The Virtual Robotics Toolkit began its life 10 years ago, as a tool for researchers and engineers. Back then the idea was simple, before investing time and money in building an expensive real robot, perhaps it would be advantageous to have some way of testing on a digital prototype.
As a result, the Cogmation simulator was born, and its earliest versions targeted expensive robots used primarily in academia, such as the Aldebaran® Nao™ and the iRobot® Packbot™.
Of course, creating a great design tool was just part of the solution. What we had really hoped for, was to use the simulator to teach robotics itself; and if that were the goal, then why not work with a robot specifically designed for the beginner? Why not design the simulator to work with a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® roboT?