field.

gripperbot

All robots this year have been upgraded with “ball guards” around their chassis and wheels, which will help them to traverse the field once it has been covered in balls. They can also be equipped with either a Gyro sensor for precise turns, even if the robot slips, or an IR Receiver for tracking the center goal! Click here to download some sample code we’ve written to help you get started with all of the robots.

sensors ir

Download and try out the game today. If you are using ROBOTC 4, make sure that your Platform Type is set to LEGO Mindstorms NXT, and that you have “External Motor/Servo Controllers” enabled.

We appreciate any feedback you have! Please feel free to share it at the ROBOTC.net forums. Also, be on the lookout for future updates on our blog. We will be releasing a game video, along with an update that includes additional features along with robot-to-game object interaction tweaks.

VEX IQ HighRise for Robot Virtual World!

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HighriseWebBG

The ROBOTC and Robot Virtual World teams are thrilled to announce the availability of our newest virtual world: VEX IQ Highrise! Like previous simulations of the VEX competitions, this virtual world includes a fully programmable robot, the correctly scaled field, game objects, and score and timer tracking. It’s absolutely perfect for teams who want to do strategic planning and learn how to program.

Just like the official 2014-2015 VEX IQ competition, the object of the game is to attain the highest possible score by Scoring Cubes in the Scoring Zone and by building Highrises of Cubes of the same color on the Highrise Bases. Each Cube Scored in the Scoring Zone is worth a point value equal to the Highrise Height of the same color as the Cube. That is, if a team builds a Highrise of 3 red Scoring Cubes on the Highrise Base, a red cube in the Scoring Zone is worth 3 points.

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Check out our latest video highlighting the game:
 


 
The download for the VEX Highrise virtual world, along with additional helpful information can be found at RobotVirtualWorlds.com/VEXIQ.
 
Robomatter Blog Ad VEX RVW

Written by Cara Friez

July 10th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Announcing VEX Skyrise Robot Virtual World!

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The ROBOTC and Robot Virtual World team are thrilled to announce their latest virtual world: VEX Skyrise! The VEX Skyrise virtual world simulates the brand new VEX Robotics Competition, announced today at VEX Worlds, for the 2014-2015 season. Like previous simulations of the competitions, this virtual world includes multiple fully programmable robots, the correctly scaled field and game objects, and score and timer tracking. It’s absolutely perfect for teams who want to do strategic planning and learn how to program. Check out video of the new game here!

VEX Skyrise

VEX Skyrise features very high scoring goals this year. To account for this, we’ve added a brand new robot: RVW VEX Scissorbot. Scissorbot can pick the cube game objects off of the ground and quickly score them in the highest goals. It is fully programmable with motors, encoders, a gyro sensor, sonar sensor, potentiometer, and line tracking sensors.

Scizzorbot

We’ve also adapted our RVW VEX Scooperbot model with a gripper and linear slides, allowing it to grab game objects from the floor, extend its arms, and drop them onto the goals. We’ve dubbed this version RVW VEX Fantasticbot. It also features a full set of motors and sensors, making it fully programmable.

Clawbot

The download for the VEX Skyrise virtual world, along with additional helpful information can be found at RobotVirtualWorlds.com. To help you get started, sample code is included with the world, but also can be downloaded here:  RVW VEX Skyrise Sample Code

Good luck to all of the VEX teams at Worlds during the final day of the competition. We look forward to another great season!

 

Robomatter Blog Ad VEX RVW

Written by Jesse Flot

April 26th, 2014 at 12:53 am

Updates for Ruins of Atlantis AND Expedition Atlantis Virtual Worlds!

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The Robot Virtual World team is happy to announce not one, but two early presents for you this years! Get ready for some deep sea robot programming, because we’ve updated both the Ruins of Atlantis and Expedition Atlantis virtual worlds.

Ruins of Atlantis
Robots to the Rescue: Ruins of Atlantis is our underwater programming game. This update brings it up to speed with all of the latest RVW technology, including CS2N Achievements, the Measurement Toolkit, Quality Controls, and more. The audio and visuals of the game have also undergone a major overhaul – check out the slideshow to see just how beautiful the world is!

Ruins of Atlantis can be downloaded from RobotVirtualWorlds.com or CS2N.org. Be sure to create and use a CS2N account to keep track of your achievements and game progress.

Expedition Atlantis
Expedition Atlantis is our brand new underwater math game, designed to teach and reinforce concepts like proportional reasoning. We are currently in the process of collecting and implementing feedback on the game. This update extends the trial period of the game through July 2014!

Atlantis Beta 2

Expedition Atlantis can also be downloaded from RobotVirtualWorlds.com or CS2N.org. Any feedback you have regarding the game is highly appreciated! Please share your feedback in this short survey.

Written by Jesse Flot

December 18th, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Expedition Atlantis Beta 3 Now Available!

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We’re happy to announce a big update to the Expedition Atlantis game. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback for the previous versions – keep it coming!

One new feature that we think you’ll appreciate is the ability to create a certificate of the badges that you’ve earned, if you’ve been playing with a CS2N or Local account. It’s a great way to share the progress you’ve made in the game!

Atlantis Certificate

Here are some of the other major features and fixes we’ve made based on your feedback:

  • Fixed a bug where sometimes the game would freeze after upgrading to Helios II in Poseidon’s Courtyard
  • Improved the visibility of the distance and angle values throughout the game, especially in the Heart of Atlantis
  • Fixed a bug where the game could crash in VR Training Mode
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the game to freeze in the Underwater Base when playing in Custom Difficulty
  • Addressed possible issues when switching between difficulty levels while playing the Heart of Atlantis

To catch up on all of the latest Expedition Atlantis information, including the game unveiling and a Google Hangout with the development team, check out our Expedition Atlantis page.

Download the latest version of Expedition Atlantis at RobotVirtualWorlds.com.

Update for Expedition Atlantis Virtual World!

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We’re excited to announce a huge update to our brand new Expedition Atlantis Virtual World. The update includes nearly 100 fixes and improvements to the deep sea game. For a full overview of the game, check out the original announcement here. And the best news is, Expedition Atlantis is completely free through the end of the year!

Atlantis Beta 2

Download the latest version of Expedition Atlantis by clicking here.

If you downloaded and tried out Expedition Atlantis, please take 2-3 minutes and give us your feedback in this survey.

Written by Jesse Flot

October 22nd, 2013 at 5:07 pm

New Robot Virtual World: Expedition Atlantis

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The Robot Virtual World team has just released a beta version of it’s latest game, Expedition Atlantis! It’s the year 2023 and Atlantis has been discovered deep in the ocean, off of the coast of Africa. A team of elite scientists and engineers have been sent to investigate the underwater ruins, and you’re one of them! Use your skills to to maneuver the teams underwater vehicles in this expedition to Atlantis!

Proportional problems are embedded everywhere. Expedition Atlantis provides students with the big ideas needed to become proficient proportional thinkers. Check out this video to see how:

The game begins with your submarine being deployed from a large mothership, beginning your expedition to Atlantis. A large underwater storm throws the submarine off course and into a cliff side!

Hyperion Deployed

Fortunately, the submarine was equipped with an escape pod! The underwater storm is still acting up, so you’ll need to move the robot to areas with cover between outbursts. The mothership will transmit how far away the next safe zone is; you’ll need to calculate how many wheel rotations it will take to get there. Be careful not to move too far or too little or you’ll be blown around the ocean floor!

Chapter 1

A special training mode is available to help you learn how proportional relationships work, like how turning a number of wheel rotations translates into moving forward a certain distance.

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Expedition Atlantis can be played with four different difficulty levels: Cadet (Easy), Explorer (Medium), Admiral (hard), and Custom. With custom mode, you can set how many problems you need to solve in each level of the game, and how hard the problems are. You’ll also notice that there are 4 main levels to the game.

Chapter Selection

After completing Level 1, the Minoan Megaliths, you’ll reach Level 2, the Pillars of Hercules. Underwater platforms appear to allow your escape pod to cross the chasm. You’ll need to calculate how much the robot needs to turn to line itself up with the next platform, before the robots thrusters engage. Be careful or your robot will thrust itself right to the bottom of the chasm!

Chapter 2

Once you cross the chasm, you’ll reach the Atlantis Base and be equipped with a robot capable of catching cargo from the mothership. The storm is still acting up and throwing the cargo off course, so you’ll need to calculate how much the robot needs to turn and move forward to catch the cargo in Poseidons Courtyard.

Chapter 3 A

The cargo you catch contains upgrades for your robot, which will be crucial for the final part of your mission. Take the cargo back to base to equip the upgrades!

Chapter 3 B

In the underwater base, you’ll be able to equip all of the upgrades that you caught in Poseidons Courtyard. Upgrades range from different wheels, different robot bodies (chassis), powerful attachments, and even paint colors.

Base

With your upgraded robot, you’ll be ready to explore the Heart of Atlantis. You’ll be completely in charge of marking where your robot needs to go, performing the calculations to get it there. Be careful! Ancient Atlantis was highly advanced technologically – it has a reactor core and portal network which is still operational today, but sensor readings indicate that they are unstable. Your robots radiation shield will protect it from the radiation, but will also slowly drain its batteries.

Chapter 4

As you make progress in Atlantis, you’ll be rewarded with achievements. These achievements will also show up on your “My Achievements” page on CS2N, if you logged into the game with your CS2N username!

Badges

Why Use Expedition Atlantis?

  1. Proportional problems are embedded everywhere
    1. Widely applicable
    2. Students with math IEPs especially need proportional reasoning skills
  2. Expedition Atlantis provides students with the big ideas needed to become proficient proportional thinkers
    1. High student engagement through underwater robotics game
    2. Research-driven
      1. Mechanistic approach
      2. Proportional thinking, not just proportional methods
      3. Repeated, contextualized practice
      4. Unified approach
    3. Aligns with the Common Core Standards
    4. Immediate teacher and student feedback
    5. Differentiation for high- and low-performing students (manual and automatic)

Expedition Atlantis is designed to be a fun, educational tool to teach and reinforce proportional relationships. When complete, it will be accompanied with a full Teacher’s Guide that provides information on its use in the classroom, ties into mathematical standards, and other valuable information. It’s also available completely for free during our Beta and Feedback period, so download it today!

We appreciate any feedback you have about Expedition Atlantis. Feel free to share it at the ROBOTC.net Forums.

Designing Models for Robot Virtual Worlds using SketchUp

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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.

 

 SketchUp    Level Builder
 

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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.

 

1. Make sure you are logged in on your computer as a user account with Administrator privileges.

2. 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.

3. Download the plugin file from https://github.com/SketchUp/sketchup-stl/raw/master/sketchup-stl-1.0.0.rbz.

4. Open SketchUp, then open the Window menu and choose Preferences, then select the Extensions page.

5. Click the Install Extension button and select the plugin file you downloaded in step 2.

6. A popup window will appear asking you to confirm that you want to install the extension. Click Yes.

7. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you may need to allow SketchUp to make changes to your system when prompted.

8. 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:

 

1. Activate the Select tool by clicking the pointer icon on the toolbar or by opening the Tools menu and clicking Select.

2. Click on the model in the scene you want to export. A blue box will appear around it.

3. Open the File menu and choose Export STL.

4. Name the exported file and click Save.

5. 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.

 

Happy modeling!

 

- Ryan Cahoon

Written by Cara Friez

May 29th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

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

New Versions of RVW Curriculum and Competition Tables

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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.

Written by Jesse Flot

November 19th, 2012 at 4:54 pm