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October 2013

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Subject:
From:
Chris Taylor <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Chris Taylor <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Mon, 7 Oct 2013 22:47:58 -0400
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The NXT software was LabVIEW also. There are several very cool new features in the new EV3 version, which can be used to program the NXT brick, so there is no excuse for using the old software. The EV3 software is a free download from http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads/software/ddsoftwaredownload/

There is a very big difference between using the full blown version of NI LabVIEW to write subroutines that you launch from inside the Lego software and the new features in the latest version of the Lego software. That is what Bill was trying to clarify since my wording left ambiguity as to which I was referring to. NI LabVIEW is very powerful - it is what was used to program the Mars rovers. It would be quite unfair to put that power and flexibility up against the programs our teams are writing. Incidentally, once you graduate up out of FLL to FTC, where the "only use lego" rules are lifted, you'll see programs in NI LabVIEW and other languages running on NXT bricks. It's very impressive. But, it isn't FLL level stuff. 


As for data logging, awesome feature that helps you learn a lot about how the various parts work and how they are operating while your program is running. I wish my kids had that kind if spare time... We're still trying to figure out how many degrees of motor rotation equals a 90 turn of the robot. If your team is using data logging as an advantage, it's not data logging that is making your team better than others. It's that they've already figured out the other stuff and have time left over. There will be NXTs beating EV3s at every level in this competition. Someone who has mastered a mediocre tool will always outperform someone who is still trying to figure out how to operate the advanced tool. Don't worry about how level the playing field is. Worry about how well your team operates with the tools at hand and the playing field will level itself. 



> On Oct 7, 2013, at 22:11, Anant Narayanan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Steve:
> 
> Thanks for the clarification.  I am envious of your patience.
> 
> As others have noted, Labview has been integrated into the basic EV3 software.   To have a prohibition on Labview for NXT users but not for EV3 software users makes the playground less than level, especially for resource-constrained teams. 
> 
> Lest anyone think otherwise, there is no  direct impact on programming from using data logging.  But it can help with debugging (a great time saver, especially with complex programs using sensors, variables and data wires).  Data logging provides an alternate avenue for learning, which may prove important for some students.
> 
> The most important point I want to make is that we are all working together to encourage student learning, and we have to make sure that we don't create or spread fear about various pieces of software in the minds of the children. They should all be encouraged to explore everything that is of interest to them (competition-legal or not), while making them aware that each competition has its own particular rules (always well-intentioned, even if occasionally lacking intellectual coherence).
> 
> The end goal is learning, not just competition, even so for a great competition like the FLL, and VA-DC, which is the best, as we all know, bettered only by Nick, Karen, Steve and all their countless slaves :-)
> 
> Best,
> Nari
> ______________________________________
> Sent by
> Anant Narayanan
> McLean Robotics Institute
> [log in to unmask]
> +1.202.421.3826
> via AT&T from a Samsung Galaxy S3
> ______________________________________
> 
> 
> 
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Stephen Scherr <[log in to unmask]> 
> Date: 
> To: Anant Narayanan <[log in to unmask]>,VADCFLL-L <[log in to unmask]> 
> Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] eV3 Firmware Upgrade 
> 
> 
> Nari,
> 
> Certainly, not.  Any feature of the EV3 software is okay, and data logging sounds like an excellent tool.
> 
> I disagree with the statement: "The implied and express prohibitions of the past (Labview) have (unintentionally?) been swept away..."
> 
> If you only meant that there are now more easy-to-use functions in newer, allowable software tools, then I misunderstood.
> 
> Steve
> 
> 
>> On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 9:23 PM, Anant Narayanan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Steve:
>> 
>> 
>> Data Logging is part of the EV3 software yiu identified.  Are you saying we cannot use all parts of the baisc software?
>> 
>> Nari
>> 
>> 
>> ______________________________________
>> Sent by
>> Anant Narayanan
>> McLean Robotics Institute
>> [log in to unmask]
>> +1.202.421.3826
>> via AT&T from a Samsung Galaxy S3
>> ______________________________________
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -------- Original message --------
>> From: VA/DC Referee Advisor <[log in to unmask]> 
>> Date: 
>> To: [log in to unmask] 
>> Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] eV3 Firmware Upgrade 
>> 
>> 
>> I disagree with Nari on the topic of allowable software.  LEGO has a product identified as "EV3 Software" (http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads/software/ddsoftwaredownload), and the specific restrictions against add-on toolkits, such as the LabVIEW toolkit are still explicitly in the rules.
>> 
>> Based on my personal and professional preferences, I happy to have young programmers experiment with
>>  a variety of advanced programming tools and environments and to use the knowledge they gain from those experiments, but the tools that are allowed for FLL purposes are limited to the four graphics-based ones listed.
>> 
>> Steve Scherr
>> VA/DC FLL Referee Advisor
>> 
>> 
>>> On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 8:27 PM, Anant Narayanan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> This illustrates how fuzzy the rule really has become.
>>> 
>>> The new EV3 software has a unified interface to functions (e.g. data logging) that were separate software silos in the previous generation (NXT etc.).
>>> 
>>> The implied and express prohibitions of the past (Labview) have (unintentionally?) been swept away by words "or EV3 software (any release)".
>>> 
>>> Data Logging is a great tool for understanding the sensors, e.g., plug in a gyro sensor, turn on data logging and watch the data on screen.  I recommend it to all teams.
>>> 
>>> Best,
>>> Nari Narayanan
>>> ______________________________________
>>> Sent by
>>> Anant Narayanan
>>> McLean Robotics Institute
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> +1.202.421.3826
>>> via AT&T from a Samsung Galaxy S3
>>> ______________________________________
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -------- Original message --------
>>> From: Chris Taylor <[log in to unmask]> 
>>> Date: 
>>> To: [log in to unmask] 
>>> Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] eV3 Firmware Upgrade 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Sorry if I confused anyone by using its big boy name... The Lego Mindstorms software is a watered down version of labview as is evident by the logo in the bottom left corner of splash screen when it starts and in the about box. 
>>> 
>>> And this is why I don't help people... I'll go back to being silent. 
>>> 
>>> C
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Oct 7, 2013, at 19:11, Bill Aucoin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> LabVIEW?  Not allowed in FLL. 
>>>> 
>>>> Rule 4
>>>> 
>>>> SOFTWARE - The robot may only be programmed using LEGO MINDSTORMS, RoboLab, NXT-G, or EV3  software (any release).  No other software is allowed.  Patches, add-ons, and new versions of the allowable software from the manufacturers (LEGO and National Instruments) are allowed, but tool kits, including the LabVIEW tool kit, are not allowed.  This rule puts a cap on software-related unfairness, and put a cap on what we can reasonably ask tournament judges to become versed in - thanks for your understanding
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>> 
>>>>> On Oct 7, 2013, at 6:45 PM, Chris Taylor <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> I was trying the firmware update from inside labview last night and it spawns browser to a page that redirects to a 404 error. 
>>>>> So, the "check now" button doesn't work. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> However, you can find the latest firmware (1.03h) in the support downloads section, then apply through labview with no problems. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> C
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Oct 7, 2013, at 17:15, Jeff Lavezzo <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> We found the gyro very non-intuitive. We found a slide show row a coaches call that showed how to use it with just a move block and not the turn block. I don't have all the details with me but I could send them to you later if you can't find it.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> -Jeff
>>>>>> Coach: Beavers, Inc.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On Oct 6, 2013 8:38 PM, "FLL Mind Storm Guardian's" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>>> It is possible that the answer to my question is among the tremendous amount of data share in the spirit of collaboration among teams.   My team is in the process of programming the missions and the kids are having major difficulty using the gyro to make turns.   Turns expected to be 90 degrees stop at degrees approximately.   Any hints?
>>>>>>>  
>>>>>>> In addition, I am having no success at all getting the firmware upgraded.  When the brick connects quickly informs me to upgrade and provide directions and when I follow the link it takes me to YAHOO.
>>>>>>>  
>>>>>>> Carlos E
>>>>>>> Coach FLL Team 8501
>>>>>>> AKA - Mind Storm Guardians
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