Thursday, October 25, 2007

LEGO Mindstorms NXT

The mail room delivered my Christmas gift today. I quickly went home and opened the box, install the software on my Mac, and tried to build the demo machine. This is different from the LEGO blocks I had when growing up. I just had a box of blocks that I built random things with. Nowadays, LEGO pieces are all pretty unique and there are long instructions for each build. Actually, the instruction booklets are very similar to those from another Scandinavian company, one that sells a lot of cheap furniture.

This was what I started with in the Start Here! box. The goal is to build a three wheeled vehicle and run a demo program in the NXT controller, which is a 32-bit ARM7 microprocessor.

After about 30 minutes, I completed this. At least I think I completed it since there were three pieces left. Arg! It's exactly like putting together IKEA furniture. It did work though. Taking it apart afterwards is about as difficult as putting it together. A lot of the connector parts were very small yet fit very tightly.

Here are the remaining pieces in the kit along with 4 physical sensors (touch, sound, light, and ultrasound/distance). I haven't tried out the software yet but it seemed to install fine on my Mac. I'm using my Mac since there is Bluetooth connectivity in the NXT controller unit an only my Mac has a Bluetooth module (from CSR though).


Anonymous said...


i told Johnny that we would get one for Christmas and we would take your robot on in a battle to deactivation.

my wife said that i would have a snowball's chance against you since what does a matsci guy know about programming; plus you will have a couple months headstart.

still get your robot ready. let's get ready to rumble.

totochi said...

I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate the pellet guns you gave me several years ago into the robot.

Bring it on!

Anonymous said...

pellet gun????

we have a 9mm Ruger semi-automatic.

of course, if Midsummer craps out completely, we will need to delay the match until we get funding.

totochi said...

I thought you lost the key to the trigger lock. Anyway, this LEGO thing is pretty flimsy. I doubt that it can carry the 9mm much less generate enough force to pull the trigger.