Lego LEGO LEGO Mindstorms NXT2.0/Mindstorms NXT (English) 8547 Review
While Lego released some pretty cool Lego Star Wars sets as well as Lego city sets like Lego 75054 and Lego 60095, we had the opportunity to turn to something that was new to us - Lego nxt-2-0. Does that name ring a bell? If not, it is definitely something you should take time to learn about, especially if you are a Lego fan like us. You may have also heard this set referred to as Mindstorms NXT 2.0 – regardless of what you call it, it’s still pretty cool and well worth looking into.
With Mindstorms NXT 2.0, take it from us, you’re going to have a lot of fun. When you have Lego nxt-2-0 in your grasp, you will be able to build and program your very own robot. Doesn’t that sound like a whole lot of fun? In the past, this was something we would have never dreamed of and now, here it is, right in front of us, waiting to be built.
In the beginning, we gave you a picture of the front of the box. It looks pretty cool, right? Here’s a picture of the back of the box:
Here’s a picture of the Lego Building Instructions:
When we opened up the package, we found that it contained quite a few Lego Technic parts, along with a central computer unit (this is called the NXT “brick) as well as a wide array of motors and sensors. Really, with this set, there’s a whole lot that can be done.
We were happy to find some Lego Building Instructions when we opened up the box. In fact, the Lego instructions suggested a wide range of exciting projects to take part in. There’s the Color Sorter, ShooterBot, and the RoboGator, to name a few. With this being Lego, we already assumed there would be a limitless scope that would allow us to modify and expand upon the standard model that it came with. In fact, you can go to Mindstorms website where you will come across a large amount of tips, as well as some blueprints that you could use. With its first iteration, Lego Mindstorms brought the building kit hobby to an entire different level. In the latest version that we have, we found that it offers a whole lot more in terms of both software and hardware.
2.0 is a nice little building kit that has combined Lego parts and programming software into one nice bundle. This kit will allow you to build your very own robot in only a matter of hours, or maybe even a couple of minutes. We were able to get our first tiny robot together within minutes.
This building set has been designed to promote fun, while learning at the same time. When we got the opportunity to program our very own robot, we couldn’t believe the opportunity – it really was amazing and wasn’t an opportunity we thought we would have ever had with Lego. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a “genius” to program your robot – this is a fun and easy introduction into even more serious robotics concepts, which is exactly what we were looking for.
Inside the Box
When we opened up the box, we found a nice package – this right here, we feel is the heart of all robotic projects …it’s the best place to get started. As we previously mentioned above, there’s a central brick part of the robot. This brick piece runs on six AA batteries.
The central brick part is basically the processor and the mind that is responsible for running the robot. This is where all of the information that the robot needs to function is stored – it’s like the human brain, except it’s for your robot and you can hold it in the palm of your hands.
Using a USB cable or a Bluetooth connection (yes, it has Bluetooth in it), you can connect it to your computer (as long as your computer supports Bluetooth, if not, then you’ll have to use the USB cable).
You’re going to want to hear what we’re about to tell you, because honestly, when we first discovered it, we couldn’t believe it. Aside from this little piece acting as the brain and heart of the robot, this brick is also capable of communicating with other Lego robots through Bluetooth connectivity – isn’t that really cool? We personally love this feature and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Why do we like this feature? That’ simple ..with this feature, we have the opportunity to build a community of robots with a couple of Mindstorms kits …kind of like the Lego city sets, except instead of firehouses, police stations, train stations and all of that city type stuff, we use robots. When we read about this feature in the Lego news, our mind immediately started to think about how we would be able to create a whole city of robots. Yes, it may seem silly, but can you imagine the possibilities?
Yes, there are additional pieces of hardware in this set, of course. Also included in the box, we found three servomotors – this allowed us to control the robot’s angular motion. There’s also sensors for feeling, sight, motion and even a color detector capability.
In all, there’s a total of 619 constructions elements and this includes the wheels, gears and tracks. Digging deeper into the box, we found the connector cables along with the robot’s functionality test pad, which looked pretty cool.
There’s also the NXT 2.0 software that is included in the package. This is pretty cool, because we know some other companies (we’re not going to name any names here) that offered robots like this, but you would be required to pay an additional price for the software once it ran out of the trial. That’s not how it goes with what Lego offers – this isn’t your average trial software – at no additional price, you get the actual software. You can install and run the software on a Windows machine or a Max OS X machine. With this software, when we opened it up (we used a Windows machine), we found everything we needed in order to program the robot in front of us. With this software package, there’s a visual drag-and-drop user interface, which is much better than text. The interface is user-friendly, so you don’t even have to be tech-friendly to use this software. It is especially easier on inexperienced users. To give you an idea, our 12 year old was able to use the software without any questions.
Design and Features
As we previously stated, basically, what this kit right here does is give you different parts. You can use those different marts to make your own robot. There’s parts that can move your robot. There’s also parts that will give your robot a sense of touch and sight. What good would a robot be if it wasn’t able to see or feel?
Apart from being able to program how the robots moves around, we were also able to set its sensor parameters – this feature is provided through an ultrasonic sensor, two touch sensors and a color sensors. Basically, what these sensors do is give the robot the ability to detect and differentiate a total of six basic colors as well as measure the intensity of light around it.
This is an advanced robot building kit that delivers all of the Lego Building Instructions – with this kit, without buying anything else, we were able to create a total of four robot projects – they were basic projects, but nonetheless, they were still robots. The robots we created were Shooterbot, Alpha Rex, Robogator and Color Sorter.
Alpha Rex – The alpha rex just so happened to be one of our favorites. Once we got it put together, it did things like dance, walk, close and open up its hands and it was even able to detect different colors. It’s really cool and we highly recommend building this one if you choose to get Lego nxt-2-0.
The ShooterBot – This one right here is another cool one that you’ll like if you like things that shoot colorful balls. We spent quite some time enjoying this robot as it shot different colored balls into groups.
RoboGator – This is a neat little gator. It looks like you’d expect a techno-alligator to look. Once we got it put together and programmed, we enjoyed watching it lunge forward and snap its jaws closed.
Look at all of these cool pieces …
During our slow and lonely nights, these robots were a lot of fun to mess around with. With this kit, those we listed aren’t the only ones you can build. You can easily modify those basic robots using your own creativity and programming skills. You can get even more creative and build your own robot from scratch. When using this robot kit, your creativity and imagination is your only limit. In the end, when it was all said and done and we were done playing with our robots (we still go back to it from time to time because it’s a whole lot of fun), we went to the Lego 76023 Superhero, which is another set we would recommend to you if you’re into Superheroes.