LMICSE: Lego Mindstorms in Computer Science Education

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The LMICSE Project

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Welcome to the website for the Lego Mindstorms in Computer Science Education project. This site is dedicated to supporting the use of the Lego Mindstorms platform throughout the undergraduate computer science major. Please read our project overview. This website is often updated, and we apologize in advance if some materials are not yet available.

Website Overview

The website is divided into five main sections:

  1. Overview: Our goals, who we are, and the NSF grants which support this project.
  2. Workshops: We are offering a series of both short and long workshops - see the details in this section.
  3. Lab Materials: The core of our project - a repository of laboratory materials for use through the undergraduate CS curriculum.
  4. Environments: Information on the programming languages and environments available for the Mindstorms platform.
  5. Other Resources: Anything that does fit under the other areas.

Workshop Announcement

Please consider our upcoming workshop June 5 - 8 on the pedagogical use of the Lego MindStorms robotics platform in undergraduate computer science education. The workshop will have a particular focus on the new MindStorms NXT platform but will also discuss the use of the older RCX. This will be the sixth (and last) such workshop our project has offered. Other than travel, all expenses are covered by the grant, and participants can purchase an NXT kit at a 50% discount. Check out the Call for Participation.

What's New on the Site?

Right now we are actively working on the site, so many pages are being added and/or modified. Here are the recent major additions and modifications:

  • In the Workshops area:
    • The Call for Participation is now available for the last long workshop, to be held at the University of Mississippi.
    • Materials from the short SIGCSE '06 workshop are now available. There is a Powerpoint of the presentation materials and zip archive of some of the videos.
  • In the Other Resources area:
    • A collection of project related papers by the investigators is being created.
  • In the CS 1 area:
    • All of the labs in this area have been completely edited and augmented with videos showing the robots performing their required tasks.
  • In the Intelligent Systems area:
  • In the Architecture area:
    • An RCX assember project which creates a fully functional assembler which compiles a subset of Lego Assembler into RCX bytecodes.
    • The Simon Says project has students implement a version of that classic game in Lego assembler.
  • In the Operating Systems area:
    • Critical Sections introduces the issues behind using semaphores and good programming to enforce a solution to the critical section problem.
    • The Java Threading of JNI Serial Port Classes project weaves together multi-threaded programming, port/device communication, wireless networking and protocols by designing a system that controls two Lego RCX units.