This paper describes SPIM-bot, an extension to James Larus's widely-used MIPS simulator SPIM, that allows virtual robots to be controlled by writing programs in the MIPS assembly language. SPIM-bot was written to provide an engaging environment to motivate students to learn assembly language concepts. The SPIM-bot tool allows the development of scenarios-in which students must program the robot to perform certain tasks-and provides the means to compete two robots against each other. In our sophomore/junior-level class, we structure the programming component as a collection of structured assignments that produce sub-components for the robot; these sub-components are then used in a final open-ended programming assignment to produce an entry for a SPIM-bot tournament. In our experience, this has been an effective means of engaging students, with many students investing time to aggressively optimize their implementations. SPIM-bot has been effectively used in large classes and its source code is freely available .
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Proceedings - International Symposium on Computer Architecture|
|State||Published - 2005|
|Event||Workshop on Computer Architecture Education, WCAE '05, Held in conjunction with the 32nd International Symposium on Computer Architecture - Madison, WI, United States|
Duration: Jun 5 2005 → Jun 5 2005
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Hardware and Architecture