In this section, we'll dive into the Robot Vacuum project where we'll learn the basics of starting, stopping, and navigating our way through a simulator project file. 

We will build on the tools and concepts that are learned here in the later lessons on programming and design so you will want to pay special attention to what is in this section.

As you may have already noticed, upon launching the simulator, you are greeted by the Welcome Screen. 

In the base installation, this window is divided into four tabs.

  1. Sim Basics: A collection of beginner projects to get you started.
  2. Challenges: A collection of advanced multi-player projects where we can test your newly learned skills against another friend or autonomous robot.
  3. FIRST LEGO League: FIRST LEGO League's 2015 challenge: Trash Trek.
  4. WRO (World Robot Olympiad):  World Robot Olympiad' 2015 challenge mats.
The first tab, "Sim Basics," contains four projects to help you get started. A brief overview of each project as well as the recommended sequence for tackling each challenge is provided below:

                                                                    Sim Basics Tab

Getting Started is nothing more than an empty room with a robot. The goal of this distraction free environment, is to learn the basics of starting and stopping
the simulator, and how to use the keyboard controls to drive the robot.

Maze is the next project you should practice with. The goal of this project is to learn how to connect the MINDSTORMS® programming environment to the
simulator.This will allow us to solve the maze by writing our own programs using MINDSTORMS® software and uploading it to the existing virtual robot in the

Clean-up Challenge is the "build" challenge in this training series. While we can use the given robot that is provided to clear the playing surface, the real goal
here is to introduce LEGO Digital Designer and demonstrate how we can use the LDraw import wizard to work with our own customized robots.

Apartment is the last in the series of training projects. Here we can use the given robot along with its various attachments, and use our skills to program it to
navigate around the room and vacuum the blocks that littered the floor. Each of the above mentioned projects will be elaborated in the next chapter.

The second tab on the Welcome Screen, presents three additional multi-robot "Challenges" where we can test our newly learned skills against another friend or
autonomous robot.

                                                                              Challenges Tab

Multiplayer Sweep is a two robot variant of the Clean-up challenge. Here we can either use keyboard controls to compete head to head against another player,
or alternatively load different control programs into multiple Intelligent Bricks.

Sumo is a digital version of the popular robotics challenge, where two robots are programmed to push each other out of a ring. The last robot standing wins.

Soccer is a simulated version of the World Robot Olympiad - GEN II soccer game. This is probably the most complex of all the challenges. Players will have
to program their robot to work with the HiTechnic® sensors to locate the soccer ball and push it into the opposing goal.

The third tab, "FIRST LEGO League," contains 2015 challenge called Trash Trek. 

Trash Trek is all about handling trash. Teams get to identify the problems associated with handling waste, design an intuitive solution to the identified problem and share their experience with other teams.

The fourth tab, "WRO," contains the following challenges for 2015:


  • Pearl Diving, WRO 2015 Regular Elementary Challenge.
  • Treasure Hunt, WRO 2015 Regular Junior High Challenge.
  • Mountaineering, WRO 2015 Regular High School Challenge.

Each project tile on the Welcome Screen is further divided into:

  • A preview video of the challenge.
  • A project Readme that contains an eBook built around that particular project file.
Click on the tiled image to launch the project and give your project a name.

All the above mentioned projects will be discussed more in detail in the later sections.