Robots have long fascinated kids and adults, and with Lego Mindstorms, everything you need to build your own robot comes in a box. You can design a robot that will guard your room by shooting balls at intruders, dance or catapult items across a room.
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In 1998, the decades-long partnership between Lego and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology resulted in the first generation of Mindstorms -- the Mindstorms Robotic Invention System. Mindstorms NXT 1.0 rolled out in 2006, with version 2.0 following in 2009.
The Version 2.0 kit includes electronic and Lego Technic building pieces, connector cables, a test pad, software and a planning guide. The electronic pieces use NXT technology allowing the robot to follow programmed commands and respond to its environment. Acting as the brain of the robot is the sensor piece, which has input sensors, output ports, a universal serial bus (USB) port, display and memory to store programs. Other electronic pieces allow the robot to sense objects, grab things, distinguish between colours and react to movement. Technic building pieces include gears, wheels, tracks, tires and connectors.
Users can follow the included instructions or search designs found on the NXTLog website to build robots. Programs are created using the NXT-G software, which utilises drag-and-drop technology to build a chain of commands for the robot to follow. The completed program is downloaded to the robot via the USB port -- and the robot is ready to test and use.
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