LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Robotics Toolset Among Holiday's Hottest
Next gen robotics toolset ranks high with experts
NEW YORK, TOY WISHES HOLIDAY PREVIEW (October 4, 2006) – This holiday season, armchair inventors, robotics fanatics and LEGO® builders ages 10 and older will be thrilled to find LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT, the robotics toolset that lets kids build and program robots that do what they want, among their holiday gifts.
Experts agree. MINDSTORMS NXT already has received several awards, including Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Honors, The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, National Association of Parenting Publications of America (NAPPA) Gold Winner, the Toys "R" Us Fabulous 15" Holiday Toys, the "What Kids Want" Holiday Hot List from eToys and the Toy Insider "Hot 20" Holiday Toys. Additionally, the set has received favorable reviews from noted experts at Forbes, BusinessWeek, PC Magazine and the Associated Press.
Proving that kids everywhere are ready to create their own robots, results of a national survey found that the majority of kids believe they can build and program robots that do what they want; while only 20% of adults have that same confidence. In other survey findings:
- Helping complete homework or household chores were two of the top activities for which kids indicated a desire for robot assistance.
- Homeland Security is top of mind for boys, who repeatedly cited they would like a robot to guard their room from intruders.
- 45% of kids chose math and history/social studies as the classes they would have a robot attend in their place while surprisingly, of all subjects, kids were least likely to send a robot in their stead to science class.
- Mom ranks as the #1 person in their lives that kids cited could use the help of a robot.
- President Bush's approval rating among kids is high, with only 10% of them thinking he could use a robot's help.
Building upon the success of the globally-renowned Robotics Invention System (circa 1998), the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS makes it quicker and easier for robot creators to build 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.
"A byproduct of consumer-driven innovation, the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT has been developed, tested, tweaked and tinkered with by a select group of dedicated LEGO fans and robotics enthusiasts around the world," said Søren Lund, director, LEGO MINDSTORMS. "Now, as the toolset makes its way to national availability, even more LEGO fans and budding roboticists can discover the potential of the kit, join the MINDSTORMS community, share their creations online and draw inspiration from other users."
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT highlights include:
Information, inspiration, news, community programs and more at www.mindstorms.com LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is now available at toy, discount merchandise, specialty and online retailers, including Toys "R" Us, Target, Apple Stores, Best Buy, Comp USA, Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Discoverychannelstore.com for a suggested retail price of $249.99 (USD).
- All-new 32-bit 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
- 571 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 communication between 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
- Software, Hardware and Bluetooth Developer Kits posted online to enable advanced and extreme building and programming opportunities
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Survey Background and Methodology
This report presents the findings of online surveys designed and conducted by Leflein Associates, Inc. Both a children's and adult online survey were fielded July 2006, among a national Internet population of 1,663 children aged 6-14, and 1,020 adults 18+, comprised of 1/2 males and 1/2 females (please note that not all U.S. homes have Internet connections.) The margin of error for each sample overall is +/-3%. The margin of error for subgroups is larger.
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, MINDSTORMS, TECHNIC and their respective logos are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2006 The LEGO Group.