Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Robotics Monday: Black NXT Programmable Brick

iconNot really featuring this as a proper model, but I thought I'd share the news about the new Black NXT Programmable Brickicon. A limited edition of 1,998 of these has been made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LEGO Mindstorms series. Although programmable bricks existed before that, they were very hard to obtain and primarily sold to schools. The RCX was released in 1998, and the now ubiquitous NXT system emerged in 2006. The black NXT is a very interesting product - priced Apple-style (a "cooler" color will cost you more - in fairness, though, it's very unusual for LEGO to make such a small production run of a part/color combination and it does cost the company more in this case), you get only the programmable brick in the new color (as compared to a black version of the whole kit) - you still have to work around the motors.

Or maybe not. Check out this video of a tank built with the NXT, a HiTechnic (HiTechnic is a licensed third-party LEGO-compatible electronics vendor) IR link for NXT, and a variety of LEGO Power Functions parts. Granted, generally when you use an NXT, you want a certain level of precision and can't just crank up some Power Functions motors. When you're building a simple but fun tank? It's the way to go. Especially when you don't want it to be white.

Yep, running late again - this is what I get for trying to squeeze in multiple difficult posts in one day.

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