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February 07, 2010

two cool "sandbox" type programs

I am mentoring students for the First Technical Challenge robotics competition. Since I am better with software than with real parts, I tried to build and test the robot in a virtual world.

First program I tried is Phun (http://www.phunland.com/wiki/Home), of which I might have written before. With a  slick interface and many features, Phun is indeed fun. You can create a machine that you control using the keyboard, which was the goal I had set to. However, the 2D design made it impossible to simulate certain aspects of the robot.

So I went back to Google and started looking for a 3D alternative. And I found Golems (http://www.golemgame.com/) . Golems actually provides the user with many components useful for robotic design, such as sensors. I was able to build and run the robot in Golems. The CAD part lacks some features, such as tapering of objects already created, or user-defined polygons,  so the robot has a lot corners sticking out. But in essence, Golems has delivered what I needed.

Try both and have fun!  (sorry for the lack of links, my computer is a little messed up)

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