Accelerating the pace of engineering and science

A Hands-On Approach to Teaching with LEGO MINDSTORMS and Simulink

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James Peyton Jones, Villanova University

In this webinar, Dr. Peyton Jones introduces Villanova University LEGO Real Time Target (VU-LRT), a Simulink based teaching and research platform that he developed for LEGO® MINDSTORMS®. The platform simplifies the workflow for students and faculty involved in robotics and controls education, leaving them free to focus on content and pedagogy.

VU-LRT leverages C code generation capabilities from MathWorks to help students develop algorithms in Simulink and then implement them directly on the 32-bit LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT microcontroller. This approach bypasses the difficulties traditionally associated with low-level C programming or assembly. 

The webinar provides an introductory tutorial and practical examples of how to incorporate this capability into your curriculum. Attendees learn about resources to support hads-on learning with VU-LRT at their own universities. 

VU-LRT Update
In R2012a, MathWorks added hardware targeting to Simulink, including support for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT target support removes the requirement for additional toolboxes while providing a more cost-effective solution for teaching with hardware and software. This functionality is similar to VU-LRT and now professionally supported by MathWorks. As a result, Dr. Payton Jones will no longer be actively maintaining VU-LRT after R2011b. He will be transitioning his courses to R2012a.

About the Presenter: Dr. James Peyton Jones is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and the director of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control at Villanova University. He was awarded a National Science Foundation CCLI grant to develop the methodologies and materials being presented in this webinar. His paper titled “From Design to Implementation with Simulink and LEGO NXT” was awarded the prize for best paper at the 2010 ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Conference.

Product Focus

  • Simulink Coder
  • Simulink

Recorded: 24 Feb 2011