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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

FTC Ring It Up and VEX Sack Attack v1.50 Now Available!

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Following up from an earlier post, new versions of the FTC Ring It Up and VEX Sack Attack Virtual Worlds are now available!

In version 1.50 of Ring It Up, all arm, wrist, and gripper motors now include encoders, allowing you to get feedback and implement precise control over the robots. We’ve also swapped the Compass Sensor for the Gyroscope, which was highly requested by FTC teams. New Sample code  for the encoders and gyroscope is installed with the world.

 

In version 1.50 of Sack Attack, we’ve added encoders to the arm motors on all of the robots, and a potentiometer to the scooper motor on Scooperbot, giving you very precise control. All robot models have also had the Compass sensor replaced with a Gyroscope, better aligning them with the real world VEX system. As with the Ring It Up world, Sample code for all of the new functionality is included.

We genuinely appreciate all of the feedback and comments we’ve received about these worlds, and we hope that these changes show that we’re listening. Keep the feedback coming!

Adding support for all of the new inputs required a significant update of our back end, so these versions require ROBOTC 3.54 or later to be installed. Happy programming!

Written by Jesse Flot

November 5th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Posted in NXT,Releases,VEX

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Check out the new RVW Level Builder Video!

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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.

Written by Jesse Flot

September 26th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Posted in General News,Releases

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RVW Update: VEX Sack Attack v1.2.1 Now Available!

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Attention all VEX teams! We just released a substantial update to this year’s VEX Sack Attack virtual world. Download it here, or on the RVW Level Packs download page. Here’s what’s new:

New Robot: Clawbot

  • Clawbot features a 4-wheel, 2-motor drive system, an arm motor, a gripper, and the full array of sensors. Best of all, it’s fully programmable in ROBOTC!
  • Additional sample code for Clawbot is installed with the update, and can be downloaded here.

Pre-loads and Automatic Scoring

  • Both Gripperbot and Scooperbot can be pre-loaded with a sack! You can control what side the robot starts on, whether it gets a pre-load, and enable the autonomous duration all from the main menu.
  • Scoring is fully implemented in this new version.
    • Earn normal points from sacks, bonus points from bonus sacks, and even more bonus points from the autonomous bonus and “parking” your robot before time runs out.
    • A cool, new timer and scoreboard keeps track of the match in the top-left corner of the window. Compete with your classmates or teammates to see who can get the highest score before time runs out!
  • Driver Control loads are also implemented once the autonomous period ends. Introduce them into the playing field by clicking on the green sack icons in the top-right corner.

Sensor View

  • Ever wonder why your Ultrasonic sensor “sees” the values that it does? Enable the new Sensor View to see what’s triggering the Ultrasonic sensor and the heading of your compass.

Additional Enhancements

  • We’ve improved the robot-sack interaction on all of the robots.
  • The lighting and contrast of the game have been enhanced, making it easier to grab and score the sacks.
  • Lots of small tweaks and adjustments.

To view the original post for the VEX Sack Attack virtual world (complete with video), visit this link.

Written by Jesse Flot

September 19th, 2012 at 11:16 am

FTC Ring It Up Virtual World v1.0 Now Available!

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The Robot Virtual World team is proud to announce their initial release of the FTC Ring It Up! virtual environment, just in time for kickoff! This year’s virtual competition field features two new robots designed specifically for the game; the Scissorbot and the Gripperbot. The robots are completely programmable in ROBOTC and even use the same Logitech USB Remote Control as the real world competition, allowing teams to refine their programming skills, practice driving, and form gameplay strategies well in advance of their first matches.

Note that the new features in the virtual world require the latest version of ROBOTC, version 3.50.

Here’s a video of the Ring It Up! virtual world in action:

New Robots
TETRIX Scissorbot features 4 driving motors, a scissor lift and a LEGO gripper:

The Scissorbot gripper is best at picking up tubes parallel to its gripper.

TETRIX Gripperbot features 2 driving motors, and arm motor and a LEGO gripper:

The gripper on Gripperbot is best at picking up tubes perpendicular to its gripper.

User Interface
The new and improved user interface allows you to switch between the robots, choose different starting positions, and tells you where the growing list of motors and sensors are connected:

Controlling the Robots
Sample code for programming the robots to move autonomously or via a Logitech USB Remote is installed with the level pack. It can also be downloaded here.

Don’t have a Logitech USB Remote Control? No Problem! We’ve also added keyboard control for the robots when a ROBOTC program isn’t running! The controls are as follows:

  • W” key: Robot moves forward
  • A” key: Robot turns left
  • S” key: Robot moves in reverse
  • D” key: Robot turns right
  • {” key: Gripper Closes
  • }” key: Gripper Opens
  • ;” (semicolon) key: Wrist motor up
  • ” (single quote) key: Wrist motor down
  • <” key: Scissor lift / Arm motor up
  • >” key: Scissor lift / Arm motor down

Driver Camera View
Check out Camera view 4 to practice driving the new virtual robots from the same perspective you’ll use in the competition.

Future Enhancements!
We’re extremely excited about this release, but we’re not done yet. Check out some of the enhancements that are on their way!

  • Addition of “Autonomous Rings” pre-loaded on the robots
  • Emulation of the IR Sensor and IR Beacon
  • Dynamically calculated scoring

The FTC Ring It Up! virtual world can be downloaded here, or under the Available Level Packs section of the RVW Download Page.

Written by Jesse Flot

September 8th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Competitions,FTC,NXT,Releases

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New Version of the RVW Curriculum Companion Challenge Tables!

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The ROBOTC Robot Virtual World team is extremely proud to announce a brand new version of the RVW Curriculum Companion Tables for both LEGO and VEX. This new version (2.2.1) contains an incredible number of enhancements and new features. It is a free update for all existing Robot Virtual World users. Read on to find out more!

New Login Functionality
If you have an account on the Computer Science Student Network (CS2N.org), you can now log in and earn achievements. This also allows you to save your progress – marking the challenges that you’ve completed so far. If you don’t have a CS2N account, what are you waiting for?


If your computer isn’t online, you can also create a local account to log in and track your progress locally. If you’re not interested in tracking your progress, you can always take advantage of the “Log In as Guest” feature, too.


Achievement Badges and Updated User Interface
As the new login functionality implies, we’ve also added achievement badges to the challenges! You can earn Motivation badges as you work through a given challenge, Progress badges as you complete challenges, and Mastery badges when you complete specified sets from the Movement, Sensing, Remote Control, and Variables sections of the Curriculum Companion Challenges. For additional background information on badges, visit this page on CS2N.

We’ve upgraded the user interface to indicate which challenges have achievement badges. Challenges with badges have a star next to their name on the list on the left. Clicking on the challenge provides additional detail.


Whether you’re logged in with a CS2N or a local account, the new Badges section displays all of the challenges that you’ve earned so far.


From the Badges section, you can also generate a PDF of all of your Progress and Mastery badges.


And if you’re using your CS2N account, you can check your progress on your Achievements page.


New In-Game Animations and Notifications
We’ve also added brand new animations and achievements to the challenges. You’ll be notified when you complete the challenge, or if your robot does something that that causes it to fail. Motivation and Progress badges will appear as you earn them on the challenges.


Challenges that require a number of laps to be performed or for certain lines to be crossed now include visual cues such as counters and 3D makers.


Robot Physics and Size Improvements
All VEX, LEGO and TETRIX robots have had their size and physics adjusted to more closely match their real-world counterparts.


Many More Small Fixes and Enhancements
There’s too many in this category to list, so try the latest version out for yourself! Download it here.

For more information about the Robot Virtual World software, or help getting it up and running, visit this page.

Written by Jesse Flot

July 23rd, 2012 at 3:49 pm