We are happy to report that all the Lego Mindstorms NXT that were launched at last week's H.A.L.E. have successfully returned to the planet. While up there, each of them took pictures and performed a variety of experiments. Check the site for more images to come and to find out what else the little robotic buggers are planning.
Nevada Space Grant, Energizer, the University of Nevada-Reno and National Instruments have teamed together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of
Lego Mindstorms NXT. College professors, middle school students, and Mindstorms freaks in general are planning on launching several of the bots today to collect data and explore Earth's atmosphere. All concerned are hoping to set a world record with H.A.L.E. (High Altitude Lego Extravaganza.)
The robots will be inserted into 2 weather balloons, launched outside Reno, and will go as high as 100,000 feet up. After the balloons burst, the NXTs will parachute back down to the planet.
There have been other robots that can solve the Rubik's Cube, and now Hans Anderson has programmed his Lego Mindstorms NXT to do the same. The Tilted Twister has a set of sensors that detects when holds the puzzle, then calculates the moves. Using algorithms, the Twister can solve the cube in an average of 60 moves in about 6 minutes. While it may not be as fast as Rubot II, it certainly will beat most humans. Being the decent guy that he is, Anderson is sharing his instructions and plans with anyone who wants them.
If you live in Southeastern Michigan and have an interest in robotics, Rocks and Robots is a combination science and adventure program for ages 7 - 17 who want more to do with their summers than hang around the house. They offer summer camps, workshop weekends, and special events designed around kids' brains and bodies. Those who are only interested only in robotics can take part in a "Mayan Adventure" by building a Lego NXT Mindstorm and exploring a pyramid. If it sounds intriguing, contact Katie Tilton at 734-645-0211 or visit their site for rates and more information.
And yet another kewl gadget devised by someone using Lego's NXT Mindstorm has been introduced. Mike D'Amour had the original idea, and Will Gorman built and kindly provided instructions so that you can build your own toilet flushing robot. The RoboFlush gives you the option of a manual flush as well. If the duo could figure out how to get it to clean the thing, now that would be worth the investment.
We know that there are just as many adults as kids that dig Lego's Mindstorm NXT, so we applaud the efforts of Anders Søborg's NXT Image Scanner. Utilizing a HiTechnic color sensor, the scanner saves in 24-bit true color, 8-bit color, or gray scale. The design also has a small LCD menu to set up properties. Best of all, Anders shares his knowledge with the world, so the very least we could do is pass on his instructional DIY video.
What do you get when you cross an iPhone with a Lego Mindstorm NXT Robot? You get a Legophone or perhaps it is an iNXT programmed with NXJ and a Safari Web application. Whatever you call it, we think it is too cool. As soon as we can afford all the necessary ingredients, we just may make one for ourselves. Our props to "willgorman" and his cleverness. You can find the DIY instructions at BattleBricks.
Our first official month of posting closes here at Robot Snob. It's been a fun month of robotic weirdness, and we look forward to more months, years, and decades of ahead of robot news, views, and reviews. May had lots of lawn robots, house robots, and of course symphony conducting robots. We'll keep the robot news flowing in June, and expect some hands on reviews in the weeks ahead.
We had the original Lego Mindstorms way back in 1999. We built a few robots, but really enjoyed the combination of programming the robots we built and building them. Mindstorms NXT is more than a toy, and if you're buying this for your son or daughter, remember they can build anything they put their mind to. Building anything that moves like a robot is really rewarding, and sure to put a smile on their face.
All-new NXT Intelligent Brick with 32-bit microprocessor, more memory and FLASH 3
Interactive Servo motors feature built-in rotation sensors to align speed for precise control and new sound sensor reacts to sound commands, patterns and tones
577 specially selected LEGO TECHNIC elements for sturdy and durable building and improved functionality and movement
Intuitive, icon-based drag-and-drop program "building" environment 6 AA batteries required (not included)