NERO Sensor Configuration Utility


The NERO Sensor Config is an external tool designed to allow modification to how your robotic operatives visualize the world around them. Using this tool, you are able to add, remove, or modify sensors in the brains of your NEROs. Doing so can open up new windows of opportunity for learning and exploration. The utility acts in cooperation with the actual game, modifying one file in which the sensor configuration for the game is stored. The tool provides the ability to easily edit this configuration file or to quickly restore the default file if you are unhappy with the results of your new configuration.



Table of Contents:


I.                    System Requirements

II.                 The Menu

III.               The Editing Area

IV.              The Sensor Visualization Area

V.                 TypeMask Builder

VI.              Credits

VII.            Support



I. System Requirements:


The NERO Sensor Configuration Utility was built upon the .NET framework (version 1.1) and it is required to run the utility. For the *nix and Mac users out there, a cross platform version of .NET has been produced at .


You will also need a valid genome file from the NERO game such as the one found in nero/data/neat/ . The default genome file is called 21in5out.gnm. If the utility cannot directly find this file, it will create a popup window to let you navigate to it.



II. The Menu:


At the to of the window you should see a menu consisting of the following options, “File”, “Load Sensor”, and “About”.



   “Save” : Saves the current modifications made into a genome file for later use.

   “Exit”   : Exits the application.


Load Sensor

   “Empty  : Clears the current modifications leaving you with an empty sensor array.

   “Default” : Sets the current modifications to the default NERO settings.  



   Loads up an information screen about the NERO Sensor Config Utility.



III. The Editing Area



This is a list of all the sensors currently in your sensor array. All of these sensors will be   used when training your NERO if you save with this configuration.


Sensor Info

In this area you can modify various statistics and fields for a sensor that you’ve selected from the Sensors subarea.


Draw Sensors

These checkboxes allow you to designate which sensor visualizations should be shown in the Sensor Visualization Area. Placing a check in the type causes the visualization to be enable, and unchecking the type disables the visualization.


Add/Delete Sensor

This allows you to add or remove sensors from your current sensor array.  Use the options below the “Add Sensor” button to choose what type of sensor to add. Select a sensor from the Sensors subarea to delete.



IV. Sensor Visualization Area


In this area, each of the sensors in your sensor array can be visualized. The types of sensors that are visualized is determined by the checkboxes in the Draw Sensors portion of the Editing Area. The visualization shows various properties such as sensor radius and angle.  In terms of where the sensors are located with respect to the NERO, imagine a  top-down view of the NERO and his forward direction is towards the top of the screen. The current sensor selected in the Sensors portion of the Editing Area is highlighted in red.



V. TypeMask Builder


When you select a RaySensor in the Sensors areas of the Editing Area there will be two boxes for editing in the Sensor Info area labeled “Detect Typemask” and “Occlude Typemask.” The value inside this box describes what types of objects a RaySensor will see in training. If you click on the “…” to the right of the box, the TypeMask builder will open. In this builder, there are an array of checkboxes to select what types of entities your RaySensor will detect or be occluded by. Using this, you can create a more sophisticated RaySensor than is present by default in the game.



VI. Credits


The NERO team would like to thank Charles Tarun for creating this utility application. The entire application was created by him with small hints from the team about how various aspects of the sensor worked. He is not affiliated with the University of Texas, but has been a great benefit to the team and the NERO game in general and we really appreciate the work that he has done.



VII. NERO Sensor Configuration Utility Support


For support, including email addresses, software and documentation updates, and discussion forums, please visit our website: