What are Action Blocks?
Well, that's pretty self explanatory. They're Blocks which let your NXT robot perform cool actions like talking, smiling, or even turning your Color Sensor into a Color Lamp! Cool huh? The Action blocks include:
- Display block
- Color Lamp bock
- Motor block
- Send Message block
- Sound Block
The Motor Block
This block allows for precise control of one motor’s speed. Unlike the move block, the Motor block can ONLY control one motor so you can achieve maximum accurateness. You can "ramp up" to a set speed or "ramp down" to a stop. By deselecting "Wait for Completion," your program can move on to the next block once the Motor block has started a motor.
- The letter at the top right tells you the selected port
- The icon at the bottom right of the block defines duration
- The icon at the bottom center defines power
- The icon at the bottom left defines direction
The Display Block
The display block allows us to "display" an image on the screen of our NXT Brain; the Display Block configuration panel shows that we can display shapes, text, or even a user made drawing! If you don't want the same picture to be running the entire program, then add another Display Block and from the drop-down menu, check clear.If you would like to return to the default LEGO MINDSTORMS icon, select Reset in the menu. The screen measures 100 pixels wide by 64 pixels high.
- The icon in the bottom right shows whether the block is set to display an image, some text, or a drawing; or whether it will just reset the display to the default icon.
- You can change values dynamically by connecting data wires to this block’s data hub.
Color Lamp Block
Who knew the Color Sensor made such a good flashlight? You can use the Color Lamp Block to control the Color Sensor’s lamp function. You will need one Color Lamp Block to turn the lamp on and a second Lamp Block to turn it off during a program.
- The number at the top right corner of the Color Lamp Block shows which NXT port will be controlled by the block. You can change this number in the configuration panel if you need to.
- The red icon in the picture shows whether the block is set to turn a lamp on or off and what color is turned on.
- You can drag data wires from other blocks to this block’s data hub that will affect the Color Lamp block’s properties.
The Sound Block
This block adds a cool personalized look, or should I say, SOUND, to your robot; it has over 60 different sound file options and an infinite amount of personalized phrases. The possibilities are endless! The Sound Block doesn't really help your actual program, it only makes it look cool. Be careful when trying to use it at competition, it could waste precious seconds during your run. We suggest using it on your last program of your run, to end with an ice cool finish!
- The far left icon shows whether the block will play a sound file or a tone.
- The center icon shows whether the block will start or stop playing a sound.
- The far right icon shows the block’s volume. An icon with four orange bars is set to the loudest volume.
- You can drag data wires from other blocks to this block’s data hub that will affect the Sound block’s properties.
Send Message Block
This block allows you to send a wireless message to another NXT. To send a wireless message (after all NXTs have been configured with connection numbers), first select the connection number of the target NXT. Then choose the message format (Text, Number, or Logic). Input the message by typing in some text or a number, or choosing a logical condition (true or false). Finally, choose the mailbox number (where the message will be stored) at the target NXT. The message format and the message itself can also be specified by using input data wires.
- This is the connection number of the target NXT (that is to receive the message).
- The message type and the message itself can be supplied dynamically using input data wires. The output plugs to the right will pass any input information through to other blocks, if necessary.