Many enthusiasts are anxiously waiting for the new robotics invention system from Lego. It is expected to provide new technology that will dramatically increase the already immense amount of capabilities the Mindstorms NXT 2.0 system has to offer. NXT 2.0′s advancements and additions include the new and improved microcontroller (the intelligent brick) which features a 32-bit ARM7 microprocessor and a larger LCD display. Bluetooth wireless technology was also added to allow communication and intelligent interaction between NXT robots. If you wanted to make a super-robot, you can even connect three of the Lego intelligent bricks together for an incredible amount of processing power, multi-talking speed, and a vast array of I/O ports. Get the latest release from Lego Robotics, click here!
Has Lego Announced a Release Date?
Since Lego’s release of the Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System, the highly evolved Mindstorms NXT platform quickly followed in 2006. The 2.0 version came three years later in 2009, and it can be assumed that NXT Robotics 3.0 will be announced this year (2012) or early next year.
Lego is now competing for the attention of serious robotics enthusiasts with other products like VEX Robotics, Arduino, and other programmable automation education platforms. The release date of Lego’s new Mindstorms system should be soon, however, with the need to oust competition and penetrate further into the academic market, the vast amount of improvements that should blow past our expectations will require a significant amount of time investment. There are a few presumptions of what we might expect to see in the new Lego Mindstorms NXT 3.0.
Expectations of the NXT Robots 3.0 Automation Development System
The capabilities of wireless communication are expanding with today’s rapidly growing field of science and engineering, and many DIY robot building kits already include 802.11g or n WiFi communications protocols. This technology allows for complex interactions between autonomous robots and modular or network-based robotics. WiFi compatibility in Lego Mindstorms NXT Robots would also eliminate the need for the serial or USB cable now needed for programming the intelligent brick (or microcontroller). New code could instantly be downloaded to the robot without any need for tethering the bot to a computer.
Although already an essential part of the current version, a vast array of improved sensors and actuators will surely be a part of the new Mindstorms kits allowing for more intricate and customized creations. Sensors for light, color, sound, sonar, touch, rotary position, angular velocity, temperature, etc. should be revolutionized to make for more organic combinations and highly advanced tasks. Motors, solenoids, linear actuators, and other powered components will most likely be more powerful and more efficient, and a better battery life in general is something we can all certainly hope for.
The ARM7 based microcontroller is already an extremely powerful processing platform, and its 32-bit capability is not expected to be improved anytime soon. Thus, the necessity for completely replacing an existing NXT 2.0 kit (or the intelligent brick) may not be a necessity, and the NXT 3.0 kit will be geared more towards new developers. Add-on kits for the 2.0 version will allow veteran enthusiasts to utilize their existing system without the need to purchase an expensive replacement. To save money, you could also purchase NXT Robots now, and easily get new add-ons later so that your system will be very similar to the new release without added expenses. Click here and check out what awesome add-on kits exist right now.
Click here to teach yourself about the electronic circuits that makes all types of robotics function. This is only for those who want to learn the more advanced aspects of electronics engineering but caters very well to beginners.