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Installation FAQ/Support

This section is split into a general questions area (across all products) and also product-specific sections. Please click on the appropriate section to see the answer to the question.


General Questions

We have updated installers to fix this issue. For those who have bought the software after January 1, 2013, you are eligible for a free upgrade. If you bought it prior to January 1, 2013, then you are eligible for a discounted upgrade (Click here to purchase the upgrade from Robomatter).


To receive the updated installers, please email customerservice@robomatter.com with the following information:

1. Name used to order
2. Email address used to order
3. Order Number (If you ordered from LEGO Education, please let us know!)
4. (Optional) You can also fax your receipt to 412-963-7317.

The more information you provide us, the faster we will be able to get the updated installer to you!

If you have already received this updated installer and are using Mac OSX 10.7-10.10 and Safari, please use the following instructions to fix your issue [PDF]


Why aren’t the videos showing up when I click on the button?

During installation of a Robotics Academy curriculum software, there’s is a “safe file” that gets executed. If for any reason there is an issue with running this safe file (for example, you don’t have enough privelages as a user to install) then this will not be installed. The safe file allows Flash to run code that tells your computer that it is “safe” to run specific commands (like opening another browser window for a pop-up video).

If there is a problem with the safe file installation, the videos will not show up.


Manual fix for Mac OSX running an older version of Flash Player

The following table links to instructions that may fix the issue on your mac:

1. If you are using Safari or Firefox, click here.
2. If you are using Chrome, click here.

Manual fix for Windows machines running older version of Flash Player

These instructions may fix your issue if you are running an older version of Flash Player for Internet explorer or Firefox Browsers. For Chrome, try the following instructions.


This is a very broad question so there will be a few suggestions to resolve this issue.


1. You could have insufficient privileges with your login on your computer. Make sure you get administrative privileges, or ask someone who does to install the software.

2. You may have a bad or corrupt CD or DVD. Please contact customerservice@robomatter.com for a replacement.

3. If none of these steps work, please contact customerservice@robomatter.com for help.


Our products are fully tested and guaranteed to be 100% virus and spyware/malware free – Some less popular anti-virus software packages may detect the mixture of Web and Flash content as a virus, but these reports are false positives and should be reported to the manufacture of your Virus software as such.


 

Robotics Engineering: Vol I (Home School Edition)

If you receive an error during activation, then it could be for one of several reasons. Here is a listing below of the error codes and their meanings. Please click on the error you are receiving and see how to resolve the issue:


Error 2

Could Not Communicate With License Server

Cause: The computer you are using is not connected to the internet (or is having internet connectivity issues).

Solution: Could not communicate with the computer you are trying to activate, or go on a computer that does have the internet and go to this URL: http://secure.softwarekey.com/SOLO/unlock/

1. Type in your License ID and Password
2. Use the two codes to produce one Activation code
3. Type in the Activation code on the computer you are trying to activate.


Error 7

No Activations Left for this License

Cause: The License ID you are trying to activate with has been activated on too many computers.
Solution: Contact customer support at customerservice@robomatter.com.


Error 13

Firewall or Trouble Communicating with License Server

Cause: The License password is invalid or could not communicate with the server.

Solution: Check the License ID and Password to make sure it was typed in correctly. Connect to the internet on the computer you are trying to activate, or go on a computer that does have the internet and go to this URL: http://secure.softwarekey.com/SOLO/unlock/

1. Type in your License ID and Password
2. Use the two codes to produce one Activation code
3. Type in the Activation code on the computer you are trying to activate.


Error 69

Invalid Registration Code

Cause: Invalid “Web Activation” or “Manual Activation” registration code.

Solution: Check the activation code to make sure it was typed in correctly. Make sure that you have the right code by going to a computer that does have the internet and go to this URL: http://secure.softwarekey.com/SOLO/unlock/

1. Type in your License ID and Password
2. Use the two codes to produce one Activation code
3. Type in the Activation code on the computer you are trying to activate.


Error 100

Invalid License ID or Password

Cause: Invalid License ID or Password.

Solution: Check your License ID and Password and make sure you typed it in correctly.


The installer does two primary steps:

1. Copy over the files to the computer and create shortcuts to the “index.htm” file.
2. Creates the Flash Safe File.


You’ll need to ensure that you have flash already installed on the machine to make the installer be the most effective.

For a server distribution, you can install the product on any workstation/server and then move the installed files to your network location that is shared. Flash player is very particular that it does not accept UNC addresses for “safe” locations – on the workstation itself you will have to make sure that the shared folder is mounted to a drive letter to allow the safe file to take effect.

On the individual workstations, you will have to specific the “safe” locations for flash to be allowed to load local content. You can do this by running the “fix safe file.bat” script that lives inside of the product’s folder (note you’ll have to run as administrator as it creates a text file in your system directories) or you can manually create/drop this file using this process:


1. Open the following folder for individual user level control:

C:\Documents and Settings\[YourUser]\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#Security\FlashPlayerTrust

OR for “system wide” level control use the following directory:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash

2. Create a text file with a .cfg extension (example: REVol1.cfg)

3. Open the text/cfg file and add a sequence of folder where you want the Flash Player to be able to load local files

C:/dev (this is an example)

F:/videos/etc/etc (example – the idea is the folder path to your shared folder location)

Big Note: These folders may not exist if the latest flash player is not installed – you can manually create these folders in this case – especially for the “system wide” control)


Curriculum FAQ/Support

Here you can find general curriculum questions. Click on the questions or topics to get more information.


General Questions

There is no VEX 2.0 teacher’s edition. There is a site: http://www.vexteacher.com

Answers are available to those who have purchased a VEX Curriculum by clicking on the “VEX Curriculum Answers” button in the DVD interface.


Robotics Engineering Volume 1 offers different lesson plans that can take 1, 3, or 6 weeks.


ROBOTC FAQ/Support

Here you can find general ROBOTC questions. Click on the questions or topics to get more information. If you don’t find the answer to your question here, feel free to take a look at the ROBOTC Forums. You will find a very active online community of ROBOTC users. You will most likely find the answer to your questions there.


General Installation Questions

ROBOTC will work on a Mac with any of the Windows Virtualization/Emulation software packages that are available, example software includes Parallels, VM Ware Fusion, Boot Camp and Virtual Box.

Once the software is installed, installation and activation are exactly the same as on a normal Windows PC. Please see your software’s documentation regarding connecting your USB devices to your virtual environment.


If you receive an error during activation, then it could be for one of several reasons. Here is a listing below of the error codes and their meanings. Please click on the error you are receiving and see how to resolve the issue.


Error 2

Could Not Communicate With License Server

Cause: The computer you are using is not connected to the internet (or is having internet connectivity issues).

Solution: Could not communicate with the computer you are trying to activate, or go on a computer that does have the internet and go to this URL: http://secure.softwarekey.com/SOLO/unlock/

1. Type in your License ID and Password
2. Use the two codes to produce one Activation code
3. Type in the Activation code on the computer you are trying to activate.


Error 5013 (Formerly 7)

No Activations Left for this License

Cause: The License ID you are trying to activate with has been activated on too many computers.

Solution: Contact customer support at customerservice@robomatter.com.


Error 13

Firewall or Trouble Communicating with License Server

Cause: The License password is invalid or could not communicate with the server.

Solution: Check the License ID and Password to make sure it was typed in correctly. Connect to the internet on the computer you are trying to activate, or go on a computer that does have the internet and go to this URL: http://secure.softwarekey.com/SOLO/unlock/

1. Type in your License ID and Password
2. Use the two codes to produce one Activation code
3. Type in the Activation code on the computer you are trying to activate.


Error 69

Invalid Registration Code

Cause: Invalid “Web Activation” or “Manual Activation” registration code.

Solution: Check the activation code to make sure it was typed in correctly. Make sure that you have the right code by going to a computer that does have the internet and go to this URL: http://secure.softwarekey.com/SOLO/unlock/

1. Type in your License ID and Password
2. Use the two codes to produce one Activation code
3. Type in the Activation code on the computer you are trying to activate.


Error 5008 (Formerly 100)

Invalid License ID or Password

Cause: Invalid License ID or Password.

Solution: Check your License ID and Password and make sure you typed it in correctly.


Other Error Codes and Definitions


Error 5006

Security Check Failure

Cause: This occurs when too many failed activation attempts are made in a short period.

Solution: On the License Details page there is a Reset Activation Check button that will clear the temporary block.


Error 5010 (Formerly 200)

N/A

Cause: The user is attempting to activate with a License ID for a different product.

Solution: Make sure you are activating for the correct product. If the product is incorrect, please contact customer support at customerservice@robomatter.com.


Error 5012

Invalid Product Version

Cause: The version of the application is less than the Minimum Activation Version specified on the Product Option.

Solution: Make sure everything is correct. If not, please contact customer support at customerservice@robomatter.com.


Error 5014 (Formerly 101)

Invalid Product Option Type for given License ID

Cause: Invalid product option type for given license ID.

Solution: You must use one of the PLUS Option Types to be able to use the license for activation.


Error 5016

Deactivated Installation

Cause: The Installation ID has been deactivated in SOLO.

Solution: A SOLO user must re-enable the Installation ID or issue a new License Key to be able to continue.


Error 5017

Invalid License Status

Cause: The license status set on the License Details page in SOLO is something other than ‘OK’.

Solution: Make sure everything is correct. If not, please contact customer support at customerservice@robomatter.com.


Error 5021

Invalid IP Address

Cause: The IP Address of the activating machine is not one of the Allowed Activation IPs set on the License Details page.

Solution: Make sure everything is correct. If not, please contact customer support at customerservice@robomatter.com.


Error 5022

Invalid System Time

Cause: The system clock is not within the threshold specified by SOLO.

Solution: The user must correct their system time to be able to continue.


In order to install a new version of ROBOTC, you must make sure that you UNINSTALL all previous versions of ROBOTC first.

Here are the steps you need to follow to install a new version of ROBOTC:

1. Uninstall all previous versions of ROBOTC.

2. Find the latest version of ROBOTC from www.robotc.net and download it. If you are using an updated version on a CD, then insert the CD into your CD-ROM drive.

3. Run the downloaded file, or run the CD.

4. Follow the on-screen prompts to install ROBOTC.

5. Once you are done you should see a ROBOTC icon on your desktop, double click on the icon to run ROBOTC.


Yes, you must make sure that you UNINSTALL all previous versions of ROBOTC first. Otherwise, ROBOTC will not run correctly. If you happen to install two versions of ROBOTC onto your computer, simply uninstall both versions. Once all versions are removed, install the latest version of ROBOTC onto your computer.


ROBOTC currently allows Single-User licenses to install ROBOTC on up to three different computers. We understand that most users now have multiple computers in their household. This is to accomodate that. If, however, you have used all three activations then you can simply email support@robotc.net to ask for more activations. Please keep in mind that we track all renewed activations to prevent abuse of this policy.


No, as long as you are just uninstalling ROBOTC you will not have to activate ROBOTC again. If you reformat your hard drive, you will have to activate again.


If you happened to have bought ROBOTC for Mindstorms, but realized that you actually wanted to buy ROBOTC for IFI because you only only VEX hardware then you will have to contact us with your License ID and Password that you received. This is assuming that you haven’t activated your software yet. Contact support@robotc.net and we will switch it.


 

Using ROBOTC Questions

To update firmware, you must go to the “Robot” menu, then “Download firmware”. Choose the desired firmware (choose the highest number firmware)

Here are videos on how to do this:

NXT – Step-by-step video on how to update firmware

VEX – Step-by-step video on how to update firmware


 

FTC-related Questions

You must make sure that you UNINSTALL all previous versions of ROBOTC for Mindstorms first. Otherwise, ROBOTC will not run correctly. If you happen to install two versions of ROBOTC onto your computer, simply uninstall both versions. Once all versions are removed, install the latest version of ROBOTC onto your computer.


 

ROBOTC Communication Questions

There are a few things to check when you are having communications trouble with your robot.

1. Check that your USB cables (or other type of cable if your robot does not use USB) are connected to both the robot and the computer.

2. Make sure both your robot and your computer are turned ON.

3. Make sure you have downloaded the latest drivers from www.robotc.net.

4. If you are using Windows VISTA, make sure that you are running ROBOTC as an “Administrator”. Right click on the ROBOTC icon and select “Run as Administrator”.

5. If you are still having issues, go to “View”, and “Preferences”. Make sure that you have the appropriate communication port selected for your robot.

6. If you are still having issues, please contact support@robotc.net.


General Robot FAQ/Support

Here you can find general robot building questions. Click on the questions or topics to get more information.


Robot Building Questions

Description of issue:

I have a VEX kit with 2-wire motors. Some of the building instructions call for the 3-wire motors with slip clutches. Are the slip clutches needed for the 2-wire motors? Also, how do I make up for the loss in the axle length?

Solution:

The VEX 2-wire motors are better engineered and do not require a slip clutch. VEX kits are now packaged with “Shaft Couplers” to make up for the loss in axle length.

vex_shaftCouplers


Description of issue:

I have a VEX kit with 2-wire motors. Some of the building instructions show 3-wire motors being plugged directly into the micro-controller. Can I plug the 2-wire motors directly into the micro-controller?

Solution:

The 2-wire VEX motors cannot be plugged directly into any of the 3-wire motor ports, on the VEX PIC or the VEX Cortex. The 2-wire motors can be plugged into motor ports 1 and 10 on the VEX Cortex, which are 2-wire ports. For all other motor ports, you must use a VEX Motor Controller 29 to connect your micro-controller to the 2-wire motors.

vex_motorController29


 

Robot Behaviors

Description of issue:

We just received & tried the battery expander pack.  However when we tried to run the robot using the debugger competition switch & also the black $20 competition switch, nothing runs in autonomous.  It twitches when you hit autonomous twice on the debugger switch & when you flip the black competition switch to enable.  We even lifted the robot to make sure the wheels weren’t caught but our autonomous code doesn’t run.  Yet when we flip the black competition switch to user control everything runs as it should. Any idea what could be wrong?  We’re going to try to reconnect the motors directly to the prcessor tomorrow to see if it runs again to make sure it is not our code but it was running okay earlier.

Solution:

The most common problem with using the VEX Power Expander creeps in when people use the non-keyed PWM extension cables.  That lets them get the PWM cable black and white wires reversed.  The picture showing the interconnect wiring on the wiki site: http://www.vexforum.com/wiki/index.php/Power_Expander adds to the confusion.  Hopefully the picture will be fixed by the time you get to class.  For now, you can use the attached sketch, doc073.pdf, as a starting point.  The main point to remember is “When using Non-Keyed PWM Cables on the VEX Power Expander, the Gnd/Blk wire should be closest to the key slot on the STATUS and IN Ports, and it should be the furthest from the key slot on the OUT ports”.  Also connect the Power Expander IN ports to the VEX Microcontroller MOTOR ports and connect the Power Expander OUT ports to the new motors.


General Purchasing FAQ/Questions

Here you can find general purchasing questions. Click on the questions or topics to get more information.


The link below compares the inventories of the old retail NXT set, the 2.0 retail set, the 9797 Education set, and the 9648 Education Resource set.

http://static.robotclub.ab.ca/pages/nxt/InventoryComparison/nxt_1_vs_2_vs_edu.html


Some noteworthy differences:

• Education includes the rechargeable battery
• Education and the OLD retail set include balloon tires; retail 2.0 does not
• Retail 2.0 contains treads and flat tires, education and old retail don’t
• Only education has the pulley tires
• Education and old retail include light sensors; retail 2.0 includes a color sensor instead
• Education and old retail include a sound sensor; retail 2.0 does not
• Only education includes a minifig


The content of the home school version and the classroom version are both the same. The home school version restricts the number of times that you can install it. Since the content is exactly the same there’s no extras involved.

You can purchase the Home School version by going here: Robomatter store – R.E.Vol1: Home School

You can purchase the Classroom version by going here: Robomatter store – R.E.Vol1: Classroom


Here is a list of the differences between the two:

1. Restructured lessons for easier understanding

2. Assessment rubrics

3. Safety information

4. Project management documents and videos

a. Additional materials such as an Engineering Journal

5. Lesson on programming Target Distances

6. Debugging lessons

7. Remote Control lessons


We have tested the installation for our curriculum products and found that they all install without any issue. Please let us know if you do have any issues with it by emailing us at customerservice@robomatter.com.


 

VEX Bundles

“Crystals” are what the original VEX robots use in order to communicate with the Transmitter. It is a 75MHz Radio Frequency crystal.

VEXnet is an 802.11 WiFi replacement for the crystal-based communication system between the VEX Microcontroller and Radio Control Transmitter. The VEXnet Upgrade enables users to convert existing Microcontrollers and Transmitters to the VEXnet communication system.


 

What should I buy?

Several of our curriculum products incorporate some section of STEM into its scope and sequence. However, there are products that are more STEM focused than others. For example, Robotics Engineering Vol. I uses LEGO Mindstorms NXT robots to learn how to program basic robot behaviors.

Click here for a more in-depth explanation of R.E. Volume I

Robotics Engineering Vol. II takes a more project-based approach.

Click here for a more in-depth explanation of R.E. Volume II


If you want a Science-based curriculum using the NXT, we have the Robot Science curriculum which uses the NXT 2.0’s data-logging capabilities.

Click here for a more in-depth explanation of Robot Science


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