Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Academy has announced the release of ROBOTC2.0, a programming language for robots. Like version 1, this version of ROBOTC is an implementation of the C programming language and has a modern programming environment for robot programming. ROBOTC2.0 includes significant improvements, however, including a new GUI modeled after Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE. It also boasts a unique, interactive real-time debugger that operates with either a wired or wireless connection to a PC.
ROBOTC is the only programming language that works for the LEGO Mindstorms RCX and NXT systems as well as the Innovation First VEX and Cortex systems. ROBOTC also is being developed to support additional platforms. Programs written in ROBOTC for one robotic system can be easily adapted to another supported platform.
ROBOTC2.0 was developed under the leadership of Tim Friez, a Robotics Institute software engineer and ROBOTC inventor Dick Swan, a Dallas, Texas, software engineer and a long-time contractor to the Robotics Academy.
ROBOTC2.0 consists of a compiler, text, and project editor and runtime environment. Its debugger supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi links and gives the user complete access from the PC into the operation and step-by-step execution of the programs. ROBOTC2.0 executes instructions extremely fast; on LEGO NXT, its execution speeds are five to 50 times faster than those of other programming solutions, including LEGO's proprietary environment. It includes support for a wide variety of sensors as well as support for WAV and MIDI sound file playback.