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Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 2.0 Paperback – 2000

94 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Many high-tech toys start with a fun and fascinating idea only to make it frustratingly complicated in the execution. Leave it to LEGO to make a technologically advanced toy fun to play with. The enormous 718-piece LEGO Mindstorms Robotic Invention System lets you construct a variety of moving robot vehicles and then program them from your Windows 98- or Windows Me-compatible computer. The robots are all based around a bright yellow basic unit, which serves as the functional heart of whatever is being built. The brick receives commands from the computer via an infrared tower unit. The computer interface is incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. What's most impressive about the system, however, is the variety of robots that can be built. There are detailed instructions for each one, and since these are LEGOs, builders are free to come up with an endless variety. --John Moe

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: LEGO (2000)
  • ASIN: B00005NLID
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 12.8 x 4.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,852,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

330 of 335 people found the following review helpful By Zossima on December 13, 2001
Lego Mindstorms is a phenomenal toy. Your kids -- and probably you! -- will learn programming, logic, math, etc., while have hours and hours of fun. I cannot say enough about how impressed I am with this product!
FOR YOUNG USERS This product will immediately engage young users in building and programming the layouts that come with the kit. This alone makes it worth twice the cost. The programming environment is easy, yet the possibilities it offers will draw your kids into thinking and problem-solving. Learning and having fun at the same time: What a great idea!
FOR ADULTS Lego robots are used in graduate courses at MIT and Indiana University, among other schools. The programming environment is robust enough that it can support exercises in artificial intelligence. Check the NET: there are people out there posting advanced code for the Lego OS, writing new operating systems for the Mindstorms platform, and posting instructions for their own robotic creations. It is fun and educational for adults, too!
PURCHASING RECOMMENDATION The Robotics Invention System is the best entry point to Mindstorms, in my opinion. The programming options are much greater because of the ability to program on a PC with this kit. The lower-priced Mindstorms kits, such as the Robotics Discovery set do not allow programming from the PC. The programs are limited to what is included in the on-board processing module. That means the Robotics Discovery robots cannot do nearly as much as you can program the Robotics Invention System robots to do.
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164 of 167 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Bujak on January 6, 2002
This system is phenominal. We own version 1.5, purchased a year ago and we have not put it down. And trust me, this is not for kids only. I only wish there was something around like this when I was 12 - I was stuck with Robbbie the Robot replicas.
When my son opened it for Christmas, we knew it would be a big hit. We have spend uncountless hours working on this together (quality, quality time) and the problem solving skills he has gained have put him in a position that he can now program a computer in Visual Basic at 12 years. (Not that this system teaches you VB, but it sure teaches you logic and structure, necessities for any program language)
We have since bought all the expansion kits, a few books and have built robots capable of some unbelievable feats.
Keep in mind that older Technic sets work well with these sets as well as many of the other Lego sets you have.
I would recommend this set to anyone, especially those who longed for a real robot as a child, not a "flashing lights only" Robbie.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By J. Gerstenberger on September 19, 2004
Verified Purchase
As many others have commented, this is a great educational toy, so I won't repeat those accolades.

Getting it to work on XP has been a challenge, but ultimately I was successful. I learned that there are two XP patches out there. One is available on the Lego web site, and keeps the RIS software from automatically starting everytime you boot up your machine. I needed this patch on an XP desktop system. While a bit of a nuisance, this bug isn't really a showstopper. The second patch (called LEGOTower.zip) can be received from Lego support or by searching the internet. This patch solved the much more serious problem on a laptop running XP in which it would completely lock up whenever the software tried to access the USB tower. After installing this patch, the laptop worked as well. Apparently you may need neither, one, or both of these patches depending on your particular system.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey E VINE VOICE on November 17, 2004
I work for the company that wrote the software for Mindstorm. The problem with the IR Tower (hardware - not software) is very annoying. The biggest culprit tends to be ambient light. Remember "IR" stands for "infa-red light". We have seen the most difficulties where florescent bulbs are present. Their light signature and flicker rate confuses the IR Tower & unit receiver. This is also true when the product is used near other electronic equipment such as TV's and computer monitors (gulp!!).

The best tactic to incorporate is to block out any ambient light source. Get a dark towel / blanket (anything to block out light) and place it over the units. Then try your upload/download to the brick.

This will usually solve the problem but you must be patient. If it does not work, keep trying different materials until you find one that truly blocks out the light; even cardboard boxes.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Evans on July 27, 2004
Verified Purchase
I gave this to my husband as a gift and ever since, I have been trailed by this little mars land rover. It's a very 'high tech' guy-gift, and programmable from your computer. I am afraid to buy others for him...especially the one with the camera (EEK!), but that just looks cool, so I might take the dive. We'll just have to make some rules before that purchase...

Seems very durable. He's programmed it to run into things and to back up and find its way out once it hits something, and it has held up well. I am curious to see what else this little Robotic can do. Only time will tell before it brings me a cold drink on a hot day. Side note: It was also very durable when our German Shepherd carried it off after it went to close to the baby! It's still in one piece, believe it or not, but the dog is not so sure about it. He sleeps with one eye open.
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