RoboMind is a software that has been designed to allow users to learn the basic concepts of programming.
Programming is becoming essential in the XXI century. Programming consist of a series of commands given to the Computer (or other device), that the Computer will be execute in the given order. Knowing how to program is something that can be applied on any field, because to create good code, it is need to know how to analyze a situation and break it down into more simple problems.
RoboMind allows to enter into the programming world to those people who do not have any prior knowledge, and want to learn to program. It is true that this software is very used to teach children programming, but this does not means that any person, regardless of their age, can not use this program to learn the basics of the programming.
When we open the program we will see that the top is reserved for the options menu, and the central part is divided in two, the left-hand side, where we will program the robot, and the right-hand side, where we can observe the movements made by the robot according to the lines of code that we have written. In the lower part of the screen, it will be displayed the messages and we can also see the actions that are running.
To start using the program we need to use the left area of the central part of the screen. Here we will write the code that will cause the robot to move according to what we program. There are different commands to write and make the robot to move across the screen.
At the beginning it is good to use the option “Run->Remote Control”, located in the top menu. We'll see a series of buttons which we can click and see how the robot reacts. For example, clicking on the arrow that is pointing up, the robot will move a box in the direction it's looking. If we push the button with the arrow pointing to the right, the robot will turn right. If we push the brush with white paint, the robot will paint the ground.
What is interesting about the “Control Remote”, is that we'll see the commands thar are associated to the buttons we're pressing, for example:
- Up arrow => forward(1) . This means that the robot moves forward 1 tile forward.
- down Arrow => backward(1) . This means that the robot moves back 1 tile.
- right Arrow => right . The robot turn right onto himself.
- left Arrow => left . The robot turn left onto himself.
- Brush white => paintWhite . The robot paint the floor as it moves forward.
- Brush black => paintBlack . The robot paint the floor with a black line as it moves forward.
- Brush forbidden => stopPainting . The robot will stop painting the floor.
- Hook down arrow => pickUp . The robot will use the hook and pick up the object that is in front of him.
- Hook up arrow => putDown . The robot put down the object that has picked up with the hook.
Now that we know some commands that we can program, we will have the opportunity to type it on the left part of the screen and see how the robot reacts to the commands programmed.
If we really want to introduce us to the world of programming and learn how to create good code, we must choose the commands to be displayed in English, since the professional programming languages are written in English.
As a curiosity we mention that we will be able to program robots created with Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0. To do this we will use the option “Export”, that will save a file with the instructions that we have programmed, and that we will use to upload them to the Lego robot, in such a way that the Lego robot run the instructions that we have created using RoboMind.
The version that we offer here is the 4.3, as it is free to home use. The superior versions are paid, even for home use. That is why we recommend the 4.3 version.
The program is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.