National Instruments LabVIEW Software Now Fully Compatible With LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3

The NI LabVIEW LEGO MINDSTORMS Module puts powerful software in the hands of students preparing for engineering careers
Lego Mindstorms EV3 (PresseBox) (Austin, Texas, ) National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) has added the capability to use NI LabVIEW system design software to program the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 system, the newest version of the popular LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics platform. The LabVIEW LEGOMINDSTORMS Module, a free download with LabVIEW and LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS, is available for education and retail. The software helps students, engineers and hobbyists alike create programs that communicate with and control the EV3 brick similar to the current way they use LabVIEW to extend the capabilities of NXT. Because LabVIEW has intuitive graphical programming and connectivity with thousands of sensors, devices and systems, users of all experience levels can quickly design complex and powerful robotics projects, which makes this platform ideal for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

"I use LabVIEW in my computing classes because it's industry standard software, but also because it's accessible to such a wide range of students, including those who have difficulty with reading and writing," said Rob Torok, mathematics and robotics instructor at Claremont College. "The added EV3 support means my students can continue using LabVIEW in their robotics projects, which is great."

The software used with EV3 products is created by NI and is based on LabVIEW. Users can connect to the industry version of LabVIEW for additional functionality with the LabVIEW LEGO MINDSTORMS Module. This is the same programming software used in virtually every industry topower feats of engineering such as the Red Bull Stratos supersonic free fall project and the CERN Large Hadron Collider, a machine that fundamentally impacts our understanding of the laws of physics. This means young students are learning the same programming tools used by some of the world's most innovative scientists and engineers.

The LEGO robotics platform, combined with NI software, helps teachers integrate the power of hands-on learning using real-world engineering tools to help students develop the skills they need throughout their education, and more importantly, into their careers.

Chris Rogers, a Tufts professor who worked with The LEGO Group and NI to develop ROBOLAB-the language that inspired NXT-G and LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS-still uses a robotics approach to teaching science and math in his classrooms.

"I use the LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS Module to start my robotics students off in the world of LEGO where they can see success easily and quickly, and then smoothly move them into the more advanced world of Linux microprocessors, FPGAs and even robot operating systems," said Rogers. "We work with local high school students to help them develop complex code-from PID controllers to using different architectures for parallel thinking."

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