CES 2006: Lego Mindstorms NXT

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There hasn’t been that much in the way of toys or robots at the show so it’s nice to see a big name wheeling out some neat robotic accessories. I say accessory because what LEGO has really done, rather than just make a cybernetic companion, is give you the chance to design and build your own. At the heart of it all is the NXT brick (it’s the thing that looks a bit like an iPod) which contains and autonomous 32-bit LEGO processor.

Programs can now be uploaded wirelessly via Bluetooth and the NXT kit has a host of extra features including a new ultrasonic sensor to let you robot see, sound sensor for voice commands and a set of 18 ‘challenges’ to help users from the age of 10 to get to know the system’s abilities so that they can eventually come up with original ideas like some of those shown at CES. The MINDSTORMS NXT is going on sale from August for an RRP of $249.99 or if you can’t wait, you can apply on the website to be among 100 lucky enthusiasts who will get a kit in February.

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