I know this thread is quite old now, but I thought I'd just follow-up on the suggestion, made at the beginning of the thread, more than a year ago now, by ghans, of using NQC - http://bricxcc.sourceforge.net/nqc/
- on the Pi to control an old Lego Mindstorms RCX programmable brick (http://www.mralligator.com/rcx/
It turns out to be straightforward to get NQC compiled and running on a Pi under Raspbian, and then to get the Pi to program an RCX via NQC using either a serial or a USB Lego IR tower.
I found some generic instructions on installing NQC under linux here http://pbrick.info/2013/10/configuring- ... -on-linux/
and here http://pbrick.info/2013/10/making-the-l ... permanent/
. I subsequently came across some detailed instructions (in Italian) on installing both NQC and the LeJOS system (http://www.lejos.org
) specifically on a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian in this - https://184.108.40.206/trac/Tirocini/ex ... pi_rcx.pdf
- repository at the University of Bologna!
Just follow the instructions on the pbrick.info site, or in the rip_rcx.pdf file from the University of Bologna, to get NQC running on your Pi today! I've also made a set of instructions for installing NQC on the Pi on my blog here - http://minordiscoveries.wordpress.com/2 ... rcx-brick/
- which may, or may not, be clearer than the sources of information above. I've also linked to some sources for the RCX firmware, which you'll need in order to program the RCX from NQC, and which can be otherwise tricky to obtain without access to a Windows PC.
I realise this may all be old news to some, but I've not found any evidence on the web, other than the instructions at the University of Bologna, of people actually using NQC/RCX with a Pi. I'd be interested to know if others are using this system, and what your experiences have been.
I think these old RCX units continue to have a lot of educational potential, particularly now in combination with a Raspberry Pi. The NQC language is also quite nice, easy to use, and has the advantages of lots of high quality example code, and free educational materials, being readily available on the internet e.g. http://oreilly.com/catalog/lmstorms/chapter/ch04.html
Some earlier posts on this thread reasonably comment on the (relatively) high cost of Lego NXT (and now EV3) systems, but the RCX bricks can be found quite cheaply (similar to the cost of a Pi) on the second hand market. The RCX brick also seems to be pretty robust, as most units are now > 10 years old, and despite often rough usage, they seem to just keep going!
Lastly, if you do find an old RCX unit for sale somewhere, then don't be put off by signs of corrosion on the battery terminals. The first RCX I bought was covered in corrosion, but it's quite easy to take an RCX apart (http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/RCX+1.0+Cas ... ement/4352
), and it's also quite easy to successfully remove the corrosion (http://lego-robotics.996304.n3.nabble.c ... d3388.html
). My corroded RCX unit cleaned up beautifully, and works very nicely!