Custom Control Panel / Cockpit Builder
Alan McCutchen - email@example.com
RCX configuration dialog
First, the a point-and-click interface is used to describe the wiring.
versions of the RCX may include the capability to query the RCX to see
- with or without a downloaded and selected program. For Mindstorms 1.0/2.0, this dialog lets the user
tell us how to internally configure the RCX ports.
The Custom Editor and Object Palette
The user can build a monitoring / control cockpit by selecting a palette
object and doing a drag-and-drop into the display.
Double-clicking on the object brings up the dialog below where the RCX port may be selected.
Once constructed, the user may enter a "Run" mode from the menu.
In this mode, the computer establishes
a continuous link with the RCX, sending commands and querying states. The sensors are always "read-only",
but the motors and lamps may be both monitored and controlled.
While the objects on this palette are very simple, very little time was
available to draw a library of professional-looking parts.
These simple parts would probably work best as overlays on top of images, perhaps grabbed by a QuickCam.
Along with graphical objects on the palette, it would also be
possible to include behavioral objects.
For example, a behavioral object called "reverse when blocked" might require connection to a sensor and a motor.
DataViews provides a Rules capability which can manipulate data vars based upon the value of other data vars,
thus when the sensor value goes from 0 to 1, the motor value could be changed from 10 to -10.
Using DataViews DV-Centro component, even more advanced behaviors could be constructed.
The RCX port selector
When a graphical object is double-clicked, the RCX port selection dialog is displayed.
The user simply clicks on an RCX port, and a check appears to acknowledge the selection.
This establishes a connection between the graphical object and the real-world Lego Mindstorms component.