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LabVIEW Software Setup for FIRST Tech Challenge 2014-2015

VERSION 75  Click to view document history
Created on: Sep 12, 2011 1:50 PM by Hueter - Last Modified:  Sep 9, 2014 10:52 AM by Hueter

All FIRST Tech Challenge 2014-2015 teams will have free access to LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 as an programming option for competition. 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.

LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 (LVLM) and LabVIEW Toolkit for MINDSTORMS Competition (LTMC)


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).


1. Install LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 (LVLM)

Windows Users or Mac OS X with virtualization software (Boot Camp, Parallels)

All FTC Teams can activate LabVIEW with this serial number: S14X86775

Note: LVLM is not supported in OSX 10.9: See the FAQ at the bottom of this page for more info

Downlaod LVLM Win.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 LabVIEW Toolkit for MINDSTORMS Competition. This has all of the additional components you will need to compete in FTC. Be sure you install this after LVLM 2012. The LTMC does not need to be activated.



2. Download and Install The LabVIEW Toolkit for MINDSTORMS Competition 2014 - 2015 (LTMC)

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

LTMC Win.pngLTMC OSX.png



     • NXT Fantom driver

     • Samantha Module Support

     • LVLM 2012 patches & updates

     • MATRIX Motor Support

     • EV3 Support (not used for FTC)

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

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.




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.  


Does LabVIEW Support EV3?

EV3 support will be installed with the LTMC, so you can progam and control EV3, including support for TETRIX and MATRIX, but FIRST has decided EV3 will not be allowed in the 2014-2015 FTC competition.


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 LTMC. 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.


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 LTMC. After the LTMC has been installed, create a new Robot Project and choose the LTMC 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.


Can I use LabVIEW on OSX 10.9?

LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS 2012 is not supported on OSX 10.9. You can either downgrade to 10.8 or use virtualization software like Parallels or Bootcamp you can run LabVIEW in the Windows environment on Mac hardware.


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.

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