First, Inc., a leader in educational and competitive robotics products, announced that the ROBOTC programming language will now be compatible with their VEX Robotics Design System. ROBOTC is a C programming language, for engineering, programming and robotics education, developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Academy team.
ROBOTC provides an operating system with multi-tasking support where VEX users can write robotics programs that allow the robot to perform several tasks independently. The program also allows users to start, stop and pause execution of a program directly from their computers. ROBOTC provides extremely powerful integrated real-time debuggers, which have the capability to inspect and modify the value of any variable in the end user’s program, helping to eliminate errors and reducing development times.
“Innovation First is pleased to offer the ROBOTC language to C programming students using the VEX system,” said Jason Morrella, senior director of education and competition at Innovation First. “ROBOTC is an inexpensive software option for students and teachers looking to implement robotics in their classroom as well as for VEX users who are developing robots for competition.”
ROBOTC offers educators a training CD containing curriculum, lessons, examples and “how-to” videos. The language has two settings, ‘basic’ and ‘expert,’ for both the novice and advanced C programming student. The ROBOTC program also unifies the many different robotics programming platforms available, allowing it to be used with a variety of robotics controllers in many different competitions. Typically, teams competing in various robotics tournaments need to master different robotics languages and controllers for each competition.
“While teaching robotics at the high school level, I saw my students become frustrated when they had to learn a new programming language every time we changed controllers,” said Robin Shoop, director of the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Academy. “At Carnegie Mellon, we believe that developing a language that talks to multiple controllers will make robotics programming more accessible to all students.”
ROBOTC currently supports the VEX Controller, the FIRST Robotics Controller, and Mindstorm’s RCX and NXT controllers from LEGO. Carnegie Mellon is currently porting ROBOTC to several other educational robotic controllers.
In addition to ROBOTC, Innovation First, Inc. offers the easyC(R)v2, easyC PRO(R) and MPLAB(R) programming languages for VEX. To find out more information on ROBOTC and the other VEX programming languages available, please visit http://www.vexlabs.com/vex-robotics-programming-kit.shtml.
About Innovation First, Inc.
Innovation First, a privately held corporation, was founded on the belief that innovation very early in the design process is necessary to produce simple and elegant product designs. Innovation First began producing electronics for unmanned mobile ground robots, and is now an industry leader in the hobby, competition and education markets. The company’s award-winning VEX Robotics Design System, VEXplorer, HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures, and IFI Robotics span the education, consumer and business-to-business markets. Leveraging the company’s core competency in electrical and mechanical engineering, the RackSolutions division works closely with all major computer OEMs to provide custom mounting solutions and industry-wide rack compatibility for data installations of all sizes. With an advanced in-house metal fabrication plant, distribution center, and offices located together in a 13 acre complex in Greenville, Texas, the company is poised to continue on a rapid growth path. Please visit http://www.innovationfirst.com for additional information.