LabVIEW 2009 VIs and Sample Programs for the Barometric Sensor

August 30th, 2011

Announcing LabVIEW 2009 support for the new HiTechnic Barometric Sensor!  Use these VIs to get temperature, atmospheric pressure, and altitude in your LabVIEW programs.  The main read VI gives you these pieces of data in both imperial and metric units.  There are also support VIs to calibrate the sensor and to calculate altitude pressure, the pressure at sea-level.  Sample programs include a LabVIEW version of the Altimeter program, similar to the NXT-G version already released, that displays an airplane style altimeter.

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New IRLink IRBeacon Block

August 19th, 2011

The HiTechnic IRLink is two-way IR communications sensor.  This sensor can be used to communicate with a LEGO RCX or to control LEGO Power Functions motors via a LEGO Power Functions receiver.  With the new IRLink IRBeacon block it can also be used to create an infrared beacon signal for the IRSeekerV2.  This block lets you choose between sending a 600Hz or a 1200Hz signal which can then be detected by an IRSeekerV2 sensor to determine the direction to the IR source.  You can use it on one robot to have another robot follow it.  This block can be used by itself as a one block program or it can be used in a loop and you can control when you want the block to be active or not.

Update (Nov 2011): Now also available as a LabVIEW 2009 VI.  This VI should also work with LV2010/LabVIEW  for LEGO Mindstorms

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HiTechnic and World Robot Olympiad

July 28th, 2011

HiTechnic is an official sponsor of the World Robot Olympiad. WRO is an international robotics competition that believes that solving robotic challenges builds innovation, creativity and problem solving skills in students, and because robotics cross multiple curriculum subjects, students must learn and apply their knowledge in science, engineering, math, and computer programming. The most rewarding part of designing robots is that students have fun, work together as a team, and learning occurs as naturally as breathing air. WRO has been building this learning platform for 7 years, ever since their first robotics competition in 2004 where they had 12 countries and 4000 teams. This year they anticipate over 35 countries and over 13,000 teams from around the world taking part in WRO activities in local, regional, and national competitions. WRO 2012 will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 9-11, 2012.

Official WRO2012 Website:

Altimeter Gauge using the new Barometric Sensor

July 27th, 2011

The new HiTechnic Barometric Sensor can be used to measure altitude since air pressure varies with altitude.  The NXT-G block for this sensor includes actions to read altitude as well as to adjust the altitude base pressure and to set the altitude pressure using a known altitude.  The NXT-G programs presented in this blog post shown an airplane style altimeter on the NXT screen.  Like a real altimeter, the altitude pressure can be adjusted to account for different meteorological conditions.

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Android App for the HTWay

June 27th, 2011

A fan of the HiTechnic HTWay, Michael Backus, has created an Android phone application that lets you control the HTWay with your phone! The application uses the internal acceleration sensor so that you can drive the HTWay by tilting your phone!
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Enhanced IRSeekerV2 NXT-G Block and NXC Function

June 24th, 2011

Enhanced IRSeekerV2 functionality is now available as both an NXT-G block and as an NXC function. This NXT-G block and NXC function uses a combination of AC and DC modes for improved IR direction determination when used with the HiTechnic IRSeekerV2. This block and function were specifically designed to assist in creating WRO Football Robots.
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Three New NXT-G Blocks Available for Beta Testing

June 14th, 2011

HiTechnic has just made three NXT-G blocks available for beta testing. Two of these are specific to the IRSeeker sensors and the other is a general purpose math block. There is a new IRSeeker Block will replace the current V1 and V2 IRSeeker blocks and adds support for selecting 600Hz AC mode (you can still use the default 1200Hz AC). The other sensor block is the Enhanced IRSeekerV2 block which is designed to give you improved short range performance versus the standard IRSeeker block. This block allows you to easily limit the range of a number by either clamping or wrapping around to a certain range.
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New HiTechnic Motor PID Block

May 12th, 2011

The latest NXT-G block from HiTechnic is not a sensor block but a Motor block! This block implements a Proportional – Integral – Derivative, or PID, controller. Unlike the standard Motor block, which tends to emphasize relative movement, this block is designed to give absolute position control over the motor. The main input to the block is a Set Point value which is the angle position that you want to the motor to drive to. The block also supports several Reset actions to establish a reference position for the motor.
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New IR RC Kart Sample Model

April 22nd, 2011

Introducing the latest HiTechnic Sample Model, the HiTechnic IR RC Kart. This is an all new remote controlled car model and should be considered an alternative to the IR RC Car. This model is buildable with either LEGO Mindstorms 1.0 or 2.0 set as it only uses a subset of the parts available in these two sets. The IR RC Kart uses an IR Receiver sensor to make it controllable with a LEGO Power Functions remote. The model also introduces the new HiTechnic Motor PID Block; a general purpose motor control block that makes it easy to drive an NXT motor to an absolute position regardless of the current motor position.
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Angle Sensor and analog RPM Gauge in NXT-G

February 12th, 2011

The HiTechnic Angle Sensor can give you three pieces of data regarding the axle input: the angle, accumulated angle and RPM. In this blog post I demonstrate the RPM feature of the sensor and present a program that displays an analog RPM gauge on the NXT screen. The program also allows you to control the motor on port A of the NXT so you can test the gauge using a motor. If you have access to other LEGO motors, such as PF motors, you can use those as well with the Angle sensor.
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