Well our programmer is leaving us at the end of this school year and planned to teach some of us to program C but with the announcement that we will be using Lab VIEW next year (yes I do know that we can still do C) but I want to learn Lab VIEW but the problems are
I have no experience programming
Books on Lab VIEW are too expensive (Amazon puts it at $60-$100)
I can’t seem to find classes in my area that will take high school students
Did I say I have NO experience programming?
I am looking for anyone who can help I don’t know where to start and am feeling a little overwhelmed at this.
I’m going to assume you have LabVIEW all ready to go and everything.
These should give you the basics. I had use Robolab for FLL before FRC, so I was already used to the program flow with LabVIEW… but to learn how to do stuff, I thought of something I wanted to accomplish and I did searches to see what I needed to do to do it. I think I was able to do this because I was already used to a LabVIEW type environment. So the URL I said above should help you.
But still C is good to know. It’s different, but as a programmer, it’s good to know (even though LabVIEW’s flow is much different).
Last year we used LabVIEW for our diagnostics (which will be interesting next year… so much more information… and 128M of flash! =O)
Just poke around. It’ll give you a start, and from there you can dive into more interesting projects which’ll give you more specific questions (instead of “How do I program?” it’ll become “How do I loop until this action?”)
One of the first things I did in LabVIEW was to make it connect to an IRC server, send a packet which made it join a channel, say something, and leave. That’s all it did. At this point I could probably make a basic IRC client. Hm.
My understanding is that the [default] software used to program the NXT is essentially a wrapper around LabVIEW.
If you have an NXT or are willing to buy one, NI’s web site provides free addons to LabVIEW (PC and Mac versions only, sadly) that allow it to be used directly to program the NXT. So grab the copy of LabVIEW out of this year’s KOP, download the addon, and get practicing.
1.) Get a copy of Robolab, it is very closely based on labview, this is cover the basic data flow of controlling a robot
2.) Start developing flow chats of signals and their related processes. Understanding what signals you are working with and how to process them makes your life a lot easier! One of the big benefits of labview is that it is really easy to go from (detailed) flowchart to code.
There is an opportunity to test-drive LabVIEW. You can download a trial copy that will run for 30 days. In addition to this, you can download exercises that will allow you to work within the LabVIEW environment. There are 11 different exercises each one is designed to expand your understanding and comfort level within LabVIEW.
From personal experience with this test-drive, I believe it is a good idea to also have “LabVIEW Measurement and Automation” from the KOP installed on the same machine. At least one of the exercises uses it to create a software input module, but it is not necessary to have that version of LabVIEW installed.
The copy of LabVIEW that ALL FRC teams got in their KOP has LabVIEW training materials in it. Look for “LabVIEW Basics” CDs. In regard to the new control system, realize that you need to learn the basics of LabVIEW before learning how to program the new controller - the same way you learned how to program C before/while programming the current control system.