Monday, December 20, 2010

Kudos To The Developers of RobotC

I have been grumbling about the only real downfall of RobotC for a while and that was the fact that they didn't make it easy to communicate via Bluetooth to more than one NXT. I have six of those bad boys and it makes it very difficult to build a robot of any size if they can't communicate effectively. I had exhausted all of my normal avenues for a solution and still nothing. I have gone so far as to create an effective way to communicate with the PF LED and a light sensor JUST so I could communicate with more than one other NXT, but that has its limitations as well.

When I contacted the developers on the RobotC forum, the reply that I constantly got was "You can do it, but it's too slow to use BT with more than one slave." I didn't think that this was an acceptable answer, who are they to tell me what is too slow? They have no idea how I am going to use it.

In the latest releases of RobotC, they had actually taken away some of the "easy" BT communication commands, and I became even more frustrated. A lot of my previous code no longer works without a rewrite. Ugh! But I knew that BT still worked, I was just going to have to "relearn" how to do it.

So I got into it more with the "Help" files and Sample files that are available. I say that with some sarcasm because the Help files are limited, VERY limited. After a full weekend of scratching my head and cussin', I discovered that RobotC actually has pretty stout Bluetooth capabilities, and best of all, I can now communicate with three other NXTs, and I can use all ten mailboxes on each of them (even though their sample files and Help files don't tell you that you can). Yes, yes it is slow, and I am perfectly fine with that as long as I know it going into my project. It's just another design constraint that I have to deal with. There are a few commands that are extremely fast and I will judge each function case by case.

Anyway, Thank you RobotC developers for making the capabilities available, even though you really don't tell us how to do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment