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NEW RCX BRICK


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Posted 05 January 2006 - 08:17 AM

Hate to say I told you that there would be a new RCX brick featuring bluetooth (for all those non belivers last year), but here is Legos official press release featuring pictures! :oD
http://www.lego.com/...=&archive=false

Quote

LAS VEGAS – LEGO Group today announces LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ NXT, a new system that redefines the consumer robotics category the company created in 1998. Smarter, stronger and more intuitive than ever, LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is a robotics toolset that provides endless opportunities for armchair inventors, robotics fanatics and LEGO builders ages 10 and older to build and program robots that do what they want. LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT, available in August 2006, was shown for the first time to media who attended tonight’s Digital Experience™, and will be demonstrated in the Robotics TechZone (Sands Expo #70127-C) Thursday, January 5 through Sunday, January 8 during the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show.

Building upon the success of the globally-renowned Robotics Invention System, the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS makes it quicker and easier for robot creators to build and program a working robot in just 30 minutes. Simultaneously, new technologies and expanded sensor capabilities add a level of sophistication to excite and challenge more experienced robot creators.

The heart of the new system is the NXT brick, an autonomous 32-bit LEGO microprocessor that can be programmed using a PC, or for the first time in the retail offering, a Mac. After building their robots, users create a program within easy-to-use yet feature-rich software, powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments.

Downloading programs to an invention is easy. Users with Bluetooth®-enabled computer hardware can transfer their programs to the NXT wirelessly, or anyone can use the included USB 2.0 cable to connect their computer to the NXT for program transfer. The robot then takes on a life of its own, fully autonomous from the computer. The inclusion of Bluetooth technology also extends possibilities for controlling robots remotely, for example, from a mobile phone or PDA.

“When LEGO MINDSTORMS launched, we fundamentally changed the way people viewed LEGO building and play and helped spark the trend of affordable and attainable consumer robotics,” says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO, LEGO Group. “Eight years later, we’re ready to improve upon the single best-selling product in the company’s history. We’ve developed the new toolset with expanded components and capabilities to challenge our existing community of dynamic fans. Meanwhile, the system’s new software, design and 30-minute quick-start program are geared toward recruiting a new, younger generation of robotics enthusiasts.”

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT highlights include:

• All-new NXT intelligent brick
• 3 interactive servo motors feature inbuilt rotation sensors to align speed for precise control
• New ultrasonic sensor makes robots “see” by responding to movement
• New sound sensor enables robots to react to sound commands, including sound pattern and tone recognition
• Improved light sensor detects different colors and light intensity
• Improved touch sensor reacts to touch or release and allows robots to feel
• 519 hand-selected, stylized elements from the LEGO TECHNIC® building system ensure robot creations will be sturdy and durable while also looking authentic
• Opportunities for physical programming of robots and interaction with robots during programming
• 18 building challenges with clear, step-by-step instructions help acclimate users to the new system to create robots ranging from humanoids and machinery to animals and vehicles
• Digital wire interface allows for third-party developments
• Information, inspiration, news, community programs and more at www.mindstorms.com

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT will be available at most toy and discount merchandise retailers, select consumer electronics retailers or online at www.LEGOshop.com in August 2006 and will have a suggested retail price of $249.99 (USD) and $ 379.99 (CAD). A special version for school and institutional use is also releasing later this year.

In related news, LEGO Group also announced the launch of www.nxtbot.com, a blog written by writer, gamer and robotics enthusiast Jeff James, focused on the growing and fascinating world of consumer robotics. The company also announced details for a Developer Program. Information can be found at www.mindstorms.com


NOTE TO EDITORS: Information and product images can be downloaded from www.mindstorms.com/press


#2 Jipay

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 10:39 AM

And I was hoping for a better price lol. I guess that's what yoy get for a neat designed product right ?
Anyway, looks really appealing.  I am happy for Mac users, even if this features must mainly targets north america (Mac almost disappeared here)

#3 snefroe

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 11:38 AM

the creation of these mindstorm sets by lego has always been a mystery to me, but i know my former collegues at university love those. engineers and architects seem to use these things for their profession, i just don't think this is still lego.

#4 gylman

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 11:59 AM

This is good news!  I've been waiting for quite a while.  The price is STEEP, but I guess not that different from before.

It seems to have meaningfully useful new features, not just a rehash of the previous version, which is good.

Well, there goes another paycheque.


EDIT:
WHOA! just had a look at the pictures.  WTF is with these wierd motors?? Is this thing compatible with the old RCX and motors?? If not, this would be devastating.  I can't believe they would make this incompatible with the old system. Anyone know?

#5 JINZONINGEN73

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 12:08 PM

Mmmmm... mocs I can remote control... sweeeeet.

And having a comprehensive, easy-to-use interface on my computer sounds like programming will be more smooth.

Also diggin' the different color of the unit. The yellow had to go.

Quote

I am happy for Mac users, even if this features must mainly targets north america (Mac almost disappeared here)

Wait... it still can be used with a regular PC, right?
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#6 gylman

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 02:37 PM

Apparently it is incompatible with old Mindstorms :(

That messes things up.  :(

Also if you can only use those specific motors with the new mindstorms, it means everyone has to buy more of these new motors, instead of the more generic 9V motors Mindstorms now uses.

If the motor used on the 8421 giant crane, which has some similarities, is any indication, this will not be a step forward.  

Hopefully TLC has been thinking about these issues when they came up with the new version. I guess we'll only truly know when it comes out, but my enthusiasm is waning a bit...

#7 Yuppley

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:16 PM

Wow, not compatible with RCX of old? Tssk, tssk.

#8 mutant piraka

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:31 PM

Psst....go www.mindstorms.lego.com and look also looks that it has vissy jaws

#9 Shadow

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:39 PM

Looks cool to me. When I bought the first mindstorms I used it for about a month then put it away due to technical flaws...  :( Its good that they're continuing what they started, yet I wouldn't buy any for my interests lie in different directions.

#10 Sastrei

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:24 PM

You guys should read the article in Wired.

http://wired.com/new...tory_page_prev2

Yes, it's incompatible with the old one, but this is because it's better!  This is a completely new setup.  Designed with the input of several AFOL's, including Hassenplug, who made the Connect-Four robot!  and if you only have 3 ports, why would you need any more motors?  You can accomplish all the rest with gearing.  Yes, I'll admit, the styling is a bit funky, but it's starting to grow on me.

I'm looking forward to grabbing one of these.

-Stefan-

#11 MirrorSpock

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:33 PM

nobody mentioned this here, I love this:
Mac compatibility out of the box.

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:41 PM

It sort of looks like an Ipod. I myself cant wait for this to be released!

#13 gylman

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:57 PM

Well, I will no doubt buy it, but I am stepping back from the initial enthusiasm

1) Still battery powered (unlike the very useful RCX 1.0 that can be powered by any common 9V train adapter)

2) total new/old incompatibility

3)  very funky motor - they are going to be MUCH harder to put into things in a compact manner than the cubic 9V motors we have now.

and YES, one needs more than three motors in some situations.  You may want motors to provide independent sources of power but run together, so you connect two to a single output source.   Gearing does not provide extra power.  If one of the standard motors broke.... bah, no biggie, you whip out another one from the supply box. Here's a bet these motors will cost substantially more than 20$ each, even IF they are available as single item from S@H

It puzzles me though, that Lego would have made something totally backward incompatible when so many people have so much invested in the old system.  It won't kill me - I have only two RCXs, and I can always use the old motors in my Technic jobs, and I am not poor. But I  have friends who will not be able to start all over again from scratch.

Well, time will tell. We keep underestimating TLC.  I hope they prove me wrong.

#14 prateek

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 06:31 PM

ooooo :oD  my friends will love this !!!!!!

#15 Evil Willy

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 06:35 PM

Never had any mindstorm at all...I guess I wasnt into LEGO than..and I would much rather buy about 5 beautiful Pirate ships than this..Ie imperial flagship..BSB, SES, renegade runner, carribean clipper...About the same price lol!

#16 sam89

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 06:53 PM

There's loads of big pics here:

http://www.lego.com/...5A-3C4D31C39130

#17 KMOI

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 07:34 PM

Ok, since I didn't own a MindStorms set (Except for the discovery one), I'm not one to comment on programming. That said...

HOLY TARTAR SAUCE! That Alpharex robot looks sweet! I know I would have certainly liked this back when I had time to build Lego! Also, the white and orange colour scheme looks rocking! Keep it up Lego! You're doing a fantasmic job!

#18 gusmoore17

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 08:53 PM

The Math Club at school is about to import one of these!!!! Yeah  :)

#19 jindroush

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:11 PM

Oh my, I must be old.

Minuses:
It's studless
It's RIS incompatible
It's using something even more anti-programming as as default
It looks like some @#$%! Mac or iPod or whatever
It still has only 3+3 ports
All the sensors/motors are large and bulky
Motors are specialized

Pluses:
It has faster processor
Althought incompatible, the cables look interesting
2 new sensors

#20 optimus-convoy

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:21 PM

I really like this new design they got here, very slik.
I just love that alpha rex robot.
Would've been nice to see some backwards compablity though.
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#21 gylman

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:25 PM

jindroush, on Jan 5 2006, 09:11 PM, said:

Oh my, I must be old.

Minuses:
It's studless
It's RIS incompatible
It's using something even more anti-programming as as default
It looks like some @#$%! Mac or iPod or whatever
It still has only 3+3 ports
All the sensors/motors are large and bulky
Motors are specialized

Pluses:
It has faster processor
Althought incompatible, the cables look interesting
2 new sensors
Couldn't agree more.  I must be old too.

Wait, I am!

Damn!

:(

Another thought.  I was never limited by the speed of the processor, feeble though it was,  when making stuff with  RIS. However, the battle to mount and gear motors properly is constant. The new bulky and wierdly shaped motors will make this much harder.  I hope they at least perform better than the classic motor.



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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:47 PM

jindroush, on Jan 5 2006, 09:11 PM, said:

It looks like some @#$%! Mac or iPod or whatever
Thats the 'fashion' at the moment and I like it!

#23 Ickelpete

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 12:18 AM

:oD I'm excited about this one I put off buying a mindstorms set recently because of the rumour of the new sets.

The article says they are servo motors that would suggest rotation position control not just on or off rotation that opens up a whole lot of possibilities for robot designs.

The other item that I noticed was that the software was powered by LabView, I used to work for a company that used Labview to control the machines we produced. It was a very powerful and extremely easy to use piece of software and that was several years ago and it cost considerably more than the 249usd that these sets will sell for so that has to be a great step forward for TLC.

The only negative point would be that the connectors do not look like the standard technic connectors they look more like data connectors. Maybe they will produce an interface to control standard motors.

#24 indyj19

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 06:59 AM

hey I can tell my bro to check that out when he goes to the CES show
i went today(jan 5) but did not have a chance to get to the other convention center ( the show fills the las vegas convention center the sands expo and like three other venues) i will tell him to take many pics hopefully he can get a chance to get to that tech zone

#25 mutant piraka

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 09:17 PM

anyone got any model ideas?Or thinking to turn alpha-rex into the Alpha-Mech?
;) Oh yeah, check out what the betas are focusing on

A) Build cool robots with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT and upload them to the LEGO MINDSTORMS website
B) Write about LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT ™ e.g., articles, reviews, web content, books or training materials for FIRST LEGO League
C) Create third party add-ons to LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT ™ e.g., programming environments, input/output devices to the NXT Brick
so don't worry there, guys. worry about 4+ *satis*




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