Protobot Beta 1.3 is now available!

Hello!

I’m happy to announce that the next update, Protobot Beta 1.3, has now been released and is available to download on Windows.

Visit https://protobot.web.app to download Protobot Beta 1.3 for free!

If you’re not quite sure what Protobot is, it’s a specialized CAD software specially made to use VEX parts to start prototyping and building virtual robots that you can later design in the real world. It’s designed to be easy to learn and intuitive for anyone who uses it.

New Features

And after over a year since the last update, this one adds tons of new features and improvements. Everything from a massively improved user interface, undo/redo, a completely overhauled grouping system and so much more. Here’s a feature showcase video showing off most of the main features:

Learn the Fundamentals

Once you’ve downloaded the new version, why not learn about how Protobot works? Here’s a video that goes over all of the main features while building a small 4-wheeled robot:

Don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel for more updates and videos about Protobot!

Thank you!

Expect more updates coming up in the future and I hope you enjoy this new update!
If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions please do not hesitate to ask them below!

And, of course, thank you all for the incredible support so far, it is greatly appreciated!

-Dave

47 Likes

Awesome will be very helpful to make sure everything looks good before building, in the future what would we expect. = )

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I just tried protobot and I really love it. Can you add a mirror tool? It would make building drivebases a lot easier

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It’s not an exact mirror, but if your drivetrain is relatively symmetrical in the X or Y axes you could mirror it.
You could highlight a portion of the drive you’d like to duplicate, and then move + copy. Then rotate it 180° to make it flipped the other way.

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Rotating 180° to mirror only works if the robot has perfect symmetry in both directions.

I made this dummy drivebase:


It doesn’t have to be perfectly symmetrical in all directions.

Rotated 180 degrees:

3 Likes

This works because the drive is symmetrical in two dimensions. What if you had some standoffs poking down towards the ground? You would be unable to flip it while maintaining symmetry.

Yeah, I was just pointing out a rudimentary way to mirror drivetrains that might satisfy @ EcstaticPilot’s needs for now… please excuse my primitive geometry claims.

To solve the standoff problem, I would just add them to one side of the drivetrain and move + copy the standoff group across to the other side of the drivetrain.

A mirror function would be useful to avoid minor problems like these, however I feel like the majority of drivetrains can be created with the copy + move + rotate strategy, albeit with slight workarounds to accomodate for unsymmetrical pieces like standoffs.

2 Likes

Thanks for the help! Sadly though my drivebase is not symmetrical in both directions. I ended up just copying it and roasting it 180° then fixing whatever wasn’t symmetrical.

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Invert zoom :astonished:

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Also if you could add a point to point move that would be very helpful for aligning c channels. Another thing is if you could add a toggle collide in the settings that would be helpful .

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Nice, I like that the learning curve is a little flatter than Solids etc. In the future is this going to change into a pay for app?
Thanks

Currently, there are no plans to make Protobot a paid app, even beyond Beta. The plan is to make Protobot 100% free for everyone. Many VEX products and even general CAD software can be very expensive, especially for schools and private teams that aren’t as wealthy as others. I don’t want Protobot to add any expense to a team budget.

I should add that the primary case where people would pay for Protobot would be for social features such as hosting multiplayer servers to allow people to build a robot together at the same time (which is a planned feature). This would cost money purely for server hosting and, if anything, would be a low, flat fee.

The only payment I need is people enjoying Protobot and getting into learning about prototyping, CAD, and robotics without the need for expensive parts or software. Of course, if anyone insists on supporting the project, I may open a completely optional donation site.

Nonetheless, I believe there should be no barrier of entry, including monetary, for knowledge and learning. For as long as I work on Protobot, it will remain as accessible as possible.

33 Likes

Any plans for IQ?.. this product looks very impressive.

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Any plans to add custom parts import? and Mac download? Love the product.

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Protobot will likely remain centered on the V5 / Cortex set of parts, at least for now. The plan is to build a general foundation using those parts with all of interactions between them for building. Eventually, this makes adding on other sets of parts, such as IQ, much easier.

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Custom parts are a planned feature, though how soon they will come to Protobot is unknown.
A Mac download however, is hopefully on the way soon!

5 Likes

I’m guessing the answer is no, but does this work on mobile?

Yes it works fine on your Windows mobile phone.

6 Likes

Does it work on apple i pad? If it doesn’t I have access to a computer but I have more access to the I pad.