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artisthos
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Using Lego Sensors and Motors via NI PCI board and LabVIEW

I want to plug Lego motors and Sensors into a NI PCI board and drive the motors and sense data using LabView. What PCI board would I use? Thanks for a great site and fantastic on-line community.

Tom Lohre artist/scientist
Has a operating painting robot using RoboLab/RCX
Developing a LabView/ NXT robot that analyzes an image for aesthetic quality.
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cyclone2k9
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Re: Using Lego Sensors and Motors via NI PCI board and LabVIEW

Hi artisthos,

 

You cannot connect these sensors to a pci board.  You will need the NXT brick to interface to the sensors/motors.  This brick is then tethered to the PC via USB or the bluetooth dongle and the application can be deployed to the brick.  This is done using the LabVIEW NXT Toolkit.  This should install with the LabVIEW Educational Edition.

 

After installing the toolkit, there will be VIs in your functions palette to communicate to the sensors/motors.  You can also create a NXT VI by selecting File»New NXT VI..  and then target your connected and powered on NXT brick.  This will automatically limit your palettes to the functions that work on the NXT brick.  

 

After developing the logic for your NXT VI, there is a icon by the run button to deploy the code to your brick, and then you can run the program directly from your brivk, untethered to the machine.

 

Hope this helps.

Best,

Adam
Academic Product Manager
National Intruments
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artisthos
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Re: Using Lego Sensors and Motors via NI PCI board and LabVIEW

Thank you for the reply and the fantastic NI Team. I will be migrating to NXT from RCX. Eventually I want to move my work with Lego motors, sensors and LabVIEW to the next step with a NI pci board and the additional NI equipment needed to input sensor data and drive motors in the least expensive manner. The NXT platform is a Godsend for an inexpensive platform but eventually you have to move on to higher level sensors, cameras and motion control. I am developing a equipment purchasing plan to move to completely to NI equipment with the least amount of dollar outlay.

Tom Lohre artist/scientist
Has a operating painting robot using RoboLab/RCX
Developing a LabView/ NXT robot that analyzes an image for aesthetic quality.
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cyclone2k9
Posts: 223
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Re: Using Lego Sensors and Motors via NI PCI board and LabVIEW

Hi Tom,

 

Sounds like a great application.  Migrating to NXT with LabVIEW will be a great intermediate step before moving over to more industrial and higher quality sensors with a PCI, PXI, cDAQ, or cRIO card.  We do have a lot of options when it comes to vision and motion acquisition and control, and we have dedicated forums for all of these products as well.

 

Machine Vision: http://forums.ni.com/t5/Machine-Vision/bd-p/200

Motor Control and Motor Drive: http://forums.ni.com/t5/Motion-Control-and-Motor-Drives/bd-p/240

LEGO Mindstorms LabVIEW Programming Guide: http://digital.ni.com/manuals.nsf/websearch/93B7EC451C8DEEC68625762B005380FE

Getting Started with LEGO Mindstorms: http://digital.ni.com/manuals.nsf/websearch/80456522F9BE87FB8625746400540977

 

 

Best of luck,

Adam
Academic Product Manager
National Intruments
Member
artisthos
Posts: 31
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Re: Using Lego Sensors and Motors via NI PCI board and LabVIEW

[ Edited ]

Thanks to those great folks at NI to get the answer right away. NI engineers are piloting chat support as an additional support channel.  I was able to chat with an engineer before the test ended JAN. 9.

http://decibel.ni.com/content/community/zone/blog/2010/12/20/beta-chat-with-an-ni-engineer-for-suppo...

he directed me to  

http://ohm.ni.com/advisors/crio/pages/common/intro.xhtml
where I was able to assemble my own system to match my RCX system. Costing $3,364 without software and some additional cables and stuff, I am sticking with Lego till I can generate some monies from the machine I built with Legos. I am a full time fine artist with a RCX machine that paints. I am migrating to NXT so I can use all the LabVIEW vi’s. If anyone has a NXT brick and software to sell, let me know.

Tom Lohre artist/scientist
Has a operating painting robot using RoboLab/RCX
Developing a LabView/ NXT robot that analyzes an image for aesthetic quality.