If you are using Robot Virtual Worlds on a Mac via a virtual machine (VM), take a look at our Robot Virtual Worlds with a Mac guide.
Minimum Computer Requirements
For a full listing of the minimum suggested computer requirements for Robot Virtual Worlds, please see our Virtual Worlds minimum requirements page.
The Robot Virtual World software is developed using Unity, a “Game Development” software and ROBOTC a robot programming software. The Robot Virtual World software has two large tasks: drawing the 3D graphics real time and simulating the physics of the virtual environment. If a computer does not have a 3D graphics card, then it must use its internal processor to draw the 3D graphics. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost of decreased accuracy of the physics simulation. This decreased accuracy results in choppy robot movement and you may not be able to generate repeatable behaviors. The Robot Virtual World software will work, but you will not get the smooth accurate performance that you will get with a computer that has an internal graphics card installed.
ROBOTC Developers have tested the software on a variety of computer using different combinations of video cards and processors. Testing was held on a testing lab full of computers with Core i3 processors with 2.75 GB of RAM and no discrete graphic card installed. These 2-year old computers ran the Robot Virtual World software, but not at full speed and there was some choppiness and slight inconsistency in the robot’s movements.
Our recommendation is to install/purchase a discrete video card for your classroom computers if they do not have one if you are interested in using the Robot Virtual World software. In our testing lab, we purchased and installed several video cards including ATI 5570 HD with 1GB of RAM (~$70) and NVidia GeForce 210 with 512MB of RAM (~$40) to upgrade the Core i3 computers and the upgraded graphics card resulted in perfect performance from the Robot Virtual Worlds software. A "high end" video card is not required, but performance from integrated graphics (GPU built into the main processor) will typically be poor.
If you are unsure of the RVW’s performance on your computers, then download the free 60 day version and evaluate the software before you purchase. This will ensure that you will be happy with the performance on your computer.
Download and Install Virtual Worlds
Before we start programming in ROBOTC Virtual Worlds, we need to download and install the client first. This can be done by navigating to ROBOTC's website (https://www.robotc.net) and selecting the 'Downloads' tab.
*If you already have ROBOTC installed on your computer*, skip this section and start with Activating Robot Virtual Worlds.
1. From the ROBOTC website, select the robotics platform you want to program with. If you wish to use multiple platforms or accidentally download the wrong version, no worries; you can manually activate and choose another platform inside of ROBOTC. When you get to the correct platform page, click on the 'Download Robot Virtual Worlds for X version x.xx' to start the download process.
2. At this point click 'Save' button to start downloading ROBOTC. You may get a warning pop-up from either Windows, your antivirus program, or both. This is to warn you that programs downloaded from the internet can be malicious and to use care before running them; click allow to start the download.
3. Once the program is done downloading, navigate to the Downloads folder on your computer and start the ROBOTC installer. You may have to right click on the installer and run as administrator depending on individual computer restrictions.
4. Depending on which platform you are installing, ROBOTC may also install additional drivers unique to each platform. If for any reason the drivers are not downloaded and installed properly they can be downloaded and installed manually from the ROBOTC website.
Once ROBOTC/Virtual Worlds is downloaded and installed on the computer it must be activated. This can be done directly through the ROBOTC interface as long as the computer has a valid internet connection.
1. Open ROBOTC and navigate to the Help menu. From there, select 'Manage Licenses->Add License'. If you do not already have a Virtual Worlds license, you can purchase one by clicking the 'Purchase License' option.
2. From the Manage License menu, select the 'Add License' button. This will bring up a 'Add New ROBOTC License' window.
3. From here you must first select which type of license you have, and then enter your License ID and Password (to see the password characters as you type, uncheck the 'mask' checkbox). Once the information is entered, click 'Activate Online' to activate the product. If you have multiple licenses, simply repeat the process. You can also start a trial of any version of ROBOTC by selecting the program you'd wish to try and clicking "Start Trial".
Using Virtual Worlds
1. Before you can use a Virtual World, please make sure that your "Compiler Target" is set to "Virtual Worlds":
2. To select a Virtual World Package for use with your program, click on Window >> Select Virtual World for Use, and select your package. If the Virtual World you would like to use is not present, you can download it from the ROBOTC downloads page (http://www.robotc.net/download/rvw/ ) under "Available Level Packs":
3. Now, when you compile and download your program it will automatically bring up the selected virtual world and your program will be ready to run!
Installing New Level Packs
There are two main ways to install new level packs for Robot Virtual Worlds; through the Virtual World Download section of the ROBOTC website, and through ROBOTC itself. The only difference between these two methods is the first step; after that, the processes are identical.
1a. If using the robotc.net download method: Navigate to the Virtual Worlds Download section of www.robotc.net. This can be found under the 'Download -> Robot Virtual Worlds' tab.
4. Once the Virtual World has finished downloading, run the downloaded file to start the installation process. Once the installation process is complete, you will need to restart ROBOTC in order for the new Virtual World to be selectable under the 'Window -> Select Virtual World to Use'.