- Topic 1
RCX was released onto the market in 1998. As a result, it has been superceded long ago, so it is possible to find these very cheap around schools in back cupboards and in dark, secret store rooms. There is also a selection of legacy documentation hiding in corners around the 'net.
There is a lot of support for Lego projects, especially the FLL (First Lego League) that is run out of various academic institution once a year. While it is great fun, it is also a commercially driven exercise.
This is important!
- Kids like Lego
- Using Lego, the robot build is very quick
- there are several languges that run the RCX
- It is free and comes with tutorials and documentation
- There is legacy teaching material available on the 'net
- The usual learning curve
- Old bricks might not work (Check the battery contacts for corrosion.
- RCX lead may have degraded
However, around the world, there are adult groups who continue to enthuse about Lego
Setting up RCX as RCX2 in Windows
This is a summary of the advice on the net.
1. My Windows machine comes with preloaded anti virus software. To run the following, boot into SAFE MODE then edit autoexec.bat usng sysedit from the command prompt.
Creating the environment
While the documentation says the RCX only operates on old windows versions, it will quite happily run on later versions of Windows.
Programming the RCX
There are several choices for programming languages.
Labview comes with the various kits. It is a visual programming language used in process control. eg the Mars explorers
NQC is a c# based language that is similar to the Arduino SDK
Visual basic using spirit.ocx
Picoblocks, similar to Scatch
Threre is also something called Legos that is another operating system for the brick.
- Topic 2
An evolution of Tecnics
This is a potted history of Lego technics from a user poiunt ov view
2. adding wheels and gogs, beams
3. Motors and battery powered devices
5. Programmable bricks, RCX, NXT, ev series
- Topic 3
Mindstorms : Where it started
- Topic 4
Lego Educational Philosophy
- Topic 5
Mindstorms for schools is an easy to read guide to running a couse in RCX. It is available for download from the Lego engineering site.
In this document are the follong
- 4 levels of training missions
- Video analysis via USB camera into Labview
- Data logging
Despite it's age, it makes it a perfect system to introduce STEM.
Here is the diffinitive guide
Free downloads of Roger Frost's Data Logging and Control
- Topic 6
Up and running
The RCX brick uses an infra-red tower to commnicate with the brick. To get the tower driver for your computer, you might need to hunt round the net.
For Windows, try the SDK25 link. Or if you have your mindstorms disk, try that.
The SDK25 also has the Firm038.lgo file which is the firmware or operating system for the brick.
You can run RCX2 commands on an RCX1 brick by downloading the appropriate firmware.
Hints and tips
- Make sure your brick is turned on. It will beep. It also goes to sleep.
- Look at Tools => Diagnostics to see if your brick is alive
- Choose to download firmware. Sometimes the firmware is lost and you have to reload it.
When you go to download your code, make sure you save it in the format for your brick.
All programming course follow much the same path
Step 1 : what is programming
Step 2 : the syntax
Step 3 : data types and variables
Step 4 : sequence
Step 5 : decisioon
Step 6 : repetition
Then they branch out into things like files and file handling, pointers and so on.
The robolab quick guide summarises this.
RIS = Robot invention system
- Topic 7
- Topic 8
- Topic 9
Lego Education Pack
- Topic 10
- Topic 11
- Topic 12
- Topic 13
- Topic 14
- Topic 15
Motors Sensors Systems
- Topic 16
- Topic 17
- Topic 18
Computers : EV3
The main processor of the NXT was an ARM7 microcontroller, whereas the EV3 has a more powerful ARM9 CPU running Linux. A connector and Micro slot (up to 32GB) are new to the EV3.
- Topic 19
First Lego League
- Topic 20
- Topic 21
- Topic 22
In the late 1980's Jim fuller, a teacher from Western Australia, pioneered a lot of the early Robotics teaching in WA.
The courses below were written for the then Unit Curriculum.
He used the available Lego kits,
Lego 1030 "Simple Machines"
Lego 1032 "Powered Machines"
Lego 1039 "Technic Manual Control"
Lego 1090 "Technic Buggy"
The Technics kits were only produced for educatioal use and were not generally available to the general public. They worked off a series of cards that explained in pictures what to do.
The first of these is available on this site.
- Topic 23
- Topic 24
- Topic 25