The LEGO Group has announced The Lego Mindstorms NXT, a new system that the company says redefines the consumer robotics category.
Smarter, stronger and more intuitive than before, Lego Mindstorms NXT is a robotics toolset that provides endless opportunities for inventors, robotics fanatics and Lego builders ages 10 and older to build and program robots that do what they want.
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 an easy-to-use software, powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments.
Users can download the programs to the robots via Bluetooth, 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.
The set will be available in August 2006 and will have a suggested retail price of US$249.99. A special version for school and institutional use is also releasing later this year.