Mindstorms strikes again
A little over a week ago I finally got around to ordering a LEGO Mindstorms set for the first time. I’ve been a LEGO fan for years but never got around to trying Mindstorms, LEGO’s robotics kit that has been around since 1998. One big reason was that I usually buy LEGO in increments of $10-100 at a time, not the $200 that the Mindstorms Robotics Invention System would have cost. When I did get around to buying it, I chose the educational version from LEGO Education (aka Pitsco aka Dacta). I got the ROBO Technology Set for $159 which should arrive in a few days.
Just a day or so after that, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LEGO announced their next-generation Mindstorms kit, the Mindstorms NXT. Boasting a new 32-bit processor, Bluetooth, built-in USB 2.0, and a whole new set of motors and sensors, the new system promises to bring LEGO robotics to a whole new level. An article in Wired magazine shows how they involved adult LEGO fans to help design the new product, which was a great move by LEGO. They’re finally starting to realize that adults are a significant part of their customer base – and 50% of their robotics customer base, according to their own numbers. Hopefully they will be as accepting of “hacking” the new kit as they were of the original one. I bet someone gets Linux running on it by year’s end!
I’m looking forward to getting my new old Mindstorms set, but I’ll still be counting the days until I can get the new version in the fall when it comes out…