Erle Robotics C++ GitBook


A user-defined datatype which groups together related pieces of information is a class. In other words, classes are types representing groups of similar instances; each instance has certain fields that define it (instance variables). Instances also have functions that can be applied to them (represented as function fields and called methods).Also offers the possibility to the programmer to limit access to parts of the class (to only those functions that need to know about the internals).

Let's see an example:Representing a (Geometric) Vector.

  • In the context of geometry, a vector consists of 2 points: a start and a finish.
  • Each point itself has an x and y coordinate.
  • Our representation will use 4 doubles (startx, starty, endx, endy).
  • We need to pass all 4 doubles to functions.


So for now if we want to define the vector and print it we will do something like this.

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

void printVector(double x0, double x1, double y0, double y1) {
 cout << "(" << x0 << "," << y0 << ") -> ("
 << x1 << "," << y1 << ")" << endl;

int main() {
 double xStart = 1.2;
 double xEnd = 2.0;
 double yStart = 0.4;
 double yEnd = 1.6;


return 0;

Now we are going to define a vector as a class:

class Vector {
 double xStart;
 double xEnd;
 double yStart;
 double yEnd;

So with this, we can see the syntaxis of a class:

class ClassName {

ClassName is a new type.(In the example above Vector). The possible access modifiers are: public,private and protected. Fields indicate what related pieces of information our datatype consists of (They are also called members). Fields can be variables or functions and can have different types.

class MITStudent {
 char *name;
 int studentID;