LEGO has announced that the new version of Mindstorms will have open source firmware! This is very exciting news for anyone who likes to hack on robotics. While people reverse-engineered the original Mindstorms to come up with an alternative firmware called LegOS (which was renamed to BrickOS at the request of LEGO’s legal department), this time around LEGO is supporting software hacking from the get-go.
Also in the announcement, they’ll be making the Bluetooth interface and the 6-conductor connector system public and releasing Developer Kits for both software and hardware. They don’t say for sure that it will be free, but I hope that it will be.
Information about the NXT system is starting to become available via the panel of adult fans that LEGO has been consulting with (the Mindstorms Developer Program non-disclosure agreements allow them to release some information as of May 1, 2006). Here are some of the things I’ve found:
- NXT details from Philippe (“Philo”) Hurbain.
- The NXT Step blog by Jim K., Brian Davis, and Christopher Smith
- Lugnet.Robotics has several newly-announced NXT models and news
I’m looking forward to August when we get to see full retail availability of NXT![tags]lego,robotics,mindstorms,nxt[/tags]