It has been sometime since you saw a post from me. The main reason is that I am really busy with work. The second reason is that I decided to use the LEJOS environment for my current project. I did not have any experience with LEJOS and Java, so I had to dive deep into the matter.

LEJOS allows you to program in the Java language on the NXT. It has some advantages over robotC that I have been using the last two years. I won’t list all the differences between the two languages. For me the higher I2C speed and object orientation were important factors.

Java proved to have a steep learning curve. It took me some time to get the first results. The main reason for this was not the language itself but the IDE. I am using Netbeans to write my programs. Netbeans uses ANT to compile the programs. ANT uses the classes provided with LEJOS. All these components have to work together. And when they don’t it is hard to find out why for a newbe like me. At one point I experienced lots of red lines in my program, indicating errors, but still the program compiled just fine. It turned out that ANT did know where to find the LEJOS classes but Netbeans didn’t.

Slowly I’m getting to grips with Java and the environment. As a first project I decided to write an improved interface to the Mindsensors accelerometer as the existing  interface does not allow to set the sensitivity of the sensor or to calibrate it. I also want my sensors to return SI values, I rather have m/s^2 than milli-g for acceleration, I rather have radians than a number between -127 and 128 for tilt. The interface is no jet finished but I do not feel lost anymore when writing a new method to the interface.

After I finish this little side-project I will rewrite the interface to my IMU and the component filter. Only then I can really tell whether my switch to LEJOS has payed of.