C programming environment announced for NXT

Reader Bernard C. pointed me to this new posting... I'm pasting the original message below:


The Botline
News & Information from the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Academy

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Dear Robotics Educator,

Thank you for registering to receive the Robotics Academy Botline.

The Robotics Academy is pleased to announce the release of RobotC™ at http://www-education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/robotc/ RobotC is a new C-based programming environment designed to work on the RCX, the NXT, and the VEX robot controllers. It provides a common user interface regardless of the actual controller in use. Programs written for one platform can easily be ported to a different platform with little or no change.

Teaching C-based programming in today’s classroom can be very challenging… It becomes harder when you have to change programming languages and environments as new learners advance and migrate to more powerful controllers and robots. At the Robotics Academy we’re making the job easier. With the new RobotC programming solution, hobbyists, teachers and students move from the RCX to the NXT to Vex to the larger FIRST robot controllers using a single common programming environment.

RobotC is designed for both beginners and advanced users. Advanced features can be disabled and hidden from beginners under administrative control. A graphical drag-and-drop interface simplifies program creation. It includes an extensive library of how-to videos, sample programs, code ‘snippets’ and curriculum support now in development at the Robotics Academy.

The secret to RobotC’s cross-platform architecture is a small platform-specific Virtual Machine (VM) layer that provides the glue to each specific hardware platform. VM technology is the same architecture used by JAVA for its cross-platform support. It’s relatively easy to add future support for additional controllers to RobotC based on feedback and demand.

RobotC was successfully trialed in live classrooms this past winter semester. It’s ready for broader exposure and feedback. At http://www-education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/robotc/ you can download the software and take it for a test drive. At the site you will find sample code for multiple controllers, helper links, step-by-step videos, a bulletin board so that the larger community can compare notes, and a bug tracker which will enable the Robotics Academy to be responsive to your needs.

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Robotics Academy Mission Statement

The Robotics Academy is a nonprofit whose mission is to use the motivational effects of robotics to teach mathematical competency and technological literacy. We feel that the best way to reach the largest number of children is through teachers.

Our vision involves:

· Classrooms where children learn by doing
· Content organizers designed to integrate both academic concepts and the development of workplace competencies
· Creating educational tools that simplify learning


Anonymous said…
anyone know if this will be sanctioned by the FLL?
Anonymous said…
Seriously doubtful.

I don't believe FLL permitted to use any of the alternative programming environments for the RCX? Lejos, BrickCC, etc?

One of the reasons is that those environments opened up programming techniques which weren't available to the 'official' software. That would create an uneven playing field.

Further, it's not technically a lego product, and it would be hard for collaboration if one team had C based software and another had RoboLab.

I love that multiple environments come out for the smart bricks -- and hope we see a Java implementation soon too.
Anonymous said…
Me too!! So if is Mr Bagnall up to?

Anonymous said…
sorry that last message was from me..
Anonymous said…
If the below link does work than just search amazon for JAVA AND NXT

Anonymous said…
The firmware used in RobotC is almost certainly the same firmware used in Robolab 2.9 which is sanctioned by FLL so there is a very good chance that it will be okay.
Anonymous said…
This software appears to be only for Windows 2000. I am looking for a program to use with our Macs at school. I have been very pleased with MacNQC. It allowed my 8th grade students to write programs in a simplified code environment and it was very easy to use. Anything like this out there for the NXT for use on Mac OS X.

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