For a little while now I’ve wanted to make a game to teach AI programming and robotics. Between school and my summer internship I was able to start it, and here I’ll outline some of my progress.

The Project Idea

What I want to build is a game in which robots are assembled by snapping together components. The robots are then programmed. The programs must define a run function, which is run every tick of the game. The code can control the robot through a variable, perhaps called R, which contains a list detailing the structure of the robot. Each component of the robot would act as a function. A motor, for instance, would be a function that takes 0 or 1 arguments. If 0 arguments are provided, the motor would report its current speed, if 1 argument is provided, it sets its speed to the value of that argument.

The Language

The language I’ve built is a LISP. It has a few primitive types - Numbers, Strings, Booleans, Lists, and Functions.
Numbers are all floating point, and are written normally (i.e. 3.0, 6, -9.2, etc).
Strings are written in between quotes (i.e. "hello world").
Booleans are written as either #t for true or #f for false.
Lists are written in between '(), so a list might look like '(1 2 3).
Functions are defined using the fun function, which is described below.

It currently has a few built-in functions:

  • (g x y...) - binds the name x to y in the global namespace, with alternating pairs of identifiers and their values
  • (do X...) - evaluates every argument, and then returns the last evaluation
  • (if X Y Z) - evaluates X, if it is false then evaluates and returns Z, otherwise it evaluates and returns Y
  • (fun X Y) - returns a function where X is its argument list and Y is the defined function
  • (= X Y) - evaluates X and Y and returns #t if they are equal, #f otherwise
  • (+ X...) - evaluates each argument and returns their sum
  • (- X Y...) - evaluates each argument and returns the result of subtracting them from the first argument
  • (car X) - returns the first element of list X
  • (cdr X) - returns the list X with the first element removed
  • (cons X Y) - appends X to the end of list Y
  • (def X Y) - evaluates the list X, which is a list of alternating identifiers and values, and binds each identifier to the value that follows, and then evaluates and returns expression Y with those bindings

You can try out the language below:

Type your code and hit `Run` to see the result.
Tags: Projects
Part of a series on AI Game.

Leave a comment below! If you want me to get back to you soon, shoot an email to john j westhoff at gmail.