Building Mindstorm robots for the AM36 summer course

There is some videos, pictures and the source code for the robot available here

Can’t really say I enjoyed it, or even learned a lot, but at least it was a good opportunity to play with Lego.

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When they say you can’t get to old to play with Lego, it’s only partly true. Sure, you still enjoy building stuff, but it comes together with a lot frustration when you can’t construct the things you designed on paper or in your head. You simply can’t remember what bricks are available, so you’re sort of building in the dark.On the other hand, the new generation of Mindstorm, the NXT, is a big step forward compared to the old RXT generation. The processing and wireless abilities makes the NXT much more “professional”, instead of the more toy-like RXT. And the new sensors enables you to build a whole different kind of robot. Much more realistic.

But building the robot is of course only half the fun. The programming is also challenging and (in some cases) rewarding. Unfortunately we managed to use most of the time available building, testing and re-building the robot, so only a small amount of time were left for programming the robot.We programmed the robot using BricxCC and the NXC programming language.

NXC is a lot like NQC and real easy to use if you know some C. There’s support for multi-threading, Bluetooth and all sorts of high-level functions for the sensors and motors. Even a PID regulator, which came in handy for us. The only thing missing is really professional debugger. That would have been nice.

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