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O'Reilly Network: Mindstorms in Education

Aug 06, 2000, 18:15 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Knudsen)

"Lego Mindstorms robots have found their way into a lot of classrooms, from primary schools to universities. There are several reasons for the popularity of Lego robots as teaching tools. Most importantly, Lego robots are fun. Secondly, the robot kits are very flexible, in terms of building and programming. There are programming environments readily available for any level of programmer. Finally, Lego robots are surprisingly inexpensive."

"Building and programming Lego robots is fun. While you're having fun, you can learn about mechanical design and computer programming. Lego robots scurrying around in a public space are sure to attract attention, as John Lorenz found out at Western Washington University (WWU). "The class put on a robotics expo in Red Square, the center of the WWU campus," he said. "We showed off all our interesting projects, and I was personally surprised at the size of the crowd we gathered...."

"legOS is an operating system written by Markus Noga. It is built using the GNU cross compiler. It's possible to work with legOS on Windows, but Linux users will be most comfortable with it. It opens up the whole power of the RCX to your programs and is proportionally harder to use than NQC."

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