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NXT Mindstorms

Doing a side project to help out in the job at the moment for a christmas thing, and getting to play with the new NXT mindstorms kit as a result (I only used the older mindstorms kit before now in TCD). They’re much beefier on the inside, the sensors are much more polished-looking, Robolab has come on a long way (but is still a wussy way to program these things, wish I had time to blast an open source firmware to the brick), and they’re even faster to get up and running with. In 20 minutes, I had this built:

NXT Mindstorms robot

NXT Mindstorms robot

NXT Mindstorms robot

The ultrasonic sensor is a nice addition to the kits – stick that on a servo mount and you’d have a 360° sensor for mapping your environment… albiet a really noisy crappy one 😀

NXT Mindstorms robot

Ten minutes later I had Robolab installed on a WinXP virtualbox on my Debian-running laptop (sweet how far we’ve come – in the old days, I’d just have to dual-boot to get usable performance like this), and ten minutes of fiddling later, I had taught my new robot to fear me…

(You have to teach them to fear you first, otherwise they’ll turn around and shoot you in the face…)


  1. Used NQC on the older bricks, but ran into limitations and switched to using gcc instead. Wouldn’t mind fiddling around more with gcc on these newer NXT bricks, but I don’t think I’ll get to – they’re a bit on the pricey side at €300 per kit!

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