It’s not only mad professors and Sony who can make robots. You can have a go yourself – and all you need is some Lego! Ok, it’s not that simple, you’ll need more than a few plastic bricks – the Lego Mindstorms NXT robotics toolset to be exact.
NXT is the latest version of Lego’s robotics system. At the heart of the new system is the NXT brick, a 32-bit Lego microprocessor that can be programmed using a PC or Mac. After building a robot, simply create a program with the software (which can be wizard-driven), download your programs via Bluetooth or through a USB 2.0 cable, then watch your robot then takes on a life of its own.
Four sensors and three interactive Servo Motors enable you to have precise control over your robot. It will be able to measure distance, detect objects and react to sound and voice commands. An improved light sensor detects different colors and light intensity, while an improved touch sensor reacts to touch or release and allows robots to "feel" for the first time.
You’ll have to wait until the September launch before you start creating your robot army to take over the world. The kit, containing four specific robot designs, should retail for around £180.
By Dave Walker | April 3rd, 2006