What is Embedded Coder Robot NXT?


Embedded Coder Robot NXT is MATLAB® & Simulink® based development environment for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. Embedded Coder Robot NXT provides a programming(modeling) capability for NXT control strategy, plant dynamics, and the ability to simulate and visualize these model components in a 3-D virtual reality graphical environment. Embedded Coder Robot NXT also provides for Real-Time Workshop® Embedded Coder based target deployment with nxtOSEK to the real NXT hardware. MATLAB & Simulink are proprietary software provided from The MathWorks and have been widely used mainly in control engineering. Unfortunately, MATLAB & Simulink might not be suited for personal use due to product price, however, university/college students may have a chance to use a student version. Embedded Coder Robot NXT itself could be downloaded from here with free.

The above picture is a line tracing robot sample which is included in Embedded Coder Robot NXT. The Simulink block diagram window on the right side represents physical behavior of a line tracing robot, sensor/motor characteristics, and a bit map designed line track. The Simulink block diagram window on the left side represents a software application program and nxtOSEK configuration to be uploaded into a real NXT. The picture behind the block diagrams is a 3-D virtual reality graphical simulation environment. In Simulink simulation, the line tracing robot software program and the robot physical program run together and the behavior of the line tracing robot on a user designed bit map line track can be tested in the 3-D virtual reality graphical simulation environment.

In the 3-D virtual reality graphical simulation environment, the line tracing robot detects black line and runs to trace the line. User can design variety types of line tracks in the bit map file to test the robot and also can design walls on the track for further applications such as maze solving robot.. This 3-D line tracing robot is designed in MLCAD(LDraw) with Philo's NXT brick library and converted to VRML format.


Viewing a line tracing robot model in Web browser

Embedded Coder Robot NXT requires MATLAB & Simulink products. However, Simulink provides a feature which is called "Export to Web" and Export to Web generates HTML files to view the block diagrams without MATLAB & Simulink. To view the line tracing robot in a web browser, please click the below picture.

Note: Web viewer uses Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and it may need to add SVG Viewer plug-in depending on the web browser in use.
  - Use Firefox version 1.5 or later, which has native support for SVG. (At this time, Web views are not supported in Firefox on Mac OS)
  - Use Internet Explorer with the Adobe SVG Viewer plug-in

Simulink provides variety types of blocks (from basic math operation to complex mathematical equation, state machine/flow chart and user customizable blocks..) and user can specify data flow through the connection of the blocks by lines. Another technical highlight of Embedded Coder Robot NXT is that a Simulink block diagram (model) can be compiled into ANSI-C code by using Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder product. Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder generated ANSI-C code does not require specific run-time environment, so user can implement generated ANSI-C code to variety types of hardware (8bit/16bit/32bit micro controllers, DSP, and PC) by using ANSI-C compiler tools.



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