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MINDSTORM, NXT-G & ISADORA



  • I have a Mindstorm#2 kit from Lego that I bought because I use it (with the associated NXT/NXT-G software and BT) for moving a pico-dolly with a Merlin-mount on top, that has my camera in it and a motorized focus controller (the 3rd motor of the Mindstorm) basically forming a small "computerized motion control" for filming or for TL. I have not used yet the sensors that comes with it which could be used for following lines or interacting with color bands or detecting distances, etc. So, since I already have this system, I taught I could take advantage of it with Isadora (of which I only have a demo at the moment, that is next in line). The all kit could be used to interact with movement on stage (for example) as I could have a "tracking" camera (what do you think of IP?) on the mini Pico-dolly etc. that has the sensor attached to the Mindstorm and which I would control via BT from my MBP. Has anyone any idea whether it would be possible to connect the 2 together?

  • Tech Staff

    @bruper

    can you tell us a bit more about the mindstrom, for example what protocol does the software and the hardware use to talk with each other? Is the software PC or Mac or both? Or a direct link to more information about the tech specs.

    Best,
    Michel



  • There is this project here which facilitates OSC via bluetooth:

    http://diablu.jorgecardoso.eu/
    Its a few years old and doesn't look like its being developed but worth checking out.
    Let us know if it works!


  • Hello Michel and thanks for your message.
    Lego Mindstorms NXT is a programmable robotics kit that comes with the NXT-G programming software, or optionally LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS.
    A variety of unofficial languages exist, such as NXC, NBC, leJOS NXJ, and RobotC.
    I am not a programmer at all and (beside operation), am not sure what exact protocol... what I can tell you is that I program on the very logical UI software what I want to do and send/receive live instruction to the NXT- brick and the motors/sensors connected to it and/or I download the command to the brick for a later usage, al via BT or via USB. The Mindstorm comes with the Next-brick, 3 motors & 4 sensors and a number of Lego bits and pieces like wheels, gears, etc.
    It works with Mac or Windows or others like Iphone, etc.
    The software is available for free on the Lego page and the followings are some of the many links talking about the NXT / NXT-G software and hardware
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_Mindstorms_NXT#NXT-G
    http://mindstorms.lego.com/en-us/support/files/default.aspx
    http://mindstorms.lego.com/en-us/whatisnxt/default.aspx
    http://education.lego.com/downloads/?q={02FB6AC1-07B0-4E1A-862D-7AE2DBC88F9E}
    http://www.legoengineering.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=124
    http://www.stemcentric.com/nxt-tutorial/
    http://www.philohome.com/nxt.htm
    http://thenxtstep.blogspot.pt/p/building-instructions.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGW4DK04kCA&feature=related
    http://www.hitechnic.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=NIS1070
    Best regards,
    Bruno



  • Hello gavspav ,
    thank you for your information, I saw the link you sent and the info:
    "DiABlu LegOSC - This tool allows controlling the Lego Mindstorms NXT robots via Open Sound Control."
    Unfortunately I know nothing about OSC at the moment, I will have to investigate :)


  • Tech Staff

    I will download the mac software and see what I can figure out. I understand it a little better now. Quite cool actually... I've now got a good reason to start playing with Lego again! I loved Lego! How much is a basic starter kit in the UK?



  • thanks Skulpture, I bough it trough ebay for £200 a few months ago


  • Tech Staff

    OSC is just a protocol abbreviated as OSC it sends numbers via the range of 0.0 to 1.0.

    If you can get these numbers into your software via the LegOSC then you can apply it to your machine/lego controller(s).
    Its basically a soft hack from what I can gather. 


  • this is photo of my set-up with mindstorm
    410988-29072012200.jpg



  • I meant the NXT-brick, the Pico-dolly and the Merlin-mount on top



  • I wrote to DiABlu this morning and I received already an answer, hope it makes sense to someone:

    "I don't know Isadora, but if it accepts and sends OSC messages that
    you should be able to control the NXT.
    DiABlu is a bit old, so you might need to download recent serial
    communication libraries (I used RXTX) for your system, but it should
    work.
    If you decide to try it out, make sure you launch it from the command
    line so that you have access to the full logging messages. It might
    come in handy if something goes wrong...
    Jorge"


  • Tech Staff

    Isadora doe send and receive OSC so it looks like its possible.



  • great, so far so good, I'll need to investigate...



  • What a great thread. Robotic legos with Isadora -- love it. ;-)

    But just FYI, to correct Graham's statement: "OSC is just a protocol abbreviated as OSC it sends numbers via the range of 0.0 to 1.0." -- actually OSC can send any 32-bit floating point number or integer.
    The range of floating point numbers are -3.4 × 1038 and +3.4 × 1038. (As the numbers get bigger, you lose precision in digits nearer to the decimal point)
    The range of integer numbers are -2147483648 to +2147483647
    Best Wishes,
    Mark


  • Thanks Mark, Graham did you by any chance, downloaded the NXT software to have a look? Any help on the OSC connections (Am I greedy?) would be greatly appreciated :)



  • I have a mindstorms kit I got off ebay lately to explore with my kids though typically haven't used it that much.

    We made an amazing pinball machine from plans off the website though!
    Bruper if you dig into the Diablu stuff and let me know how to install it I can try to get it to work with Isadora.


  • I've started looking into this and not surprisingly I think there are a few ways to do it.

    Are you using a mac or a pc. Someone has written a GlovePie script to control the nxt with a wiimote, so it would be possible to adapt this to control it from Isadora via midi/osc/keyboard/take your pick.
    http://www.norgesgade14.dk/bluetoothremote.php
    On a mac maybe it would be possible to get this to work:  http://code.google.com/p/nxtbluetoothbridge/


  • thanks gavspav, I'm using mac, I will investigate, but do you mean this?: http://code.google.com/p/diablu/downloads/detail?name=DiABluLegOSC-0.5.zip&can=2&q=


  • Tech Staff

    Nope not downloaded it yet. I will do though. And Mark is 100% right in correcting me I was just keeping it simple. It seems Gav is on the case also! Knew Gav would like this ;-)



  • I do like it but I'm not really on the case. Can't think of anything I want to do with it (this week).

    Bruper - one thing I wasn't sure of - does the Diablu stuff work with Nxt or Nxt 2.0 (is there a difference?)

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