Mar 15, 2008

NXT-G Online: A Virtual Programming Teaching Environment

When I was in a LEGO Education Center in Shanghai, I met a true LEGO MINDSTORMS enthusiast, Johnson - it instant friendship. He showed some of the projects he developed and one really caught my attention: NXT-G Online. This software helps teach people how to program in NXT-G through a virtual programming teaching environment. In other words, you have a mission to solve, then you write your NXT-G code then download it to a virtual NXT robot (that is what really caught my attention), which runs the program and accomplishes the mission. It is also VERY easy to use. This software is also a great solution for schools/groups who cannot afford NXT's for everyone, but want them to all have an equal opportunity to program an NXT to really do some tasks.

Here is a video showing NXT-G Online:

video

To help better understand what is going on in the video, here is the sequence of chronologically events:

- A challenge was selected - a video that came up introduced the challenge.
- The simulated NXT-G programming environment was opened
- Wrote some code (4 motor blocks were dragged onto the palette, and each was set at a different power level).
- Downloaded the NXT-G program to the virtual NXT robot, which automatically opened the virtual environment.
- The robot was moved to where we wanted it to start.
- The virtual NXT brick was opened and we ran the program that was just created. The robot moved accordingly.

Note that the release version of NXT-G Online also has the ability select different sensors and motors for the virtual robot after which you can go back and change your code to make use of your modifications.

Thank you Johnson and your colleagues at Semia for creating this very useful tool.

6 comments:

Andy said...

Kirk, thanks for wonderful post :)
But the link to Semia is bad. You wrote www,semia.com while I belive it should be www.semia.com ;)
And do you have any idea where I can find that online NXT-G? My school ordered 10 NXTs last week, and they want me to hold a "speech" about it to tech people how it works etc. and I think this might be interesting for some of my teachers. :)

-Andy

Kirk Backstrom said...

Andy,

I'm glad you like the post. Thanks for pointing out the bad link...opps.

Regarding where to find NXT-G Online, as far as I know it is not yet distributed anywhere outside of China, yet. But I'm in contact with Semia to find out when it will become a general release and how to order it from them directly.

Andy said...

Ok, looking forward to hear more from you about this. I'm sure my teachers would appreciate to hear about it ;)

Anonymous said...

I NEED to know when this gets out... [impatience]Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait....!

Mirko Labbri said...

any news about the release?

Mirko Labbri said...

any news about the release?

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