robot control emulator for default or other program

has anyone ever made an emulator for the robot controller so we can see the effects of changes to the default program?

I dont know if anyone has made one, I dont know about it. It sure would be nice though. When you test your program on the robot, put it on a cart with the wheels hanging off. Also make sure that everyone clears out. Get a longer serial cable. Last year when I loaded a new program, the robot went into full reverse and plowed into the guy behind it. Now they all listen when I say “stand back”.

I know there was a spreadsheet simulator for the drive train that someone made last year. I think I have it on my laptop and I will check later tonight and post it. I do not know of any emulator for the entire system. It would be nearly impossible as all robots are so different.

*Originally posted by CharlieWilken *
**has anyone ever made an emulator for the robot controller so we can see the effects of changes to the default program? **

Some emulator equivalents:

  • If you want to see the effect on the motors, disconnect the PWM cable from the Victor, and put a servo on the output instead.
  • You can see the effect on the LED of Spikes with no load.
  • You could use a big DEBUG statement to see the effect on the value of variables, of your calculations.
  • To try out different values from sensor inputs, temporarily type in an assignment for the variable.
  • And you could watch the dashboard for variables, too.

The best “emulator” is still the robot, but there are ways.

Hmm, is there a way that someone could develop a program to emulate the actual robot controller? I have had many a night where i wished i had a robot controller at my hosue (i did a lot of programming at home), because i would write some code, and not be sure if it was right. If there was some way to emulate (in software) the robot controller, i’m sure many people would rejoice. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but Palm managed to make an emulator for a Palm Pilot, so i would think to make it for a robot controller would be doable, i just don’t know how hard.

maybe this is something we could work on once we ship the robot. A program that would emulate the robot controller would help most teams. Maybe we should try to orginize an atempt to try to create an eumulator like this.

I can see lot’s of potential for such a program, yet I wouldn’t know how to help much. The only programing I can do is PBASIC and some C++. I could help test the program, but beyond that, I can’t help.

An emulator for the robot controller has been a project I’ve been saving for a rainy day. Over all, you’d have to write a parser for the PBasic language and calculate from there. It’s not a trivial project and not one to take lightly. I’d recommend a rather heavy programming background before taking it on. I was thinking of implementing it in Java for maximum platform independence but that’s also because GUI’s in Java are quite a bit eaiser than in Windows. But that’s just my opinion of the matter.

Matt

Um, right. I don’t know Java, so I’m not really sure what you’re talking about. Is there any chance that you would be able to make at least a beta of such a program by the time of the first regional? Or is that asking too much? Since I don’t know Java, I don’t know how long it takes, but from what you’re saying, it doesn’t look like an emulator is in the works anytime soon. Oh well, next year. :smiley:

yeah I am not that experiance in programming so I don’t think I would be much help.

Heh, we’re all saying how little we can do. Maybe if we decided upon a common language, we could all do a little bit of it? I know it’s not the best way to do it, but if we all did some of it, we’d learn smoe more programming skills, and we might get the project done sooner. This program could be one of the best things that we have, because we can still program “our robot” after it’s shipped. Now, all we would need to do this is a “group leader” who knows more than everyone else about the launguage we would use. They could assign parts of the code out, and then compile all the parts that come back. I think if we tried this, it could work. At least it’s better than all of us saying, well, i only know this, or i only know that, because you can learn as you go.

Reardles of whether you like this idea or not, please, let’s try to work together to make this happen, or if you think there’s a better way, post it! The only way this is going to get done is if somone starts working on it more or less now. :smiley:

that is a good idea. I like the idea of making in it Java so it will work on most platforms.

*Originally posted by Ian W. *
**Um, right. I don’t know Java, so I’m not really sure what you’re talking about. Is there any chance that you would be able to make at least a beta of such a program by the time of the first regional? Or is that asking too much? Since I don’t know Java, I don’t know how long it takes, but from what you’re saying, it doesn’t look like an emulator is in the works anytime soon. Oh well, next year. :smiley: **

In all probablity no. There is a distinct possiblity but I wouldn’t count on it. I may have some time over my spring break.

Matt

Ok,

First, get a box. Than get a cable running from the back of your computer port into the box. Put duct tape around the whole thing, with the roll in the box, and if you programming is correct, it should humm and get warm to the touch. If it goes up in flames, or does nothing, your programming is incorrect. :smiley:

Ok, ok, for real. I would like to help. I know a “skimming” ammount of pbasic, and would like to know how i can get a hold of some C, C++, and Linux programs, for free and small (i am on a 56k modem), so i can learn and help out w/ this program if it goes through!

actually we happen to have someone that we tried to convince to do create an emulator all by himself (he could do it). the problem is that its a very hard task to undergo by urself. if someone decided to go through with it just give me an email and ill try to talk with him and see if i can convince him to work on it with some help from other people. otherwise well just have to convince him to do it next year.

also im quite confused on this whole duct tape thing…
i got the thing duct taped and all but how do i get the roll of duct tape into the box after ive taped it all up? :confused:
im really gonna need some help here

Well, in the absence of an emulator:

Pull out a big sheet of plywood.

Add one RC, generous numbers of relays, speed controllers, some breakers, fuses and wire. Ducktape and sheetrock screws are a godsend here

Strap some motors, pistons, servos and other doohickeys as needed. Duck tape and ziptie as needed.

Open the breaker, download program, play with controls. Rinse wash and repeat as needed.

This is really only useful during the build, before all they toys end up on the 'bot, or if you have spares lying around. The advantage of this is that it gives your electrical guys a chance to wire some stuff before the 'bot is done, and a chance for you to see if motors are going to spaz out as soon as you toss the switch. At the very least it gives the sparky guys something to do while the 'bot is being made.

i always have spare pistons servos and speed controllers just lying around my house… maybe ill build myself one of these dohickys. not sure how this will help me when i want an emulator on my computer but it sounds pretty cool and fun.

DUH!!

Get 2 rolls of duck tape! You first put 1 roll in the box, AND THAN tape up the box!! But make shure the wires from the back of the box are touching the duck tape. THAN, you are good to go! Hope this helps!!

P.S. For the people that are going crazy about me calling it Duck Tape, i’m sorry. :slight_smile: I know it is called Duct tape, but i like duck better…

*Originally posted by Matt Attallah *
**P.S. For the people that are going crazy about me calling it Duck Tape, i’m sorry. :slight_smile: I know it is called Duct tape, but i like duck better… **

If you insist on calling it duck tape, you’d better be careful you always refer to it as Duck Brand (R) Duct Tape, or you’re liable to get the Manco company lawyers coming after you! :smiley: (Manco is the company that makes Duck brand tape)

I have a knowledge of C++, Java, and PBasic. I could definitely help write it if someone wants to.