Actor-Lab

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A clock time program with Actor Lab

Actor-Lab is a program that visualizes the Lego Mindstorms internal logic through visual flowcharts. The ideas underlying actor-lab are derived from the event-driven, message-passing computer languages that began with the actor based languages devised by Hewit. Actor-lab requires constant communication with the RCX brick via the infra-red link. This means that you have to mount the RCX vertically for models that move about, and hold the tower in some form of gantry crane. Actor-lab shows you in real-time what is happening on the RCX, including simulation of motors, sensors, lights, and sounds. You can also add controls at the bottom of the screen to give you real-time control of your program/model. There is a similar program from Lego called Robolab. In Robolab, you can actually download programs to the Lego RCX.

Controls within[edit]

Linking with Actor Lab
  • Alt+Mouse Drag on an actor will move him to any location specified.
  • Double Click on an actor will edit his current messages.
  • Alt+Click on a control will edit the current actions that the control sends to actors.
ActorlabOFF.jpg

Notice that there is one control that cannot be edited. This control is Power OFF or Stop.

References[edit]

  • Whalley, P. (2006). "Representing Parallelism in a Control Language Designed for Young Children". Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing: 173–176. doi:10.1109/VLHCC.2006.41. 
  • Peter Whalley (July 2007). "Modifying the metaphor in order to improve understanding of control languages—the little-person becomes a cast of actors". British Journal of Educational Technology. 38 (4): 715–726. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00642.x. 

External links[edit]