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LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 (8547) (Discontinued by manufacturer)
|Price:||$548.29 & FREE Shipping|
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- The intelligent NXT Lego brick features 32-bit microprocessor, a large matrix display
- Three interactive servo motors; four sensors(Ultrasonic Sensor, 2 Touch Sensors and the all-new Color Sensor)
- Color Sensor has triple functionality: Distinguishes colors and light settings, and functions as a lamp
- Easy-to-use software (PC and Mac) with icon-based drag-and-drop programming and 16 fun building and programming challenges
- Batteries not included with this product
- Building instructions for 4 new amazing robots
- Four input and 3 output ports, and Bluetooth and USB communication link
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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The "NXT" generation of buildable, programmable robots is here! LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is back and better than ever, with new robot models, even more customizable programming, and all-new technology including a color sensor! LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 combines the unlimited versatility of the LEGO building system with an intelligent microcomputer brick and intuitive drag-and-drop programming software. The new 2.0 toolkit features everything you need to create your first robot in 30 minutes and then tens of thousands of other robotic inventions that do what you want!
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Legos have been around for decades, and using Legos is second nature to most in my son's age group. The programming part, adds another dimension to the learning process and enjoyment. The programming is quite simple, and building the projects is not unlike assembling a Lego kit. The sensors and motors work well.
This is a Lego branded item, which adds significantly to the price. If you go to buy some of the sensors, which you would believe to be in the $20 - $30 range, you'll find a $50 - $60 price. Ideally, I believe this type of concept could be produced and sold (albeit not in the Lego brand) in the $125 - $175 range, and be marketed to many more young students, which would open their minds up to the concept of Robotics.
I do highly recommend this for anyone who wants to challenge their child, although this is more geared to a minimum age of eleven or twelve, and even for adults who want to learn more about robotics. I feel the price limits those who are able to afford the Mindstorm system, but in time, the price will drop to a more reasonable cost. Although a bright eight to ten year old could benefit from this, the age range of eleven and up would probably find more to be gained by the projects. The control unit would be fairly pricey to replace, and could be damaged if not treated properly, another reason for the age group recommendations.
If learning about robotics and a desire to create projects interests you, this is a great idea for you.
Issue: The NXT 2.0 software crashes on Mac computers when using the instruction guide pane.
Solution: Download images of the building instructions and use the rest of the software as normal. The programming guide and program builder should still work as advertised- the crash issue is only with the building instructions. The illustrated building guides can be found by searching "robogator building instructions" under image search. These instructions include all 4 of the models advertised on the Mindstorms box, which someone created from screen grabs of the software (the PDF instructions on the Lego site are out of date). It was a life saver for us! (It also contains instructions for programming the bots on Linux.)
It's worth noting also that the product only comes with instructions for half of the first model, and not with instructions for Alpha Rex or any of the other illustrations on the box. This is understandably frustrating for those of us having software issues.
Hope this helps! I would have given the product 4 stars if the software worked or user support was better. I'm planning to buy one of the beginner guidebooks as a companion to this toy.
After going through the trouble to download and run the patch, one rapidly discovers that the software is completely and utterly useless on the Mac. The application runs very, v-e-r-y slowly, and freezes all the time. Lego and National Instruments (author of the software [LabView] that the Lego application is based on) haven't bothered to update the application to run without Rosetta.
The way to get a useable solution is to install either VMWare or Parallels, then install a copy of Windows into the virtual machine, and then install the Windows version of the Lego application. The result is something that is fast and useable. Despite the layers of emulation involved in this approach, the Windows version runs faster than the Mac version, by a long shot. Shame on Lego and National Instruments.