2009-07-12

LEGO Mindstorms NXT

6.17:
. GNAT is the openware version of
the USA`dept of defense's programming language: Ada .

. GNAT GPL Edition for the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT,
allows use of both Ada 2005
and SPARK (an annotated Ada subset)
to program the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT
which is an education-oriented robotics platform
involving embedded systems development .
. entire embedded systems, including software, hardware
sensors interfacing, and wireless communications
can be developed and verified
using the GPL editions of GNAT and SPARK.

Originally an education-oriented project at MIT Media Lab,
LEGO MINDSTORMS has evolved into a succesful commercial product
used in many Universities and high schools .
The latest revision of the platform supports
sensors for distance, colors and sounds
and communication via the Bluetooth protocol.

. the other prog'lang for this platform
is Dave Baum's nqc (not quite c),
a native byte-code compiler toolkit for the
Lego Mindstorms, Cybermaster and LEGO Spybotics systems .
. NQC (at sourceforge) does not currently support
the new LEGO NXT programmable brick .
. If desiring a non-Ada high-level programming language
-- easy to use and very similar to NQC --
see Not eXactly C (NXC).

. Lego Mindstorms is not mac.intel ready;
similarly, the GNAT GPL Edition for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT
works only on the pc (xp or vista)
even though there is a GNAT for programming mac OS X
that does work on mac OS X .

. the GNAT GPL Edition for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT
relies on the nxtOSEK operating system
to manage real-time and concurrent execution.
GNAT for Lego Mindstorms requires you to
erase the original Lego firmware;
which can, however, be restored if necessary.
Here’s what’s included:
* GNAT GPL edition targeting the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Platform
* Bindings to nxtOSEK, an open, real-time operating system
providing facilities for real-time and concurrent systems
* Bindings to access MINDSTORMS hardware (processor, sensors and motors),
including Bluetooth
* Getting Started material, examples of applications
which can be used as teaching material
coming soon:
* Availability for the LEGO MINDSTORMS robotic building system