Sonar in Simulator

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Oskari
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Hello,
I am from the Wincheter Robotics team, and we have just started working with the Kiss-C IDE and simulator. I was wondering if there is any way to simulate the sonar and additional sensors. We got the simulated "bump" (touch) sensors to work, but we haven't had any luck with the sonars. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Oskari Rautiainen

Jeremy Rand
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Hi Oskari,

As far as I know, KISS-Sim doesn't support rangefinder sensors such as the sonar and the ET. My simulator, ImperiSim, is currently undergoing a rewrite and may support rangefinders within the next few months. Stephen Carlson's simulator, JBSim, supports the ET; I'm not certain if it supports the sonar.

As an aside, may I ask what you're using the sonar for? The Botball sonar is generally very poor compared to the ET in terms of both resolution and reliability. You may want to try the ET and see if it works better for your robot.

Good luck!

-Jeremy Rand
Senior Programmer, Team SNARC (2012-2013), Norman Advanced (2010-2011), Norman HS (2008-2009), Norman North (2005-2007), Whittier MS (2003-2004)
2012-2013 VP of Tech, 2011 President, Botball YAC (2009-2013)
Mentor, Alcott and Whittier MS

Oskari
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Jeremy,
Thank you for your rapid and useful reply; We are new to BotBall, so we have yet to really know what to expect. As for the simulator, do you recommend we continue to use the non-doublebuffered qt based kissSim thats built into Kiss-C? I'll try compiling the JBSim which I had just found, and see how it is, but should we use one of the alternatives that you have mentioned?

Thank you again,
Oskari Rautiainen

Jeremy Rand
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At the moment, KISS-Sim is probably the most newbie-friendly simulator for Botball. JBSim and ImperiSim have some really nice features, but in my team's experience, nothing's as good as a real game board to practice on. Simulators are cool if you're not near your game board, but if your code is complex enough that it won't run properly on KISS-Sim, chances are that while JBSim or ImperiSim could model it better, you should really use an actual game board for any serious testing.

This is not intended to disparage JBSim and ImperiSim; they're both really nice for testing certain aspects of your code. But getting something useful out of JBSim or ImperiSim will probably require a good bit of experience with how simulators work in general (what results should I trust; which results should I ignore as dependent on simulator quirks). Regardless, I do plan to continue developing ImperiSim, and I hope Stephen continues to work on JBSim as well.

If you do wish to try an alternative simulator, JBSim is your best bet. ImperiSim still needs some work before I can recommend it for general use.

-Jeremy Rand
Senior Programmer, Team SNARC (2012-2013), Norman Advanced (2010-2011), Norman HS (2008-2009), Norman North (2005-2007), Whittier MS (2003-2004)
2012-2013 VP of Tech, 2011 President, Botball YAC (2009-2013)
Mentor, Alcott and Whittier MS

kotakotakota
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Jeremy,

I am also from the Winchester team, thank you very much for the suggestion. I have tried JBSim and I implemented embedded Java (using "<% %>" syntax adopted from Ruby on Rails), an option to set the location of the robot in the "board.txt" file, and I also restructured the project and created an Ant file to build it. If you are interested, I can send you a link; I am currently preparing a SVN repository for the updates, as although none of the patches are too big, the amount I restructured would make a patch quite ugly. Of course, none of this is very complicated (the embedded Java and the location features took 10 minutes total to figure out and implement, so obviously it wasn't very much....), but my team has found it useful so far.

Thank you,
Kota Weaver

- Kota Weaver

Jeremy Rand
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Cool, always good to see new customizations. If you haven't already notified Stephen Carlson about your modifications, I encourage you to do so. Thanks for sharing!

-Jeremy Rand
Senior Programmer, Team SNARC (2012-2013), Norman Advanced (2010-2011), Norman HS (2008-2009), Norman North (2005-2007), Whittier MS (2003-2004)
2012-2013 VP of Tech, 2011 President, Botball YAC (2009-2013)
Mentor, Alcott and Whittier MS