nxtONE and LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 integration

With the permission of LEGO and the work from nxtControl it was possible to port the industrial nxtRT61499F IEC 61499 runtime to LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 and build the libraries to access the brick.

nxtRuntime on LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Brick

To start the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Brick with nxtControl nxtRuntime the brick has to be booted from the external SD Card with the firmware with nxtControl nxtRuntime on it.

Read more about how to create a SD Card with nxtRuntime firmware here

The original operating system for LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Brick is used as starting point. The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 runtime system was removed from the operating system.

nxtControl has modified and extended the operating system with the runtime components for nxtRT61499F IEC 61499 runtime and also has added some more Ethernet drivers to support more WiFi dongles and an USB2Ethernet converter (see How to connect EV3 to the network).

To access the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 sensors and actors a driver library was created. This library will be loaded into the runtime, if the nxtControl program needs access to the sensors and actors. The library is part of the firmware and is included in the firmware image.

nxtRTonEV3.png

nxtRuntime on EV3

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 integration into nxtONE

nxtONE is the engineering tool to create automation programs for industrial environments, based on IEC 61499. To use the capabilities of LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 hardware, a library is needed with the function blocks to access the sensors and actors. (see Install LEGOEV3 library) This library uses function blocks which communicate with the device driver in the firmware.

The library includes the function blocks for the hardware (called hardware CATs). This CATs configure the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, the connected sensors and actors and provide the interfaces to connect the automation program to the hardware.

Further more, the library consists of function blocks to access the signals of the sensors and actors through the interfaces of the hardware CATs.

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 integration into nxtHMI

The hardware CATs include symbols and faceplates to visualize the status and the measured values of the sensors and actors. Through this interface it is also possible to use the archive services from the system.

Through the HMI capabilities users can access the functions of sensors and actors in a fast and easy way.

Building automation programs that use the EV3 as runtime platform and create visualization systems with the symbols and faceplates is as easy as playing LEGO :)

Last modified 3 years ago Last modified on Jan 27, 2014, 8:43:38 PM