Archive for the ‘Inventions’ Category

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

LNE: LEGO PackBot (Movie Monday)

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Movie Monday time! Stepping back to early 2007, here is a video from Brian Davis titled “LNE: LEGO Packbot.” Nothing can seem to stop this robot; one of my favorite parts is the scene with the robot “swimming” across packing peanuts. You can watch the movie below, and Brian has posted a number of pictures of the robot on Brickshelf.

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.


Book Review of “Creating Cool MINDSTORMS NXT Robots”

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

More book news! I just reviewed Daniele Benedettelli’s book Creating Cool MINDSTORMS NXT Robots and posted the review on In summary, though, great job, Daniele! Below are two pictures I took of robot’s from the book: NXT AT-ST and Omni-Biped.



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

Results of Biped Building Challenge

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Earlier I blogged about the official Biped Building Challenge, and just recently the winners were announced here on the MINDSTORMS website. The winners are as follows:

Champion’s Award: “Bipedal Dragon Prototype” by billy259.

Robot Design Award: “NeXTBIRD (or MODEL 05)” by NeXTSTORM

Robot Performance Award: “Little Bigfoot” (shown below) by Mister.Tux

Creative Use of NXTLOG Award: “The helpi’vefallenandican’tgetup! biped” by jayko543

Congratulations to the winners and all the robots that received an honorable mention!

Little Bigfoot

NXTLOG 2.0 Upgrade—now with Video!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

The official MINDSTORMS website has upgraded NXTLOG to version 2.0. You can read the announcement here. One of the main improvements is that users can now upload video of their robots. Previously, there was no way to include video, and I’m glad to see that this has been resolved. Check out the new NXTLOG here and start uploading some of your creations!


Biped Building Challenge: Ideas, Anyone?

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The official MINDSTORMS NXT Biped Building challenge, which was launched earlier this month, is asking NXT fans to create two-legged walkers—among the most difficult robots to build. Fortunately, the MINDSTORMS website lists some sample bipeds on NXTLOG to give inspiration to the community.


However, a simple video can be very effective when it comes to giving inspiration. Following is a video made by YouTube user Laurens200: it demonstrates one of his NXT biped creations. This robot implements one of several possible methods for creating an NXT biped–and it’s quite amusing to watch!

Winners Announced for NXT Camera Bot Building Challenge

Monday, March 10th, 2008

The results are in for the official Camera Bot challenge that I mentioned earlier. The Champion’s Award went to creator NeXTSTORM for OPTICKS (see below). The MINDSTORMS website reports on this amazing invention:

OPTICKS is capable of rotating an embedded camera on both a vertical and horizontal axis, making it possible to take detailed panoramic 360 photos, including a sky-view. OPTICKS can be triggered automatically (motion, sound, light) or manually (touch). This robot is equipped with three motors (A, B, C), four sensors (Light , Sound, Touch, and Ultrasonic), a single NXT brick and one digital photo camera. For an innovative concept, design, construction, and programming we award the OPTICKS the Champion’s Award.

Click here to find out the rest of the results for the contest!