Finally after exactly 12 months minus one week, my site abiteof.com managed to chew up enough cash to buy myself the Lego mindstorms NXT 2.0 robotics kit.
The experience is great! Un-boxing the set already shows clearly that there are many hours to spend here!
Once I had the software installed (a breeze on windows 7), I had a look at the folder that comes with the box and started on step 1.
The first “exercise” is quite easy and helps to get you acquainted to the robotics part of the kit, connecting the sensors, the servo motors and run a test program.
Then the instructions proceed until you have built a 2 motor tank-like vehicle. This was all done in more or less 30 minutes. The programming was easier as I expected.
In the next steps, the Ultrasonic sensor is attached and it now detects if objects are nearby. After that the shooter is added and in the programming the necessary steps are added to have the tank recognise objects that are close, warn them and if they don’t move shoot a ball at them.
Here’s the result of the first completed build (a total of 2 hours):
After playing around a bit with the programming I went on to another model for which the instructions come with the box, the humanoid Alpha Rex. The assembly is surprisingly easy and the detail you can open the case (to replace batteries for ex.) very easily with the full model assembled around shows the complexity of the design. Well… no need for words:
Next, or NXT, I’ll give it a shot and start building without instructions. I have a couple of ideas I’d like to have a look at and need some practice. After all, it’s been a while since I played LEGO properly!