Monday, August 14, 2006

LabVIEW Toolkit for NXT Robotics

Last week LEGO Mindstorms along with National Instruments, creators of the NXT programming system, announced that they would be releasing the NI LabVIEW Kit for the Lego Mindstorms NXT Robotics System. The LabVIEW program opens the possibilities of creating VI's to use with the NXT system along with creating custom blocks of programming for these VI's.

The LEGO group's director of the Mindstorms division, Soren Lund, said, "The availability of the LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is critical for encouraging the development of additional tools for the system..." Lund went on to say, "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."

Using the LabVIEW toolkit, users are able to interact directly with the NXT while a program is running. A LabVIEW control can be added to the program allowing data to be sent to the NXT to influence it's actions as the program is running. This concept also works in the opposite way allowing a LabVIEW indicator to send information back to the computer at a point in the program.

John Barnes, president of HiTechnic says,"The LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT makes customizing add-ons for the NXT extremely easy and encourages users to expand the MINDSTORMS experience. This type of customer-driven functionality will extend and enhance the experience of MINDSTORMS fans of all ages." HiTechnic was mentioned in the previous story Advanced NXT Sensors.

For more information check out the Lego Press Release.

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