LiNuXT: Linux + NXT

Since transitioning to Ubuntu Linux, I’ve continued working on my Lego NXT projects. I spent several hours figuring out how to configure my machine to write, debug, and upload code to the NXT brick. I found several sites and message board posts, each detailing a specific step in the process. I thought it would be a good idea to bring all of this information together and hopefully make it easy for anyone else who wishes to follow in my footsteps.

The entire process consists of setting up a Windows emulator (WINE), installing an IDE (BricxCC), and installing and running a communications tool between linux and the brick (Talk2NXT).

Lego NXT Ubuntu Linux from Jason Atwood on Vimeo.

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Getting Started in Linux

After much nagging from some of my friends, I’ve finally made the switch to Linux. I am starting to realize that the skill set I’m developing is rather substantial and worth documenting. I’ll be taking the time over the next weeks and months to document the software and operation skills that and I am learning. My goal is to provide a list of tasks I can accomplish in Linux and to keep a record of my actions so that I can quickly set up new machines with my preferences. I am not intending this to be a “how to” guide for anyone else, although it may provide some usefulness to someone starting out with Linux.

To start off, I have installed Ubuntu 8.10 on both of my home machines. Each new Ubuntu release is given a name and 8.10 is called Intrepid Ibex. I preformed both installs from a Live CD which allows me to run the OS from the CD-ROM without installing anything. I knew that I would enjoy it immediately so I chose to simply reformat both computers.
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Past Project: Input Shaper Testing

As part of my ME degree from Georgia Tech, I had to take a class called Experimental Engineering (ME 4055). It was a senior level class where students worked in teams to complete a project that mimicked the research cycle of a PhD student or professor. The team was required to design and conduct a set of experiments, evaluate the results, and then write a paper. For most students this was a rather bogus class. Students were limited to a small amount of hardware and research areas, and each semester’s reports looked all too similar to previous. I, however, had the very special chance of taking this class with Adam Reich during my semester abroad at Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL), which meant working with Dr. William Singhose and his PhD student, Jason Lawrence. They were at GTL to teach several other classes (another one I was also in, ME 6401 Linear Control Theory) and to continue/promote their research with a highly portable, miniature gantry crane.


The mini gantry crane setup at GTL.
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