Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NXT Software and ICON installation

Here's a great overview of NXT programming options:
http://www.teamhassenplug.org/NXT/NXTSoftware.html

So far I tried ICON, NXT-G and NXC with Brick Command Center. All of them are great pieces of software.

The documentation of ICON is really poor, but the idea of not having to turn on your pc to program - this should have been standard issue on the NXT.

The trick for installing ICON is the button in the bottom right of the Lego NXT software with the little chip icon on it. It let's you view all the files on the NXT. And then you need to download ICON onto the NXT. I was looking for the upload button... I also had to click the 'delete all' button before it worked. The memory was probably segmented.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Controlling the Lego Mindstorms NXT with a phone.

Lego has proprietary software to control the brick via bluetooth. It's here:
http://mindstorms.lego.com/en-us/support/files/default.aspx
(look for 'Mobile Application Software')

Unfortunately my phone is not among the supported phones list. I have a Windows Mobile device. To control the NXT with your windows mobile phone you need OnBrick. The download is here:
http://www.pspwp.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/science/robotics/nxt/index.html

It's tough to get it to work. But here's how I did it:
1. On my phone in settings>connections>bluetooth I clicked 'add new device...' and went trough the handshake steps.
2. The NXT appears in the bluetooth devices list. Now edit it's settings and put a checkmark next to 'serial port
3. In the 'COM ports' tab, add a new one with the NXT. COM0 didn't work. Only 1 worked. Experiment a little here.
4. Launch OnBrick and check the connection tab to see of OnBrick found the COM port.
5. If yes, the fun begins!

I hope to write custom control applications in mobile.processing.org if ever I able to understand the NXT BlueTooth protocol.

Our new NXT

Got me an NXT for the kids (and me)! Yes!
The NXT-G software is fine. Dragging blocks around is a bit buggy. Controls are really small. Guess it's made for a laptop or netbook. So time for some power tools!