FIRST Tech Challenge Logo


Learning to program a robot easy with the VRS

join the compeitiion

As you all know, we are living in a digital world where technology is everywhere. We live in smart homes, with interconnected devices and tons of software and gadgets that enable us to do hundreds of things without even leaving our couch.

We don’t want to scare you, but there is a fact you need to know in order to better prepare yourself, your children, and your students. According to recent studies, robots might replace 1 billion humans at their workplace in a bit more than a decade from today.

Let’s face it, robots are cool. They’re also going to run the world someday, and hopefully, at that time they will take pity on their poor soft fleshy creators (a.k.a. robotics developers) and help us build a space utopia filled with plenty. I’m joking of course.

How to get into the field of robotics?

If you’re a teacher who wants to teach your students or a developer looking to get into the growing field of robotics, what are the right skills to have, besides expensive pieces of equipment?

The most important skill is coding. Coding is an essential set of instructions that a robot can read and execute. Both block-based coding and text-based coding are used for robotics. Block-based coding uses a stack of different shapes of blocks that can be easily connected to each other. On the other hand, there are numerous programming languages (e.g. C/C++, Java, Fortran, Python) that are used in robotics. The most popular language in robotics is probably C/C++ (C++ is an object-oriented successor to the C language). Python is also very popular due to its use in machine learning and also because it can be used to develop Robot Operating System (ROS).

How to learn?

We know, the main challenge for us is to prepare ourselves for the world of tomorrow. A world that, in many cases, we don’t even know how is going to be like. That is why is so important to find the right tool.

Learning all these above-mentioned programming languages can be an intimidating element that can discourage students and coaches without programming skills from getting started. Virtual Robot Simulator offers a free platform for beginners to start programming without the cost of real robots or risks of damaging equipment, and without learning complex programming languages.

What makes our Virtual Robot Simulator the best in the market;

  • Support for FTC Blocks and Java
  • Accurate Development Environment
  • Autonomous and TeleOp modes
  • Runs on Windows and/or in any web browser
  • Well Documented
  • Free and Open Source

In simplest terms, VRS is a block-based interface and online learning platform, which allows those who are new to robotics to get their robot up more easily, and moving. VRS has different blocks in terms of shapes and colors, which makes it more easily understandable. And the shape of each block has a specific meaning. Now you can penetrate the world of robotics without having to acquire expensive hardware.

Let’s give it a try together in a few simple steps!