If you know of any other links to simulators please reply or message me so I can add it to this list. Also, please don’t link the “Forklift Simulator” game. My personal favorite (so far) is the one on xantaz.netne.net because there are two robots, one for stacking and one for putting bins on top so you can have two players and work together. As well as that it has a timer and has a live score of the game. And uh, not to brag, but I got 5 stacks of six flexes
I have been toying with the idea of reviving creating multi-player simulators like the ones my colleagues and I developed a few years back under the Fifth Gear name (Google and/or WPI’s archives should get you to them).
I’m wondering how much interest FIRST and the world at large would have in that sort of thing.
When we had to break up the Fifth Gear band :(, I thought FIRST was going to have a professional company create simulators that would fill the void we left behind :). But now… not so much? Does anyone reading this know what happened to that initiative?
personally instead of a multi-player simulator I’d rather want to have a simulator where you can customize robots/choose robots. None of the simulators I have found can do 6 stacks with a bin
Or a simulator that gets constantly updated with different teams robots.
Idk scoring is pretty straightforward most years. Putting in very specific scoring won’t really benefit anyone except for it being more fun. I would personally love a simulator that “drives” very similar to standard drivetrains. Being able to customize the drive-train with different “gearboxes”, controls, and maybe gyro and encoder feedback would be awesome.
On ordinary computers, after investing moderate time developing the simulator, a simulator really won’t do well at simulating (and rendering) the real world behavior of a complex multi-link mechanism (motors, pistons, belts, linkages, gripping friction and “compliance”, torque-speed curves, wheel characteristics, etc. etc. etc.) (plus the many user interface options…) at real world speeds.
However, for the amount of time and equipment likely to be invested in the project, it is certainly possible to roughly approximate the various results teams can create using various robots.
For example, all types of game piece pick-up mechanisms tend to boil down to a probability of successfully getting control of an object, at a variety of distances from the robot, when the robot is moving at a variety of speeds. Also, the robot’s stability is usually affected when it tries to reach for a far-away item; and the robot usually has some probability that it will lose/drop the game piece when it is travelling around (or bumped).
If you wish for a simulator that lets you adjust these sorts of probabilities, so that you can get a sense of how important each feature is in a real robot; you might get (or be able to create on your own) what you wish for.
You also might use it to do some interest design or strategy trade-off experiments, and/or practice scouting, and/or practice drive-team coordination/communication, and/or …
Developing a generic physics-based simulator that would be usefully accurate, is another tall order (see my other post). I would not be optimistic, except at the level of approximating things like generic high-speed and low-torque, or low-speed and high torque, (or middle-of-the-road on both) options.
In a separate, but related vein, developing a software-interfaces simulator that would help teams develop, test, and integrate their robot code would definitely be feasible without falling too far down too many rabbit holes. Someone should do it.