Getting started with nxt-python
nxt-python is a great way to get started programming
the Lego Mindstorms NXT brick in a familiar language. As usual, the best way to get started with a new
piece of software like this is to modify a working example. Save this file
to a convenient location (ideally, in a folder where you'll keep your work for this course). Now turn
on your NXT brick and use the arrow buttons to find the Settings (with a picture of a wrench). In
Settings, move to NXT Version. At the bottom of the version info is the
MAC address for your NXT brick, labeled as ID.
In your favorite editor (IDLE, vi, jEdit, whatever), open the nxt_beep.py program that you just
downloaded, change the ID to this number. You will have to put colons between successive pairs of
digits. Once you've made this modification, you should be able to run this program like any other
The first time you run the program, the
NXT brick will give you a password to enter into your computer.
Once the program is running, you'll hear a one-second beep at 440 Hz
(A above middle C). If you run into problems,
make sure that you have a Bluetooth adapter ("dongle") installed on your computer. You can check this by issuing
lsusb ("list USB devices") command in Linux. If there's an adapter
on your machine, it should appear in the list. If you don't have one, let me know, and I'll install one
on your computer.
Once you've got this simple example working, it's time to start modifying it to implement the
program you created using the Mindstorms graphical software. As with any well-documented
Python package, you can learn about the capabilities of nxt python using pydoc:
pydoc nxt will give you an overview of the package contents;
then you can do; e.g.
will tell you the methods you can call on a brick object,
will tell you all about the sensor package, etc.