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LabVIEW Software Setup for FIRST Tech Challenge 2013-2014

VERSION 59  Click to view document history
Created on: Sep 12, 2011 1:50 PM by Hueter - Last Modified:  Dec 12, 2013 4:28 PM by Hueter

All FIRST Tech Challenge 2013-2014 teams will have access to LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 as an option for their competition software. This document will guide you through installing, activating, and getting started with your software.


In order to compete using LabVIEW, you will need install two different pieces of software.


MINDSTORMS Competition Toolkit (MCT)


LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 is a version of LabVIEW built around the LEGO NXT and TETRIX hardware. The version has new getting started tools, visual configuration tools, and new features that will make working with LEGO NXT simple and fast. LVLM is based on LabVIEW 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1). All North American team will get a LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 DVD with their FIRST Registration packet, but you can also download LVLM online. You can find your serial number for activation on the back of the DVD package. International teams will receive a registration card with a serial number. To install LVLM, insert your DVD or run the downloaded .exe. If it does not autorun, double-click setup.exe. If you cannot find your serial number, contact your  local affiliate partner to get a replacement.


1. Install LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 (LVLM) (Included in Registration Packet (US and Canada Only))

Windows Users or Mac OS X with virtualization software (Boot Camp, Parallels) can download and activate the Windows version of the software then activate it using a serial number requested below.

Mac OS X: Mac version cannot be downloaded due to licensing restrictions, all US and Canada team will receive a Windows and Mac DVD in their registration packet. If you lose or did not get a DVD you can request one below.

Downlaod LVLM Win.png

Request a serial.png

Request a Mac OS X DVD.png














LVLM 2012 Features

     • Video Tutorials  

     • Getting Started Window

     • Teach Me Tutorials

     • Robot Project Center

     • Schematic Editor

    Updated NXT Compiler (100x faster than LVLM 2010)  

     • Joystick Editor

     • NXT Module 2012 (NXT functions and tools)

     • TETRIX Motor Support

     • NXT Watchdog has been integrated into the Wait function.


All FTC teams will also need to download the MINDSTORMS Competition Toolkit. This has all of the additional components you will need to compete in FTC. Be sure you install this after LVLM 2012. The MCT does not need to be activated.




2. Download and Install The MINDSTORMS Competition Toolkit 2013 - 2014 (MCT)

Updated 11/6: MCT 2013-2014 now includes NXT Module 2012 SP1 f3 patch

Download and Install the MCT AFTER you Install LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012

Download MCT Win.png

Download MCT Mac.png

If you are having trouble with code generation or MATRIX motor support, please reinstall the MCT. The installer was updated on 9/10 to fix an install issue.


     • NXT Fantom driver

     • Samantha Module Support

     • LVLM 2012 patches & updates

     • MATRIX Motor Support




Training Resources


LabVIEW for LEGO® MINDSTORMS® - Built In Training (Open LVLM to access)
Videos Tutorials: Get oriented with all of the tools and components in LVLM.
Teach Me: Step by step tutorials for building and coding a robot.

LabVIEW Programming Fundamentals - Robotics I
Interactive video training for LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS. Sign up at to take the certification and get your LPF Robotics I Badge.

TETRIX Robotics Getting Started Guide
Lessons: Step by step lessons for hardware constructions and programming motors and sensors.
Extensions: Learn how to build and program grippers, dispensers, arms and launchers.
Challenges: Open-ended competition challenges.
Webinars: Register for weekly training webinars on various LVLM, TETRIX and FTC topics.
Share: Show off the amazing innovations you create.

Support Resources


NI Student Competitions Community
Forums: Post your questions and collaborate with other teams and NI engineers.
Support: Find answers to the most common technical issues.


Additional Resources
Lesson Plans:
Find cool robotics projects and beyond for the classroom.
Inspiration: Check out videos featuring LabVIEW and robotics.
Support: Find additional tutorials, videos and training on programming and robotics.





How is LVLM 2012 different from LVLM 2010?

     LVLM 2012 incorporates two years of LabVIEW advancements to create a more stable and faster working environment. Check out the features added in 2011 and 2012 to see all the upgrades. The NXT components are almost identical to the previous version from the user's perspective. We did a lot of work behind the scenes to make this version faster and more reliable. The #1 feedback we got from teams was that LabVIEW took too long to compile for NXT, so this year's compiler is 100x faster for typical FTC applications -- bringing the average compile time from ~100 s down to <1 s. Compile times will vary with code complexity and computer hardware, but you should be waiting less than 5 s now for code that used to take minutes.  


Can I use an older version of LabVIEW for competition?

     No, this year's competition software relies on new features built into LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 and the MCT. LVLM 2012 is free for all FTC teams; you can install the Windows or Mac version from your DVD included in the registration packet, or you can download the Windows version in the link above.


I am having trouble with teleop code generation, what the deal?

     Be sure to download the MCT updated on 11/7, this includes bug fixes for a few code generation issues. F3 Path Bug fix details.


Do I need to uninstall previous versions of LabVIEW?

     LVLM 2012 can coexist with LVLM 2010 on the same computer. If you want to free up some space, you can uninstall LVLM 2010 and then install LVLM 2012.


Where are the FTC templates?

     The Teleop and Autonomous templates are installed with the MCT. After the MCT has been installed, create a new Robot Project and choose the MCT robot template. This project includes an empty Autonomous template in the Robot Project Center. From any project you can create a teleop template by clicking Generate Code on the top of the Remote Control Editor. Guide to FTC Templates for LVLM.


Where can I find help for installation issues?

     If you run into any installation issues, please create a new discussion on the FTC forum.


Are there any known issues with the Samantha module support?

     Yes please review the Samantha Module known issues document.


Can I use LVLM in the classroom?

     The LVLM licence provided for FTC teams is not authorized for classroom use. If you would like to upgrade your FTC licence to a classroom pack, LEGO Education is offering a special discount for FTC teams.


Why did the toolkit name change?

     This year both FTC and the University division of the World Robot Olympiad will be using the same toolkit. The MCT has all of the same features you are used to with the FTC Toolkit, but now we can use it for competitions around the world.

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