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What's NXT? LEGO Group Unveils LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ NXT Robotics Toolset at Consumer Electronics Show

Consumer robotics pioneer introduces next generation of its robotics toolset designed to excite all robotics enthusiasts, from novices to experts

LAS VEGAS (January 4, 2006, 7:00PM Pacific) – LEGO Group today announces LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ NXT, a new system that redefines the consumer robotics category the company created in 1998. Smarter, stronger and more intuitive than ever, LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is a robotics toolset that provides endless opportunities for armchair inventors, robotics fanatics and LEGO builders ages 10 and older to build and program robots that do what they want. LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT, available in August 2006, was shown for the first time to media who attended tonight's Digital Experience™, and will be demonstrated in the Robotics TechZone (Sands Expo #70127-C) Thursday, January 5 through Sunday, January 8 during the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show.

Building upon the success of the globally-renowned Robotics Invention System, the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS makes it quicker and easier for robot creators to build and program a working robot in just 30 minutes. Simultaneously, new technologies and expanded sensor capabilities add a level of sophistication to excite and challenge more experienced robot creators.

The heart of the new system is the NXT brick, an autonomous 32-bit LEGO microprocessor that can be programmed using a PC, or for the first time in the retail offering, a Mac. After building their robots, users create a program within easy-to-use yet feature-rich software, powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments.

Downloading programs to an invention is easy. Users with Bluetooth®-enabled computer hardware can transfer their programs to the NXT wirelessly, or anyone can use the included USB 2.0 cable to connect their computer to the NXT for program transfer. The robot then takes on a life of its own, fully autonomous from the computer. The inclusion of Bluetooth technology also extends possibilities for controlling robots remotely, for example, from a mobile phone or PDA.

"When LEGO MINDSTORMS launched, we fundamentally changed the way people viewed LEGO building and play and helped spark the trend of affordable and attainable consumer robotics," says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO, LEGO Group. "Eight years later, we're ready to improve upon the single best-selling product in the company's history. We've developed the new toolset with expanded components and capabilities to challenge our existing community of dynamic fans. Meanwhile, the system's new software, design and 30-minute quick-start program are geared toward recruiting a new, younger generation of robotics enthusiasts."

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT highlights include:

  • All-new NXT intelligent brick
  • 3 interactive servo motors feature inbuilt rotation sensors to align speed for precise control
  • New ultrasonic sensor makes robots "see" by responding to movement
  • New sound sensor enables robots to react to sound commands, including sound pattern and tone recognition
  • Improved light sensor detects different colors and light intensity
  • Improved touch sensor reacts to touch or release and allows robots to feel
  • 519 hand-selected, stylized elements from the LEGO TECHNIC® building system ensure robot creations will be sturdy and durable while also looking authentic
  • Opportunities for physical programming of robots and interaction with robots during programming
  • 18 building challenges with clear, step-by-step instructions help acclimate users to the new system to create robots ranging from humanoids and machinery to animals and vehicles
  • Digital wire interface allows for third-party developments
Information, inspiration, news, community programs and more at http://www.mindstorms.com LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT will be available at most toy and discount merchandise retailers, select consumer electronics retailers or online at http://www.LEGOshop.com in August 2006 and will have a suggested retail price of $249.99 (USD) and $ 379.99 (CAD). A special version for school and institutional use is also releasing later this year.

In related news, LEGO Group also announced the launch of http://www.nxtbot.com, a blog written by writer, gamer and robotics enthusiast Jeff James, focused on the growing and fascinating world of consumer robotics. The company also announced details for a Developer Program. Information can be found at http://www.mindstorms.com


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About LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is a robotics toolset that provides endless opportunities for armchair inventors, robotics fanatics and LEGO builders ages 10 and older to build and program robots that do what they want. Building upon the success of the globally-renowned Robotics Invention System, the next generation of LEGO robotics is smarter, stronger and more intuitive than ever, leveraging new technologies and expanded sensor capabilities to add a level of sophistication to excite and challenge more experienced robot creators.
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT includes 519 LEGO TECHNIC pieces, the NXT intelligent brick, touch, light, ultrasonic and sound sensors, 3 servo motors, Bluetooth, USB 2.0 cable and PC/MAC compatible programming software powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments.
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT will be available at most toy and discount merchandise retailers, select consumer electronics retailers or online at http://www.LEGOshop.com in August 2006 and will have a suggested retail price of $249.99 (USD) and $ 379.99 (CAD). A special version for school and institutional use is also releasing later this year.
About the LEGO Group
The LEGO Group, a privately-held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of play materials for children. The company is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: "Only the best is good enough."
LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2006 The LEGO Group.