Lego NXT

/ 18 January 2006

At CES this year Lego announced it’s new version of it’s mindstorms line, the NXT. It will surely surpass Legos old mindstorms brick, the RCX, with new and improved sensors and a better and more stable programing language/ software. This new software will be based on Labview, the texas intruments program that many companies are basing software and computers off of including NASA for the mars rovers and Lego Dacta for it’s Robolab language for the current RCX brick. The new NXT will be able to feel (all new touch sensor), hear (sound sensor, microphone), and react to movement (ultrasonic) though all-new sensor technology. As well as a improved light sensor that can differentiate colors as well as intensity. Looking more directly at the NXT brick, it will have a phone wire-like plug system (sadly Lego isn’t using the standard phone wiring that the we use in the United States), an iPod-like interface, a USB 2.0 port, and it will be enabled with Bluetooth for data transfers between itself and the personal computer with it’s programming software (which is finaly WIN and MAC). The Bluetooth will also enable it to be controled by a PDA or cell phone (as long as it is also Bluetooth enabled). The microproccesor in the brick will be a 32-bit ARM7 one (way more than the current RCX is). Memory will consist of 256 k of flash and 64 k RAM (also way more than the current RCX). It will have 4 inputs (sensors listed above) and 3 outputs (for the included 3 servo motors with inbuilt rotation sensors). It will have a 8 KHz loudspeaker system built-in. Power will be from 6 AA batteries (or with luck the USB 2.0 port can power it as well?). The toolset that will be sold will include: the NXT intelligent brick, 3 servo motors, ultrasonic sensor, sound sensor, improved light sensor, improved touch sensor, 519 hand-selected and stylized bricks, all-new programing software with both 18 building challenges and the ability for physical programing of robots and interaction with robots while programing, and a USB 2.0 cable. It has a set release date of June 19, 2006 for $249.99 (US) or $379.99 (CAD). For more information click on the word “mindstorms” in the first sentance of this entry. Till later (when more NXT information is collect by me) bye.