Simulators are very useful, especially when experimenting with the real thing is expensive or dangerous. At NASA running a “what if I do this?” with real people in real spacecraft would be very costly AND dangerous. So, instead they run simulations for trying out different ideas and experiments. After all the simulation tests say it’s a good idea, then the process to do it real life may begin.
The KISS-C Integrated Development Environment comes with a Botball simulator. This way you can test your programs quickly in simulation before downloading them onto your robot.
Here are images of what the CBC simulator looks like: You go through a few pages of set-up and instruction before the simulator runs. (for Link simulator the setup and look are slightly different.)
The next screen gives a choice between two robots:
The robot on the left uses ports 0 & 3 to activate the drive motors, and analog port 7 is the
simulated reflectance sensor which will see the black lines on the simulated game board.
Thus you can have a robot going forward until port 7 triggers and then go in reverse, etc.
The robot on the right is a simulator for the Create.
The next screen allows you to position (using the mouse) and orient the selected bot
(using left & right arrows for clockwise or counterclockwise rotation) .
The final screen before running is help to interpret the simulated inputs, how to
pause the run with the space bar, etc. Hitting the space bar starts the simulation.
Here’s a video of me running the simulation for drive_with_arrows