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SD#71 (Comox Valley, BC)
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      School District 71
 
 

 
 PROGRAMMING ROBOTS

2015-2016


This page contains information and links to the programming languages linked to the LEGO and VEX robots used in School District 71. There are links to Virtual Worlds that allow you to test out your ideas before trying them in the real world. This page also has links to other software and languages that you might find useful as you build a base of knowledge and skills.

As always, be careful with any download. Most contain executable files which can be used to spawn viruses and worms. Use the main site for a program (the VEX site should, for example, say: http://www.vexrobotics.com). If your link address doesn't seem clear...get some advice about safety. Some sites, like CNET (which checks for malicious attachments every day), may also be worth checking out as a source for downloads.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT PROGRAMMING  up

Many SD#71 elementary schools have LEGO Robot Clubs (from there students move up to VEX Robots at the Secondary level). The LEGO Mindstorm uses software designed by National Instruments. The programming using this software is "drag and drop". This software comes with the LEGO NXT 1 and 2 kits. This kind of software allows users to quickly learn the basics of programming. From this base, students can move on to the ROBOTC software typically used with VEX Robots. The information on this page is designed to support this approach.

LEGO PROGRAMMING  up


Mindstorms

  1. LEGO Mindstorms demo - from National Instruments (they created the software)
  2. NXT software download - 800 meg file - from LEGO
  3. NXT firmware update - from LEGO
  4. LabView June 2014 post about Mindstorms 2013 version
  5. Software issues explained - from theroboticist.org

  6. NXT and EV3 quick guides - from LEGO Engineering
  7. 20 Mindstorm programming examples - from Lego Engineering
  8. NXT tutorials - from Oregon Robotics
  9. Segway and others - from Robotsquare
  10. Behaviour-based programming - from Clinton Blackmore SABRE
  11. EV3 and Mindstorm - differences and similarities

  12. EV3

  13. EV3 Programming - FAQ from LEGO
  14. EV3 Firmware update - from LEGO
  15. Overview of some feature (starts at about 2:50) - from LabView
  16. EV3 tutorials: 1 Intro, 2 move blocks, 3 display, sound light - from W.A.F.F.L.E.S.
  17. EV3 tutorials: 4 start and wait, and 5 putting it together - from W.A.F.F.L.E.S.
  18. W.A.F.F.L.E.S. youtube playlist
  19. EV3 tutorials - from Stemcentric

 

NXT Programs, highly recommended, provides it all. They show you both how to build and program robots. Many of their samples also have a video of the project running. The coding they provide also tells you how hard the building and programming is likely to be.


The Mindstorms robots can also be programmed in ROBOTC for NXT. This uses a version of the C programming software that has been adapted for Mindstorm processors. You can also explore LabView - another drag and drop approach to programming (by the makers of the NXT programming language).

  1. ROBOTC for LEGO - preview from Carnegie Mellon University
  2. ROBOTC V4 - from Carnegie Mellon University
  3. Robot C first time setup - from Bot Bench
  4. Tutorials for Robot C #1 and #2 - videos
  5. Tutorials from Schuyler Horky #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 of 11
  6. Examples of ROBOT C projects: both LEGO and VEX - from robotc.net
  7. Examples of Robot C programs for LEGO - in Spanish and some in English from Electricbricks blog

  8. Introduction to Lab View - from National Instruments
  9. Using Lab View: software a step beyond the Mindstorm program - from National Instruments
  10. Lab View for Mindstorms - from National Instruments
  11. LabView tutorials - from k12lab.com
  12. LabView programs for LEGO - in Spanish and some in English from Electricbricks blog
  13. LabView tutorials - from Rob Torok
  14. Introduction to LabView - nxtmastery.com

 

Other software.

  1. LDraw - CAD programming for LEGO fans
  2. Reviews of "Best Free Lego Building Software" - from Gizmo's Freeware
  3. LeJOS - Java for NXT
  4. Enchanting - from SABRE works in conjunction with Scratch
  5. Enchanting/Scratch videos - from Sabre
  6. Scratch 2 offline editor - associated with Lifelong Kindergarten at MIT

VEX PROGRAMMING  up

  1. Software downloads for the VEX Micro controller - from VEX
  2. ROBOTC Natural Language explained - from robotc.net
  3. RobotC help for V4 - from robotc.net
  4. Robot C V4 - from robotc.net
  5. Examples of ROBOT C projects: both LEGO and VEX - from robotc.net

  6. Tutorials - Getting Started - from robotc.net
  7. Tutorials - Learning RobotC - from robotc.net
  8. Tutorials - A Beginner's Guide for V3 - PDF file by George Gillard
  9. Tutorials - VEX Sensors - from robotc.net
  10. Tutorials - Integrated Motor Encoders - from robotc.net
  11. Robot C wiki - hosted by VEX
  12. Robot C forum - from robotc.net
  13. Robot C forum - VEX forum


  14. VEX IQ Software - by Modkit
  15. RobotC for VEX IQ
  16. VEX Assembler - free CAD Software for IQ builds - by Autodesk
  17. VEX Assembler video - from Autodesk

 

VIRTUAL WORLDS   up

There are several virtual worlds you might want to check out. One is from Carnegie Mellon and one is from Microsoft. Both will allow you to build and run Mindstorm robots. Carnegie Mellon works with both Mindstorm and VEX platforms.

  1. CS2N - Computer Science Student Network (CS2N)
  2. Game Design - from CS2N
  3. Robot Virtual Worlds - from RoboMatter

OTHER SOFTWARE LINKS  up

  1. Robot software - a fairly heavy read from wikipedia.org

  2. Arduino - open source software from arduino.cc
  3. Arduino tutorials - from arduino.cc
  4. Arduino 5 minute tutorials - from RobotShop
  5. Jeremy Blum Arduino video #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5 - YouTube

  6. AutoDesk Education
  7. brickOS - a dated C++ environment for LEGO
  8. Gazebo V4 - multi-robot simulator
  9. KISS - from Botball
  10. Player Project
  11. Stage - 2D multi-robot
  12. Simbad Project
  13. Terkos - for terk and VEXPro controllers

 Feel free to send us your suggestions for software.

 

Stewart Savard (eLibrarian) and Randy Grey (Career Coordinator)s

 

 
 

Created by Stewart Savard SD#71 (Comox Valley) April 2009. Updated March 2016.

 Careers link      


CURRICULAR LINKS
These links connect you to a wealth of teacher resources.


FRIENDS AND CLUB LINKS
Here are a few links to some of our friends in Robotic Clubs on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Washington State and around the world:

 

FURTHER EDUCATION
Interested in studying Robotics. These links may help you to find local, national and international opportunities to explore your interests.