LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT goes Mac

Smarter, stronger and more intuitive than ever, LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is a robotics toolset that provides endless opportunities for robotics enthusiasts and LEGO builders ages 10 and older to build and program robots that do what they want. A new “Quick Start” option makes it easy to successfully build and program a robot in 30 minutes.

The heart of the new system is the NXT brick, an autonomous 32-bit LEGO microprocessor that can be programmed using a PC, or for the first time in the retail offering, a Mac. After building their robots, users create a program within easy-to-use yet feature-rich software, powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments.

All-New NXT Intelligent Brick
• The “brain” of the robot, featuring powerful 32-bit microprocessor, more memory programming
• 4 input ports / 3 output ports and 7 6-wire cords
• Matrix display, real sound speaker
• USB 2.0 and Bluetooth®

3 Interactive Servo Motors
• Bring robotics creations to life
• Built-in rotation sensor measures one degree steps for precise movement

Sensors
• New Ultrasonic Sensor: the “eyes” of the robot measure distance, movements and detects objects
• New Sound Sensor: the “ears” of the robot, allowing creations to react to sound commands and patterns, as well as recognize tones
• Improved Touch Sensor: the “fingers” of the robots, reacting to touch or release
• Improved Light Sensor: detects different colors and light intensity

All-New Programming Software
• Easy-to-use PC and Mac compatible software interface, powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments
• Intuitive, icon-based drag and drop environment for “building” programs
• 18 robot challenges with step-by-step building instructions to acclimate beginners to the process of building and programming robots and inspire older users

LEGO Elements
• Streamlined, highly versatile collection of 519 LEGO TECHNIC elements for easy, more stable building with improved functionality and movement capabilities
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT will be available at most toy and discount merchandise retailers, select consumer electronics retailers or online at http://www.LEGOshop.com in August 2006, at a suggested retail price of US$249.99. A special version for school and institutional use is also releasing later this year.

More info here: http://mindstorms.lego.com/

[Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “Microsoft Free” for the heads up.]

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10 Comments

  1. Loving it.
    It’s interesting because this kind of thing can really switch people – I only managed to convince my brother to buy his iMac after he found his favourite game (Football Manager 2006) was Mac+PC.
    Onward and upward!

  2. this is simply awesome! My son is heavily into Legos and I have written to Lego several times over the last few years that they needed to get a Mac OS X version of Mindstorm. It was inconceivable to me that they didn’t. This is a great sign and about time. I hope that they did a decent job of it.

  3. This IS pretty huge news.
    Not that every kid is going to get this product (at $249.99), but with how huge the Lego brand and product line is, this may represent the start of a major shift in toy companies’ willingness to open up to the Mac. Research must be showing an attractive number of Macs in homes and/or there is enough pressure from consumers to make a change. Either way this is very good news.

  4. This news came out last week. When I saw this news, and that Lego was looking for developers (100 of them with the ability to purchase for $150 and get the product in February) I signed up immediately!

    It will be fun to build and program with my Mac!

  5. Just a heads up; the OSX version of the Mindstorms software (it is called ROBOLAB and is sold by the educational arm of Lego, LEGO Dacta) has been out for awhile. The interface is different than the “stacking blocks” metaphor in MINDSTORMS (wires are used to commect logic elements), but it works pretty well.

  6. I had one of these when I was a kid.

    Probably the most fun I ever had was building a robot that identified the color brown of my cat’s fur and would chase that color around the room.

    Ahhh good times.

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