Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Now It’s Official: MINDSTORMS Site Announces NXT 2.0

Monday, June 29th, 2009

The official MINDSTORMS site has now announced the upcoming release of the NXT 2.0 set. The news release reports that “pre-selling will start on July 1” at the LEGO online shop,, and

 NXT 2.0 News Release

NXT 2.0 Set Now Shown on Online LEGO Store

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Right after I mentioned the absence of an official announcement of the NXT 2.0 set on the MINDSTORMS site, I received a LEGO catalog in the mail that featured the set and showed it shipping “August 1.” I quickly checked the official LEGO online store and, yup, found the NXT 2.0 set (thought not for pre-order yet). I’m sure many more details will come out in the next two months.


LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Pre-Order on Amazon

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

In just the past few days, put up a listing for the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 set in its catalog. Amazon says that the set is available for pre-order and will ship August 1, 2009. Not even the official MINDSTORMS site has put up the NXT 2.0 set yet, so I find it interesting that it’s available for pre-order on Amazon.

 NXT 2.0 on

Conclusion of NXT Summer Camp at Stanford University

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Last week I finished teaching the five-day “Hands-On Robotics for Teens” robotics course at Stanford University. As I thought would be the case, the planned robotic sumo event was the highlight of the week. The winning sumo-bot, “Kill-Dozer,” was a treaded vehicle with a slope that had TECHNIC teeth at the end. The design proved to be very effective, enabling it to win even a “king of the hill” round (i.e., pile all the sumo-bots onto the arena and see who lasts the longest).

The students, each of which had a computer with Internet access, also enjoyed creating robots from Dave Parker’s excellent website. We built the Catapult, Modular Test Vehicle, Machine Gun, Rattlesnake, and more. Below are some random pictures I took during the week. Besides enjoying the robots, I also enjoyed the nice weather there: a high of 70s during most of the week!

Robo1     Robo2     Robo3

Robo5      Robo4

MINDSTORMS Summer Olympics Building Challenge

Friday, July 11th, 2008

The official MINDSTORMS website has posted yet another building challenge. This time, the contest has a “Summer Olympics” theme. The website mentions the following:

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games will be held from August 8 – 24, 2008 in Beijing, China! We are challenging all you to create a robot that can compete in one of the summer sports on the Olympic program.

There’s no limit on amount of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT sensors, motors, HiTechnic sensors, or Bluetooth communication you can use on your MINDSTORMS NXT Summer Olympics Robot.

The website also has a long list of summer sports that you can use for inspiration of your Olympic robot, and the sports range from swimming to wrestling. (Note: Do NOT get your NXT wet! Water is its natural enemy.)

What might you create?

LEGO Olympics

MINDSTORMS NXT NXT Building Challenge Winners

Monday, July 7th, 2008

The official MINDSTORMS website has announced the winners of the “NXT NXT” building challenge: a contest involving creations that use two NXTs. Check out the winners and get some inspiration for your next robot! Employing the power of two NXTs is a great way to demonstrate the potential of the NXT set.


Summer Camp + LEGO + DMA = An NXT Robotics Course at Stanford University

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Starting July 28th, I’ll be teaching a week-long robotics course for teenagers at Stanford University using LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. The course, “Hands-On Robotics for Teens,” is one of many technology courses being offered this summer by DMA (Digital Media Academy), a nationally-recognized organization that runs summer computer camps at campuses across the nation. I’ve written a course description and put together a five-day course outline, and DMA has posted the information to their website.

The entire course will be “NXT-based.” We’ll be using the educational version of the NXT set and also the Education Resource Set.  And what’s the highlight of the course? I think it will be the robotic sumo competition!

The course is for teenagers (ages 13-19), and if you’re interested in signing up for the course (or have a teen who may be interested), you can find out more about registration at the DMA website.

I’m definitely excited. After all, what’s a summer without a robotic sumo competition?


LEGO MINDSTORMS “NXT NXT” Building Challenge

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Looking for a contest that demands more complexity? Then the official MINDSTORMS NXT NXT Building Challenge is for you. In this contest, inventors are required to create an NXT robot that uses two NXTs that communicate with each other. That’s why this is called the “NXT NXT” building challenge. You have until Monday, June 30 2008, to submit your creation to NXTLOG, where you will find the complete rules.


2008 FIRST LEGO League World Festival

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

The recent 2008 FIRST LEGO League World Festival has brought a flurry of postings and pictures on the news section of the MINDSTORMS website. How many teams participated, you say? The April 21 post mentions, “Eighty one teams from around the world participated in the 10th FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Festival this past weekend at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.” Below is just one of the pictures, which shows a winning robot that landed the “Green Man Group” first place in the Robot Performance Award.

Make sure you check it out!

Green Man Robot

Book Signing in Austin, Texas Next Week!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

As mentioned in a previous posting, I’m having a book signing at a Barnes & Noble in Austin, Texas on Saturday April 19th. The signing starts at 2PM.

Although previously I mentioned bringing two robots from The Inventor’s Guide with me, I’m now planning on bringing one robot from the book—Tag-Bot—and one from the NXT set: Spike the walking scorpion. The robots will be sitting on a table for the duration of the event, and Spike plays that role quite well. Tag-Bot, on the other hand, is supposed to run around like crazy. In any case, the two bots should give people who are unfamiliar with MINDSTORMS an idea of what they can create with the NXT set.

Hope to see you there!

Barnes & Noble