The LEGO(R) MINDSTORMS(R) NXT(TM) Programming Language (NXT-G) is built on the industry-level visual programming language LabVIEW, commonly used in scientific research and engineering development. Many of NXT-G's visual programming conventions and concepts are borrowed from its parent language, and so a student proficient in NXT-G has a natural foundation and head start for learning LabVIEW.
However, very few students capitalize on this opportunity, and the opportunity is often lost.
The aim of the CS2N NXT-G to LabVIEW Curriculum Pathway is to remedy this situation: to help students continue their engineering and computer science studies by starting simple with NXT-G, then leverage that proficiency to rapidly acquire high-level programming skills in LabVIEW.
The NXT-G to LabVIEW Pathway establishes a sequence of badged, scaffolded, and highly supported learning activities to help students achieve this goal. Developed jointly by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy and National Instruments software - the makers of LabVIEW - the Pathway smoothly connects, guides, and recognizes programming skills and accomplishments from introductory-level LEGO robotics up through the industry-standard Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer certification.
The first step along the Pathway - achieving and demonstrating proficiency in the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT-G Programming Software - is available now through CS2N for both students and instructors. The remaining two curriculum activities - LabVIEW for NXT-G Programmers and NXT Applications Lab - are under active development, with expected availablity in early 2013.