I was wondering if anyone knew of a program like RobotC that was free.
You should look into either PROS or ConVEX.
You should try out PROS (Purdue Robotics Operating System). While not exactly like RobotC, PROS is open source and our team has found that it works really well. This post can explain it better than I can. Good luck!
Edit: PROS isn’t open source, it’s just free. I stand corrected!
Yes it’s called PROS. It was developed by some students at Purdue.
Back on topic:
I’m actually the programmer for 323Z and I’ve used both, but seriously, if there is ANY way to buy a license for RobotC, do so. It is easier if you’re a newer programmer (in my opinion), and it seems to work a bit better. Just my opinion though. I haven’t used PROS nearly as much as I have RobotC so I can’t really claim to be an expert on it. Definitely try it out.
Yay, for free! We use ConVEX, but both ConVEX and PROS are great options.
Actually, PROS isn’t open source, but ConVEX is.
ROBOTC is much better for new or inexperienced programmers. It is the only option available, either free or commercial, that offers debugging (that is, the ability to set breakpoints in the code, single step through code statements, view global and local variables etc.). IMHO this feature alone is worth buying a license for.
PROS consists of several components packaged together into an installer.
The IDE is eclipse.
The toolchain (compiler etc.) is gcc.
The runtime library, the collection of functions that you can call to make the cortex run your code, is closed source and developed by the students at Purdue.
The flash download tool is open source (sort of) and is a plugin for eclipse developed by the Purdue students.
ConVEX is an open source runtime library that extends the capabilities of an open source RTOS (ChibiOS/RT). It can be used with eclipse and the gcc toolchain to allow a similar experience as PROS. The simplest way to use ConVEX is to first install PROS and then add the ConVEX library as an alternative to link against. The ConVEX API is different from the PROS API, in my opinion it’s better but I’m obviously biased.
ConVEX can also be used with other IDEs, it is for more experienced programmers who might want to push the limits of what the cortex can do. It is the only option that allows low level access to the cortex hardware to add, for example, a new I2C device. This makes it especially suitable for college students that may wish to add their own custom sensors.