Thursday, August 31, 2006

Environments

We have tested the RobotC environment. This required an update of the NXT firmware, and seemed to be a good alternative to the Mindstorms graffical environment. It is based on C, but not fully C compliant yet. Also, there are no Bluetooth functionality, except upload from computer to NXT of program files, which is what we imagine the NXTs will use to communicate with each other. Drawbacks of RobotC is that it might get commercial, and it is not in fact C, just based on C.

We could not get the Java-based environment iCommand to work. iCommand might fullfil our demands for a environment, and it would be convenient for us to program in Java, so we will spend some more time getting this environment tested.

The most succesfull alternative to the mindstorms development environment is the simple assembly like language called NBC (Next Byte Codes) which can be compiled and executed to run on a NXT with default firmware. A feature rich editor for the NBC language is Bricxcc.



The handling of the bluetooth connection in windows is rather annoying at the moment, but we hope to find a more stable solution.

Further we have performed small unstructured tests of some of the sensors, and they appear to be ok, but further structured testing will reveal how accurate the sensors in fact are.

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