TinyOS Education with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT
The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT (http://mindstorms.lego.com/.)—armed with its embedded ARM7 and ATmega48 microcontrollers (MCUs), Bluetooth radio, four input ports, three output ports, and dozens of sensors—is proposed as an educational platform for TinyOS. (http://www.tinyos.net.) The purpose of this chapter is to assess NXT for use in wireless sensor network education. To this end, the following items are evaluated: NXT hardware/software, LEGO MINDSTORMS “ecosystem”, and educational elements. We outline how this platform can be used for educational purposes due to the wide selection of available and affordable sensors. For hardware developers, the ease of creating new sensors will be hard to resist. Also, in the context of education, TinyOS can be compared to other embedded operating systems based on the same hardware. This chapter argues that this comparability facilitate across-community adoption and awareness of TinyOS. Finally, we present the first TinyOS project on NXT, hosted both at TinyOS 2.x contrib and SourceForge under the nxtmote name.
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