LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT from NI
National Instruments has announced the NI LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. With the new toolkit, LabVIEW users can create and download VIs to operate and control the MINDSTORMS NXT robotics platform. Third-party software and hardware developers also can use the toolkit to create native blocks for MINDSTORMS NXT software. MINDSTORMS NXT, the next generation of the popular LEGO robotics invention system, became available earlier this month and includes a new programming environment, custom developed by NI and powered by LabVIEW.The
“The availability of the LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is critical for encouraging the development of additional tools for the system,” said Søren Lund, Director of LEGO MINDSTORMS. “One of the key reasons for working with National Instruments to develop the NXT software was the ability for third-party developers to use LabVIEW to create add-on software blocks for our software. In addition, experienced MINDSTORMS users can easily migrate from the graphical drag-and-drop environment of MINDSTORMS NXT to the more advanced graphical programming in LabVIEW. Providing the tools advanced users need to take our system to the extreme is what made the legacy MINDSTORMS platform a huge success, and the NI toolkit furthers that tradition.”
With the toolkit, users can also interact with the NXT robot while a program is running. By dropping a LabVIEW control, the toolkit can send data to the robot and influence the currently executing program. By dropping an indicator, the value at that point in the program is sent back to the PC and viewed in a regular LabVIEW front panel.
Developers of third-party sensors and other hardware add-ons for MINDSTORMS NXT can use LabVIEW to create native blocks that program and control their hardware for use in MINDSTORMS NXT software. For example, HiTechnic Products developed the Digital Compass Sensor for MINDSTORMS NXT and is currently using the new LabVIEW toolkit to create blocks for this and other sensors.
“The LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT makes customising add-ons for the NXT extremely easy and encourages users to expand the MINDSTORMS experience,” said John Barnes, President of HiTechnic. “This type of customer-driven functionality will extend and enhance the experience of MINDSTORMS fans of all ages.”
LabVIEW 7.1 and 8.20 customers can download the beta version of the toolkit from ni.com beginning this fall. For more information, visit www.ni.com/mindstorms.
The LEGO Group (www.lego.com) is a privately held, family-owned company, based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded in 1932 and today the group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials for children, employing approximately 5,600 people globally. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities. LEGO products can be purchased in more than 130 countries.
22nd February 2024
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