MATLAB Packages for the NXT

Brickengineer announces MATLAB packages for the LEGO NXT Robotics system:

There are now several MATLAB packages for robotics, and specifically for the NXT. One paradigm is to run the code on a PC and have it communicate direct commands to the NXT Brick via Bluetooth or USB. I have found this paradigm to be a bit dangerous since in the event of a MATLAB crash or a miscommunication, the NXT Brick will continue with its last command until ordered to stop. This has the potential to destroy your robot. The paradigm that I prefer to use is to write several programs that run on the brick. These programs take commands from files on the brick that can be uploaded rapidly from the PC. The MATLAB code then is in charge of sending the command files and starting and stopping programs. In the event of a MATLAB crash or communication failure, the software running on the NXT Brick can be designed to terminate gracefully.

Here are the MATLAB packages that I know of. The first two are specifically geared toward the NXT; whereas the last is a general robotics package.

* LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Toolkit for MATLAB and Simulink
* Robotics Toolbox for MATLAB (Release 7.1) (P.I. Corke)
* RWTH Mindstorms NXT Toolbox for Matlab

Posted under research, software

This post was written by admin on February 11, 2009

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Matlab Package for LEGO Mindstorms

I recently received a comment on my post on controlling NXT robots with Matlab that pointed me to the RWTH – Mindstorms NXT Toolbox for MATLABĀ®, which is a public domain Matlab package that enables one to interface with and control LEGO mindstorms.

The RWTH – Mindstorms NXT Toolbox for MATLABĀ® was developed as a student project in the Institute of Imaging and Computer Vision at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen Germany. It provides a Matlab interface with the NXT brick that includes Bluetooth communication, sensor interface and motor interface. It requires a working Matlab license, of course.

The package is very easy to set up. It took me less than ten minutes to successfully test the example programs over Bluetooth.

There are some very nice motor features, such as motor synchronization and speed ramp-up and ramp-down.

I have yet to explore how easy it is to modify or extend the code, but it ought to be a straightforward matter.

The package can be downloaded from

Posted under mindstorms, software

This post was written by admin on August 31, 2008

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