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