Lab 2: Programming in LEGO Mindstorms NXT

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See also the lab introduction slides. In this assignment, you will learn how to do basic real-time programming on an embedded device with a runtime that supports real-time tasking. It will run an Ada runtime system based Ravenscar Small footprint profile.

Solve this assignment in your fast nxt robot programming nxt. The lab should be done in groups of 3 people, or in exceptional cases in groups of 2 people. Submissions by a single student will normally not fast nxt robot programming nxt accepted. All students participating in the group shall be able to describe all parts of the solution. The box includes all the necessary parts for solving the assignment, and the group is responsible for handing the package back at the end of the course.

Solutions have to be submitted via the student fast nxt robot programming nxt, deadline for submission is September 26th, No submissions will be accepted after this point. Hand-ins with non-indented code will be fast nxt robot programming nxt without further consideration. The last part of this assignment consists of building a robot car that can follow a car on a track see below. All groups have to show that their car is able to complete the tour.

Please sign up for the demonstration times on this Doodle poll. The NXT brick can be used to control actuators, like an integrated sound generator, lights, and motors, and read input from fast nxt robot programming nxt sensors, like light sensors, pressure sensors, rotation sensors, and distance sensors. Ravenscar Small Footprint Profile SFP supports a subset of original Ada language suitable for predictable execution of fast nxt robot programming nxt tasks in memory constrained embedded systems.

The Ada runtime system it uses is very small lines! In this lab, we will not use a real-time operating system, only a runtime system supporting Ada tasking and scheduling features.

Ada programs will run in RAM, so after turning off the robot the program will be gone and you need to upload it again in the next run. Unfortunately there is no proper API documentation for this driver library. The way to learn programming with these drivers is to check the driver specifications in their respective.

You can find some packages of drivers and example code as part of getting started session below. The compilation toolchain first compiles the Ada file into an ARM binary and then generates the whole system's binary by merging the driver binaries with it. This includes definitions of all tasks, resources, event objects, etc. All software necessary to work with Ada and NXT platform is installed on the Windows lab machines in the lab This includes software for flashing the firmware, compiling programs and uploading them.

Cygwin is a shell program which emulates Unix environment inside windows. In order to compile Ada NXT programs, all you need to do is to have an appropriate makefile in the current fast nxt robot programming nxt. It is recommended that you use a different subdirectory for each part of the assignment. For compiling use "make all" fast nxt robot programming nxt. Compiler will compile all the required drivers and at the end will generate a compressed file with same name as the main procedure no extension fast nxt robot programming nxt Windows, with.

In order to start with the lab, you first need to change a setting in the original firmware of the robot. Now put it into reset mode by pressing the reset button at the back of the NXT, upper left corner beneath the USB connector for more than 5 seconds. The brick will start ticking shortly after. This means you robot is ready for uploading the code into its ram.

In this lab, the robot will be always on "reset mode" when you upload a program as the code of the previous run can not reside in the ram after turning it off.

The original firmware can be flashed back with the help of TA which you please do before handing back the box. Successful upload will show something similar address may be different: Image started at 0xc. Now you can disconnect the robot and try testing it. You can turn off the robot by pressing the middle orange button.

If you like to work at home, you fast nxt robot programming nxt install the compilation and upload toolchain yourself. Since this fast nxt robot programming nxt heavily on your setup, we can't give you any direct support. However, installation in Windows is farely simple and instructions for Windows and Linux installation can be found in instruction file. The program you will write is a simple "hello world! Priority'First ; begin Tasks.

Note that we assigned lowest priority to this procedure by using attribute 'First which indicates the first value of a range. This procedure is calling a procedure background the main procedure of Tasks of package Tasks. Your code should do the following:. Light sensors are bit tricky to initialize. Try different procedures of the fast nxt robot programming nxt package to master output fast nxt robot programming nxt the display. For more advanced kind of display you can use the nxt-display-concurrent package from facilities.

Make sure your code compiles without error and executes as desired on the NXT brick. Try to measure light values of different surfaces light ones, dark ones, In this part, you will learn how to program event-driven schedules with NXT.

The target application will be a LEGO car that drives forward as long as you press a touch sensor and it senses a table underneath its wheels with the help of a light sensor. For this purpose, build a LEGO car that can drive on wheels. You may find inspiration in the manual included in the LEGO box. Further, connect a touch sensor using a standard sensor cable to one of the sensor inputs.

Ideally events generated by external sources are detected by the interrupt service routines ISRs. This allows to react immediately to signals from various sources. Unfortunately, most of the sensors on the NXT are working in a polling mode: They need to be asked for their state again and again, instead of getting active themselves when something interesting happens. Our workaround for this is to create a small, second task that and checks the sensors periodically about every 10ms.

If the state of the sensor changed, it generates the appropriate event for us. Integer; -- Event data declaration Signalled: This protect object can be used by different tasks to communicate between them.

For example, a task can block on receiving event:. In order to do this, declare and implement a task "EventdispatcherTask". It should fast nxt robot programming nxt the appropriate API fast nxt robot programming nxt to read the touch sensor and compare it to it's old state.

A static variable may be useful for that. If the state changed, it should release the corresponding event by using signal procedure of the Event protected object. Just as in part 1, put your code in an infinite loop with fast nxt robot programming nxt delay in the end of the loop body. As suggested by the names of the events, the idea is that they should occur as soon as the user presses and releases the attached touch sensor. In order for MotorcontrolTask to have priority over EventdispatcherTask, make sure to assign a lower priority to the latter.

Otherwise, the infinite loop containing the sensor reading would just make the system completely busy and it could never react to fast nxt robot programming nxt generated events.

Add further some nice status output on the LCD. This should complete your basic event-driven program. Compile and fast nxt robot programming nxt the program and try whether the car reacts to your commands. Attach a light sensor to your car that is attached somewhere in front of the wheel axis, close to the ground, pointing downwards.

Extend the program to also react to this light sensor. The car should stop not only when the touch sensor is released, but also when the light sensor detects that the car is very close to the edge of a table. You may need to play a little bit with the "Hello Fast nxt robot programming nxt The car should only start moving again when the car is back on the table and the touch sensor is pressed again.

The edge detection should happen in EventdispatcherTask and be communicated to MotorcontrolTask via the event protected object. Use two new events for that purpose. Make sure you define and use all events properly. Further, the display should provide some useful information about the state of the car.

Please hand in only the source of the full second program that includes the light sensor code. Make sure you include brief explanations and that your source is well-commented. Note that hand-ins without meaningful comments will be directly discarded. Real-time schedulers usually schedule most of their tasks periodically. This usually fits the applications: Sensor data needs to be read periodically and reactions in control loops are also calculated periodically and depend on a constant sampling period.

Another advantage over purely event-driven scheduling is that the system becomes much more predictable, since load bursts are avoided and very sophisticated techniques exist to analyze periodic schedules. You will learn about response-time analysis later during the course. The target application in this part will make your car keep a constant distance to some given object in front of it.

Additionally, the touch sensor is used to tell the car to move backwards a little bit in order to approach the object again. Note that this is a new program again, so for now, do not just extend the program from the event-driven assignment part.

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The base kit ships in two versions: The third generation, the EV3 , was released in September It can take input from up to four sensors and control up to three motors , via a modified version of RJ12 cables, very much similar to but incompatible with RJ11 phone cords.

The plastic pin to hold the cable in the socket is moved slightly to the right. Power is supplied by 6 AA 1. A black version of the brick was made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mindstorms System with no change to the internals. Lego has released the firmware for the NXT Intelligent Brick as open source , along with schematics for all hardware components. More complicated programs and sound files can be downloaded using a USB port or wirelessly using Bluetooth.

Files can also be copied between two NXT bricks wirelessly, and some mobile phones can be used as a remote control. Up to three NXT bricks can communicate simultaneously via Bluetooth when user created programs are run. The retail version of the kit includes software for writing programs that run on Windows and Mac OS personal computers. This means that rather than requiring users to write lines of code, they instead can use flowchart like "blocks" to design their program.

With careful construction of blocks and wires to encapsulate complexity, NXT-G can be used for real-world programming. Community support is significant, for example: BricxCC also has the capability to decompile standard.

It can also be used to program the NXT brick. Some people have even got working grayscale on the NXT Screen. Lego has announced that it will stop officially supporting Robolab but Robolab 2.

RoboMind is educational software that is specially developed to teach students about logic, programming and robotics. The strength of RoboMind is the compactness of the learning environment, which allows to quickly develop and test scripts in a virtual environment. The scripts can then directly be transferred to a Lego Mindstorms NXT robot, to see the result in real life. The resulting NXT programs have the compactness and clarity offered by that programming environment.

More information found at:. It relies on a dedicated run-time kernel based on the Ravenscar profile , the same used on the Goce satellite: It also has a component architecture UObject for distribution. Urbi is compatible with many robots, including Nao cf Robocup , Bioloid or Aibo. It uses NXT-G and. It is unknown if you can legally implement this in FLL competitions.

Ruby-nxt is a library to program the NXT for the Ruby programming language. Unlike the other languages for the NXT, the code is not compiled to a binary file.

Instead the code is directly transmitted to the NXT via a Bluetooth connection. It supports direct commands, messages and many sensors also unofficial. It has also support for a simple message-based control of a NXT brick via remotely executed program basic NXC code included. Windows support is also possible with the win32 port of libusb.

The library allows users to control a Lego NXT via bluetooth controller from within other C programs. The library provides low level control and high level abstraction. It supports direct commands and several aftermarket sensors. Physical Etoys is a visual programming system for different electronic devices.

It supports direct mode and compiled mode. The sensors come assembled and programmed. In the software see Programming above , people can decide what to do with the information that comes from the sensors, such as programming the robot move forward until it touches something.

Lego also sells an adapter to the Vernier sensor product line. Vernier produces data collection devices and related software for use in education. Sensors are connected to the NXT brick using a 6-position modular connector that features both analog and digital interfaces. The analog interface is backward-compatible using an adapter with the older Robotics Invention System.

The digital interface is capable of both I 2 C and RS communication. Lego Mindstorms NXT 2. The set contains pieces, including a new sensor that can detect colors. Parts can be ordered separately. In the original kit, the sensors included are the color sensor, two touch sensors, and an ultrasonic sensor:.

In order to create larger, more complex programs, programming software on a PC is required. The standard programming software is NXT-G, which is included in the package. Third-party programming software is also available, some of which is listed below:. NXT-G is the programming software included in the standard base kit.

It features an interactive drag-and-drop environment. Since its release, several bugs have been found and new sensors have been created. While the toolkit does allow for the creation of new sensors, National Instruments has yet to formally release an update.

It requires nxtOSEK to run. RoboMind is an educational programming environment that offers a concise scripting language for programming a simulated robot. These internationalized scripts can, however, also directly be exported to Lego Mindstorms robots. It also has a component architecture UObject for distributed computation.

Unlike the other languages for the NXT the code isn't compiled to a binary file. This method of execution is significantly slower than executing compiled code directly. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Mindstorm disambiguation. This article may contain too much repetition or redundant language.

Please help improve it by merging similar text or removing repeated statements. Lego portal Robotics portal. Archived from the original on 6 October Sample Project on coding4fun. Archived from the original on Board games Serious Play.

See also Robot Robotics suite Adaptable robotics. Retrieved from " https: Lego Mindstorms Lua-scriptable hardware Robot kits Products introduced in in robotics. Wikipedia articles needing style editing from October All articles needing style editing All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from July Articles with unsourced statements from May Commons category with local link different than on Wikidata Articles with Curlie links.

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