We’re delighted to announce our new CodeSpace Simulation Environment. A beta-release is available for you to try right now, absolutely free at codebot.live.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the pandemic provided some motivation for us to build this new platform. True enough, but in fact we’ve been discussing the need for a next-level simulation environment with teachers and students for quite some time now. As we gathered feedback on what would best serve their needs, a few qualities stood out:
- Write Python code and watch it run – quickly and easily
- Interact with beautiful, realistic 3D environments
- Real robotics components – sensors and actuators that operate like the real-world
- Project-based curriculum modules in the CodeSpace tradition
As you know by now, we at Firia Labs are huge proponents of physical computing. We’ve seen first-hand engagement benefits of the tactile experience, making and coding stuff you can hold in your hands. Can we get that same experience from a pure screen-based approach? No, but we’re getting close by adhering to a philosophy we call “Virtual Physical Computing”.
Virtual CodeBots act just like Physical ones. In the virtual world, you’ll learn how the LEDs, motors, and sensors work, using the exact same Python APIs as the physical device. The code you write in simulation will run exactly as-is on the real physical CodeBot.
The simulator uses an advanced Physics Engine to provide realistic interactions between CodeBot and the environment. Naturally there will be some differences between reality and the simulation, but in large part you can use simulation to develop, debug, and test your Python code for real-world robotics challenges.
The full Introductory Python curriculum in the simulated environment is currently under development. We will be making additional lessons (Missions) available online over the next few weeks, and will send announcements as they roll out.
There are lots of improvements in store for the simulation environment as well, and we're getting more requests from our early users like you. We'd love to hear your feedback! So head out there, give it a try, and let us know what you’d like to see next!
- The Firia Labs Team