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Unread 06-24-2002, 04:19 AM
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#0047 (ChiefDelphi)
 
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Re: Controlling a FIRST robot with a Lego RCX Controller?

Posted by Ian Mackenzie at 05/29/2001 6:40 PM EST


Student on team #188, Woburn Robotics, from Woburn C.I..


In Reply to: Controlling a FIRST robot with a Lego RCX Controller?
Posted by Andy Baker on 05/24/2001 3:17 PM EST:



Just a couple of ideas from my experience with Mindstorms:

First, there are a whole bunch of ways to get the Lego robot to control the Innovation FIRST controller. To keep things easy, for instance, you could have the Lego RCX control motors that were in turn connected to continuous-turn potentiometers hooked to the Innovation FIRST controller (this might have the added dramatic effect of the Lego motors appearing to be 'amplified', if each motor on the RCX controlled one motor on the FIRST robot).

Second, and possibly more important, try NOT to use Spirit.OCX (the Lego software) to control the robot. Unless you must have feedback, I have found it is much, much more efficient to directly access the serial port to send messages to the RCX and then write a message-interpretation program for the RCX in a language such as NQC. It's quite easy, and very fast; for a demonstration earlier this year, another student and I had one IR tower controlling four Lego robots simultaneously with no detectable lag, using this technique.

If you want any more detailed information on directly accessing the IR tower, or using NQC, please tell me (I didn't want to go into all the nitty-gritty if the method isn't suited to what you want to do.)

-Ian Mackenzie


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