Archive for the ‘Virtual’ tag
Happy Friday! I thought it might be nice to end the week with a little sneak preview into our newest Robot Virtual World game, “Expedition Atlantis: A Calculated Deep Sea Adventure.” We are still working on it, so things might change, but wanted to share an inside look. The game and curriculum will be available this Fall. Check back for more info soon!
Back in April, we gave you a sneak peak of our Multiplayer RVW Project. We’ve been hard at work implementing that functionality into the VEX Toss Up game, as well as adding additional features and improvements to the system. Check out this video for an updated sneak peak:
We’ve come a long way in our development, and we still have some tough challenges to solve that don’t exist in single player mode.
Which player “owns” which game objects?
It’s important that the location of all of the game objects is the same for all 4 players. For example, if one player moves a ball, that same movement should appear in all 4 different instances of the game. That means that (behind the scenes) the system needs to determine which instance of the game “talks” and which 3 instances “listen” about the position of the objects. There’s 28 objects in Toss Up to keep synchronized!
Effectively being able to communicate strategy
In the real-world version of these competitions, you can easily talk with members of the other team to convey your robot’s ability, desired starting point, gameplay tactics, and other useful pieces of information. This is a challenge in a virtual setting. We’ve implemented Chat functionality, with the ability to talk with just your partner, or all players. Making sure we have an adequate set of messages for clear communication will be key.
Synchronizing the Game Clock
In Single Player mode, you are in control of when the game clock starts. In Multiplayer mode, the player that created the room is in charge of when the match (and consequently game timer) start. For a fair experience, it’s crucial that everyone’s game clock starts and stops at exactly the same time, and that everyone has an adequate amount of time to get ready. We’ve implemented this with a “Ready” system, to let the player who created the room know when they can safely start, and added a countdown timer just in case any of the players weren’t quite ready yet. Sometimes data over the Internet is lost, and we don’t want someone at a disadvantage because their signal to start was lost, so we’ll be adding in extra synchronization checks for timer-related functionality.
Performance and Improvements
Rendering a single robot on a game field is similar to asking your computer to render a character and environment in a video game. Rendering four robots is even more resource intensive, so we’ll be optimizing the system as much as possible. To add to this, we’ll also be optimizing the amount of data traffic needed to keep all instances of a match synchronized, without using too much bandwidth.
Thanks for checking out our progress! We’ll continue to post updates about features and improvements as we add them, and be on the lookout for beta versions you can try later this summer!
We recently added a great new feature to our Robot Virtual Worlds … the Measurement Toolkit! There is no more guessing on how far a robot needs to travel to solve programming problems. It allows for intelligent path planning and navigation. You can now have students do the math, show their work, and explain how they solved the problems.
Check out our newest video that talks about what the measurement toolkit can do in RVW!
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 …
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.
The project that you’ve all been waiting for is here at last! We are thrilled to announce that our first version of the Robot Virtual World Level Builder is now available. Configure your own levels out of a wide selection of classroom-themed assets: balls, cylinders, boxes, walls, line tracking tiles, and more. Challenge yourself, or share your levels with students, classmates, or teammates. It’s a free download for all ROBOTC for RVW users, so what are you waiting for?
Once you have the Level Builder installed, you can launch it within ROBOTC by going to Window > Open RVW Level Builder Utility. (Note that you must have ROBOTC 3.50 or newer installed, and that Virtual Worlds must be selected as your Platform Type.)
- Use CREATE to configure your own virtual world level out of classroom themed assets.
- Use PLAY to program a virtual robot to complete a level generated in CREATE mode.
- Drag-and-drop cubes, cylinders, balls, walls, and line tracking tiles onto the table to configure your level.
- Use the PROPERTIES panel to adjust the orientation of the objects.
- Zoom in and out on the table using the slider in the bottom right.
- Your virtual robot will always start on the START tile, facing out.
- Be creative!!!
Once you’ve configured the table to your heart’s content, save it, and press PLAY.
- SELECT LEVEL will automatically be populated with the table that you just configured.
- Additional demo levels are included in the download.
- Choose from several available robots, each with their details listed on the screen.
- Press START LEVEL to load your level with the currently selected robot.
Your level will load with the robot that you selected.
- Compile and Download ROBOTC code to solve the challenge.
- Switch quickly between BUILD MODE and LEVEL SELECTION as you create your perfect level.
- USE the “WASD” keys to easily check out the level before writing code or passing it on to your students or fellow classmates.
More instructions, details, and videos are coming soon! We would love to hear what you think of the Level Builder, so let us know! Any feedback and suggestions are welcome. Most of all, have fun!
UPDATE: Version 1.2.2 of the Ring It Up virtual world is now available, which includes additional starting points and memory management improvements.
Support for the IR Seeker and IR Beacon
- As the title implies, the IR Seeker and IR Beacon are both emulated in this new version. From the robot selection screen, you can choose whether your want your robot to start with the Compass or IR Seeker.
- The IR Beacon is randomly placed along one of the three columns, just like the real game.
- We’ve even added a cool, new “Sensor View” mode so you can see how the robot is detecting the IR Seeker, Sonar, and Compass values.
- Additional sample programs for using the IR Seeker are also installed with the update, and can be downloaded here.
- Both Scissorbot and Gripperbot can be pre-loaded with a striped ring!
- You can control what side the robot starts on, the color of it’s pre-loaded ring, and enable the autonomous duration all from the main menu.
- Scoring is fully implemented in this new version.
- Concepts like the weighted rings, owning pegs, line score bonuses and corner goal bonuses are all simulated.
- Cool, new timer and scoreboard 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!
- We’ve improved the lighting and contrast of the game, making it easier to grab and score the rings.
- Improved robot-to-ring interaction and control.
- Lots of small tweaks and adjustments.
To view the original post for the FTC Ring It Up virtual world (complete with video), visit this link.
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.
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.
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.
Robot Virtual Worlds (RVW) has announced a new release scheduled for this Friday, April 13, 2012!
Among the modifications in this release are new utility tables, new challenges, and new robots! Check out the blog release here!
Not familiar with Robot Virtual Worlds?
RVW allows students to use their ROBOTC code on virtual robots in a simulated environment. Students will be able to write and test code in RVW and then export the same code into a real NXT or VEX robot.
With RVW, students do not have to purchase a robot, they can compile and test code much quicker, and they can use robots in fantastic environments that are unthinkable to do in the classroom!