Archive for the ‘Virtual Worlds’ Category
Are you interested in learning how to program in ROBOTC Graphical for VEX IQ or VEX IQ Robot Virtual Worlds? If so, then this YouTube playlist is for you! This set of videos will help you to get started programming with ROBOTC.
These videos are part of the Introduction to Programming VEX IQ Curriculum! To continue further with our free online training, visit our curriculum page here! http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/previews/robot_c_products/teaching_rc_vex_iq/
Robotics is being taught in over 35,000 formal and informal education settings in the USA (FIRST 2013; REC 2013) and a number of educators and researchers have highlighted the potential use of robotics lessons to reinforce students’ mathematical understanding (Benitti 2012; Vollstedt et al. 2007). A new case study from Louis Alfieri, Ross Higashi, Robin Shoop and Christian D Schunn shows that robot-math activities might be successful when focused on a few target skills and when designed with individualized tutorials/prompts that motivate proper skills.
Robot-math is a term used to describe mathematics instruction centered on engineering, particularly robotics. This type of instruction seeks first to make the mathematics skills useful for robotics-centered challenges, and then to help students extend (transfer) those skills. A robot-math intervention was designed to target the proportional reasoning skills of sixth- through eighth-graders. Proportional reasoning lays the foundation for further progress within mathematics. It is also necessary for success in a number of other domains (engineering, science, etc.). Furthermore, proportional reasoning is a life skill that helps with daily decision making, planning, etc. However, it is a skill that is complex and often difficult for students. Previous attempts to design similar robot-math activities have struggled to focus students’ attention on key mathematics concepts (in complex engineering domains), and to motivate students to use the math properly. The current intervention was designed with these challenges in mind. This intervention centers on a computer-based 3D game called Expedition Atlantis. It employs a game design that focuses student attention on a specific proportional reasoning task: students calculate correct quantities of wheel rotations to move the robot to desired locations. The software also offers individualized tutorials. Whole-class discussions around daily word problems promote further application of proportional reasoning outside the robot programming context. The 1-week intervention was implemented by three teachers at different schools with varying levels of ability among students.
To read more about the results from this study, click here -Case Studies of a Robot-Based Game to Shape Interests and Hone Proportional Reasoning Skills.
Jason McKenna, from the Hopewell Area School District outside of Pittsburgh, PA, writes about his experience in the classroom with the new Robot Virtual World game, VEX IQ Beltway. Check it out below …
The new VEX IQ virtual game Beltway is a great way to challenge your students to apply the basics of ROBOTC programming while also asking them to come up with unique strategies to try to score as many points in the 2 minute game as possible. My students just spent about 3 weeks working on the challenge and trying to score the highest score as possible. The students had an absolute blast and as a teacher, it was great seeing all the different ways the students tried to tackle this completely open-ended challenge.
The objective in Beltway is the same as VEX IQ Highrise: program your VEX IQ robot to autonomously score as many cubes as possible during a 2 minute period. With Beltway, a conveyor belt has been added around the perimeter of the game field in order to assist with game play. Additionally, the virtual environment utilizes “magic stacking” meaning that the cubes automatically jump onto the stack when they are placed onto of the stacking cube regardless of the apparent size of the robot. The conveyor belt reduces the accumulation of error, where, for example, a robot’s slight error in one turn becomes a larger error when the robot repeats that same turn 4 or 5 times. Any time students attempt a long program with many different elements they will at some point become frustrated with the accumulation of error that occurs. Magic stacking and the large margin of error that enables easy pickup of cubes eliminates any frustration that the students may encounter as try to pick up cubes and then stack them. These elements of gameplay in Beltway allow students to focus on their strategy, and it also allows them to try to experiment with many different scoring methods because they are not spending a lot of time programming perfect 90 degree turns and aligning their robots perfectly to pick up a cube. You can click here for a more extensive list of rules and information about gameplay!
Beltway comes with a variety of sample programs that students can use to help them get started or as a reference as they adjust their strategies. For example, if students decided that they wanted to control the conveyer belt manually, they could refer to a sample program to see how that is done. I did that many times while monitoring the students. After a few days, the students aren’t repeatedly raising their hands; instead, they just refer to the sample programs for guidance.
The game also served as a great tool to teach beginning programmers the utility of comments. Oftentimes, beginners don’t make programs quite as long as the ones they will make for Beltway. Students quickly saw the need to point out what was going on in their code with comments so they could go back to those sections and make whatever adjustments they wanted as they progressed with their gameplay.
As I stated earlier, my students had a lot of fun while playing Beltway. It is not easy to keep students’ interest level high in an activity that takes 3 weeks. The students maintained their level of interest and they consistently asked to stay after school to work on their programs some more. We had an in-class competition where the students ran their final programs. The winning team scored the winning points as the timer, literally, went to zero. It was pandemonium in my room. Kids were high-fiving each other, cheering, and remarking at how awesome the competition turned out. Students were also talking about the different strategies that the other teams used and how they could change their programs based upon what they had just seen.
So now, of course, the students want to play some more. This is great because now I can use that as an opportunity to show students how they can take some of the code that they used over and over again (for example, picking up cubes) and show them how they can use full ROBOTC to turn those behaviors into functions. Beltway has proven to be both a great teaching and learning tool in my classroom.
- Jason McKenna
Terry Sy, a robotics teachers who completed ROBOTC training at one of our Professional Development classes, shares his latest robotics competition adventure with us from the 2014 Asia-Pacific Robotic Championships. Read about it below …
The Asia-Pacific Robotic Championships 2014 were held in Dongguan, China from December 1st to December 4th. The first time in its history, China ROBOTC took 4 teams down there to compete. Among those making the trip down to the southern city were a China ROBOTC VEX team, Qingdao ROBOTC Boca Primary School team, Qingdao ROBOTC Boca Secondary School team, and ROBOTC-Experimental Primary School team affiliated to Shaanxi Normal University.
All the team members had a great time, competing in both the VEX and the VEX IQ competitions. Many new friendships were forged and the fantastic experience will be cherished by all those who took part for many years to come. But our teams weren’t just going down there to make friends and have fun. They had come to challenge for the championships.
Altogether, the teams had a lot of success in their respective competitions. In the VEX IQ programming skills competition, one of our primary schools took first place, while the other was a close runner-up. In addition, our secondary schools joined the primary school with a first-placed finish. Meanwhile, in the team competition, our elementary school and secondary school both finished in the runner-up position. As well as this, one member from the primary school and one member from the secondary school excelled in the robot skills competition, both taking 2nd place, and they also received 3 gold awards in IQ and an inspire award in VEX to cap off a fantastically successful event.
We are at the 2014 PLTW Summit in Indianapolis this week! Stop by our booth to say hi and ask us questions.
We also have our latest iPad app, Robot Virtual Worlds Expedition Atlantis, available to try out.
And there is a ROBOTC Maze Challenge where you can program a VEX IQ robot using ROBOTC Graphical.
We look forward to seeing everyone!
We are happy to announce another big update to the Virtual NXT, bringing it to version 2.1.0! This update fixes compatibility issues with the Move blocks in the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 programming language. The Move Steering and Move Tank blocks both work as expected.
We’ve also created a new resource for using a RVW Gyro Sensor with the Virtual NXT in the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 environment.
The Virtual NXT allows you to program virtual robots in the Robot Virtual Worlds using the same programming languages as physical NXT robots. This is an incredible tool for giving students additional practice programming and can even help students increase their understanding of scale and rate, two BIG IDEAS in mathematics.
The Virtual NXT works with the following NXT compatible software: LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT (NXT-G), LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, and LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS. The Virtual NXT looks and acts like another NXT to these programs; when you download a program to the Virtual NXT, that program is run by a robot in the Robot Virtual Worlds.
Expedition Atlantis immerses you in a world of underwater robotics exploration, where you must solve math problems to control your robot’s movement in the deep seas ruins.
The math problems will help students understand proportional relationships and the basics of robot programming. It is designed for the student to learn as they play, and includes in-game tutorials to help them play along. As you play, you’ll be able to customize your robot, and also earn achievements through our Computer Science Student Network (CS2N). A full teacher’s guide for using Expedition Atlantis in the classroom is available at www.robotvirtualworlds.com/ipad.
Expedition Atlantis was tested in a number of diverse classroom settings. In every case, students had measurable gains in proportional understanding, as well as increased interest in math and robotics. Read more about the research here!
Check out our gameplay video here …
As you play along with the app, please send us your feedback at email@example.com! We’d love to know what you think and any improvements we can make.
We are very excited to announce the VEX IQ Virtual Challenge! This challenge is part of an ongoing research project by Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy and the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center designed to assist robotics teams learning to program.
Participating students will learn programming that enables them to solve this year’s VEX IQ Virtual Highrise Challenge. As they learn they will also earn an Introduction to Robotics and Programming Certification.
Robomatter, Inc. will be working closely with the Robotics Academy to create high quality STEM learning experiences, and has agreed to provide access to all related materials FOR FREE this competition season …
- This year’s Virtual HighRise Challenge Game
- Programming Curriculum to help you learn to program
- A live online course to help guide you through the curriculum
- Free ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Worlds Software for active participants
- Digital Certification for students who complete the course and challenge
The first online training course starts October 16th, but you will receive access to the software, the virtual worlds, and the curriculum immediately when you register to participate. In order to solicit responses to our research questions the ROBOTC and Robot Virtual World licenses are time limited, they will last until November 15, or if your students actively participate by working your way through the programming challenges you will have the license extended until April 2015.
To access these resources and find out more go to the VEX IQ Virtual Challenge page: www.robotc.net/vexiq
We hope that you participate in this project. If you have additional questions please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
The ROBOTC team is proud to announce the completion of the Sensing section of the Introduction to Programming EV3 Curriculum!
Check it out to learn how to use the EV3 Touch, Sonar, Gyro, and Color sensors with ROBOTC Graphical here! The curriculum is completely free to use, and more materials are always being added.
Check out two of the video tutorials below: