Robotics Academy Blog  

Archive for the ‘Virtual Worlds’ Category

RVW Expedition Atlantis Research Study

without comments

Slide1We recently had a study completed to see if using Robot Virtual Worlds’ Expedition Atlantis and the engaging nature of robotics exploration would teach students skills in proportional reasoning. This research study was implemented in the classroom at three different schools within the northeastern US with 116 students participating. The teachers selected had voiced interest in trying new methods to foster such skills in students. The students ranged from 6th to 8th grades with various levels of math and algebra experience. The majority of the students had little or no experience working with robots.

 
 

Chapter 4

The week long study began on the first day with the experimenter distributing pre-tests which included 17 questions that prompted proportional reasoning (both with and without mathematical calculations), and 16 questions about students’ grade levels, algebra plans, familiarity with robots, and personal interests in mathematics and robotics.

Example Test Questions:

  • Ann and Kathy each bought the same kind of bubble gum at the same store. Ann bought two pieces of gum for six cents. If Kathy bought eight pieces of gum, how much did she pay? Make sure to explain your thinking.
  • Which statement is correct?
    2/5 = 1/4 = 3/6
    2/5 = 4/25 = 16/625
    2/5 = 6/15 = 4/10
  • I enjoy working on robotics problems. (NO!, No, Maybe, Yes, YES!)
  • Mathematics is dull and boring. (NO!, No, Maybe, Yes, YES!)

Atlantis-Beta-2The study comprised a simulated robot navigation game and practice problems for students to complete and discuss as a class. Problems ranged from robot-related situations that required calculations very similar to those required within the game, to seemingly unrelated situations where proportional reasoning was used to solve everyday problems. The experimenter, who was present in each classroom for the entire week, met with the teacher before/after each class to discuss the day’s activities, what to do tomorrow, and how the study might be better tailored to meet the needs of the particular class. At the end of the study, post-tests were administered.

Overall, the study found that across the three schools, scores improved on post-test measures. Similarly, it saw significant increases in mathematics and robotics interests from pre- to post-test. Thus, results indicate that the study was effective in improving students’ proportional reasoning skills. Not only this, the study also improved students’ interests in mathematics and robotics as reflected in both their self-ratings and their performances in attempting more problems on the post-test than they did on the pre-test.

Slide2

Slide3

This research has been about finding out ways to effectively teach and gain interest in mathematics and robotics. We are proud of what the initial findings have found and we look forward to continuing our research within this subject. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Virtual NXT Update!

without comments

Thank you to everyone who has given us feedback on the Virtual NXT! We are releasing an update to address everything that you’ve told us. Download the latest version of the Virtual NXT here. The large changes in the release include:

  • Allow the Light Sensor in the Virtual Worlds to be accessed using the EV3 Programming Software’s Color Sensor blocks
  • Fix a bug where the on-screen Virtual NXT buttons were not being properly read by the EV3 software

Remember that the Virtual NXT will be completely free until April 1, 2014 for user testing. Please continue to post your comments here. Beta Testers will receive a 50% discount code found in the forum.

If you haven’t heard about the Virtual NXT, check out our initial post or watch this video for a quick demonstration:

This release of the Virtual NXT also includes updates to our Ruins of Atlantis and Operation Reset virtual Worlds.

Ruins of Atlantis

  • We’ve added lots of really cool ocean life to the level, over 20 species of fish. See if you can spot them all! These and other visual elements can be disabled in the Options menu of the splash screen.
  • Badges for completing the Ruins of Atlantis path with each robot have been added (See below). Each of the three robots available has different dimensions, so this rewards the student for completing additional math and programming practice.
  • We’ve updated our high resolution printable map with valuable information and fun, themed elements.
  • A comprehensive teacher’s guide is now included, which covers everything from getting started, programming options available, and how to teach with the tools in the world.

Ruins of Atlantis 2

Operation Reset

  • Operation Reset has been updated to include the latest physics engine.
  • A number of small bugs have been resolved. Thanks for the feedback!

Operation Reset

The latest versions of our Robot Virtual Worlds can always be downloaded from RobotVirtualWorlds.com or CS2N. As always, if you need help or have any feedback, please visit our forums.

Written by Jesse Flot

February 17th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

New Robot Virtual Worlds Video!

without comments

RVWRobot Virtual Worlds just released a new video all about the software!! Check it out here:

 

 

 

 

 

Already using RVW? What do you think? How do you use this software in your classroom? We’d love to hear your feedback!

Expedition Atlantis Update. Now available on MAC!

without comments

The Robot Virtual World team is thrilled to announce a huge update to our Expedition Atlantis math game! This update brings a long list of fixes and improvements, and marks our first release with Mac OSX support! Mac users can now play the game directly, without any kind of emulation software like Parallels or VMWare Fusion.

Expedition-Atlantis-for-Mac

We want to thank everyone who took the time to play, evaluate, and provide feedback for the game. Here is an overview of the other changes since our last release:

  • Fixed the bug where the game would sometimes freeze in Poseidon’s Courtyard, just after catching a crate.
  • Added a message that notifies the user when they input an invalid expression in a robot control box.
  • Visual optimizations in every level to allow better performance on under powered computers.
  • New, exciting game completion video that connects the player to the Ruins of Atlantis programming game.
  • Addressed issue where under powered computers would pixelate the Underwater Base / Robot Garage.

Expedition Atlantis can be downloaded from CS2N or RobotVirtualWorlds.com. Please do continue to share your experiences with the game! Also keep an eye out on the blog for additional updates on the game.

Written by Jesse Flot

January 24th, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Updates for Ruins of Atlantis AND Expedition Atlantis Virtual Worlds!

without comments

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!

in-game-no-gui

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.

RVW VEX Toss Up Competition Now Live!

without comments

Toss-Up-CS2N-ModeCarnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy, a research-based organization committed to teaching students how to program robots, is really excited to be able to support VEX Competition teams again this year. Follow the links below to learn about a NEW VEX Toss Up Programming Game that can be used by students, teachers in classrooms, coaches, or competition providers with FREE Programming Classes that your students can take. The new game is designed to teach programming and has over $5,000 in prizes. The Robotics Academy has also developed CS2N Group Technology that enables teachers, coaches, and regional competition sponsors to host their own programming and remote control virtual competitions.

VEX Toss Up is played on a 12′x12′ square field. The object of the game is to score your colored BuckyBalls and Large Balls into the Near Zone and Far Zone, by Locking Up your colored BuckyBalls and Large Balls into the Goals, and by Low Hanging, Hanging and Ultra Hanging off your colored Bar at the end of the match.

This Virtual World is designed to simulate the Toss Up competition field and several robot designs, allowing teams to practice their programming and form winning gameplay strategies.

See the rules documents for the full CS2N game explanation:

  1. VEX Toss Up – Autonomous CS2N Mode
  2. VEX Toss Up – Remote Control CS2N Mode

 

 
Additional information to help you get started:

How to Setup Your Own In-Class Competition – Teachers, coaches, and competition organizers can setup their own unique programming competitions using CS2N Groups Technology.  The Robotics Academy has developed group technology that enables teachers to setup their own in-class competitions.  To learn how to setup your own Group competition click here:http://www.cs2n.org/tutorials/competitions

Be sure to visit the CS2N.org or RobotVirtualWorlds.com for the latest version of the VEX Toss Up software. Happy Programming!

Written by Cara Friez

November 21st, 2013 at 8:00 am

RVW FTC Block Party Competition Now Live!

without comments

Block Party CS2N ModeCarnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy, a research-based organization committed to teaching students how to program robots, is really excited to be able to support FTC teams again this year. Follow the links below to learn about FREE Programming Classes and a new Block Party Programming Game that can be used by students, teachers in classrooms, coaches, or competition providers. The new game is designed to teach programming and has over $5,000 in prizes. We’ve also made CS2N Groups Technology that enables teachers, coaches, and regional competition sponsors to host their own competitions.

In the FTC Block Party Virtual World, program one of three robots to score as many points as possible in autonomous and driver controlled modes. Score points by:

  • Placing Blocks in Floor goals
  • Placing Blocks in Pendulum goals
  • Raising the Flag
  • Hanging from the Bar

See the rules documents for the full game explanation:

  1. FTC Block Party – Autonomous CS2N Mode
  2. FTC Block Party – Remote Control CS2N Mode

 


 
Additional information to help you get started:

How to Setup Your Own In-Class Competition – Teachers, coaches, and competition organizers can setup their own unique programming competitions using CS2N Groups Technology.  The Robotics Academy has developed groups technology that enables teachers to setup their own in-class competitions.  To learn how to setup your own Group competition click here: http://www.cs2n.org/tutorials/competitions

Be sure to visit the CS2N.org or RobotVirtualWorlds.com for the latest version of the FTC Block Party software. Happy Programming!

Expedition Atlantis Beta 3 Now Available!

without comments

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.

Expedition Atlantis Google Hangout

without comments

RVW Atlantis Hangout

Join us this Wednesday, October 30th at 6pm EST on Google Hangout to discuss our newest Robot Virtual World game, Expedition Atlantis!

Expedition Atlantis presents mobile robot math problems in a highly scaffolded and contextualized manner. The game uses a mythical legend, underwater robotics exploration, and a game-like quest to motivate students to use math rather than “guess and check” their way through robot programming. The game is designed so that students learn to play the game in the game and includes ingame tutorials.

The game intentionally removes the notion of programming allowing kids to focus on learning mathematical strategies without having to worry about the nuances of programming. Expedition Atlantis’ rewards students for mathematical solutions, and if the teachers uses the tools provided in this teacher guide, is designed to generalize students’ proportional reasoning skills by the end of the game.

You can find the live stream at http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/atlantis

 

 

 

Written by Cara Friez

October 27th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Update for Expedition Atlantis Virtual World!

without comments

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 4:53 pm