Unlike Andrew Coates I have a legitimate reason for buying a Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Robotics kit. I have a young son who’s very keen on Lego and has been building his own robots out of cardboard and Sellotape for the last three months.
I must admit that I had expected to be building and programming the first few robots myself whilst my son got the hang of it all. However, that was not the case.
Here’s the robot that is currently built with our kit.
Not very impressive I hear you say? Well take the following into consideration:
- It was built in just over 1 hour with no instructions – including the programming
- It can crawl quite effectively – moving forward and backward with no wheels
- It is programmed to stop when it nears a wall (using Ultrasonic sensor)
- It has two touch sensors that operate the linked fan as programmed with two speed settings
- I wasn’t involved at all
It is a real testament to the Mindstorms kit that a child who has yet to learn multiplication at school (several years under the kits “official” minimum age) could put all this together himself. The bundled software for programming the robot really is that easy to use.
My only involvement was to write a simple Window Mobile application that could be used to control the robot. This is done via an exposed Direct Command API supported by the NXT 2.0 block’s Bluetooth interface.
This kit is already a winner in our house. There’s even a good blog for it here.