New Blocks & Pinging the US sensor
Steve Hassenplug has just put up two more nice custom blocks developed using the LabVIEW Toolkit. One is a block that will take the output of a NXT-G timer (a number of milliseconds) and display it on the LCD in terms of minutes and seconds. The second was developed by Steve and a wider group of folks bouncing ideas off each other. It is a bitwise logic block, that will perform binary operations on numbers (instead of just logical wires), such as performing an AND between two numbers, etc. This can be really handy for dealing with low-level things on the NXT. Visit Steve's NXT page for these and actually a whole lot of other custom blocks: line following blocks, display blocks, array blocks. Take a look. To install these blocks, you need the dynamic block update installed (there's a lot of other good updates on this LEGO page, check them out).
Another fun thing that has come out is a tutorial from Guy Ziv over at NXTasy about how to use the I2C read/write blocks to "ping" the US sensor, allowing it to be used in an on-demand fashion. He also discusses ways to access some of the deeper functions of the sensor, such as the ability of it to return not just the distance to the nearest object, but essentially the distance to the nearest eight objects. Those I2C blocks open up a lot of deep calls into the NXT digital sensors.
"and, uh, get the machine that goes... ping!"