You are viewing byronczimmer

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Lego NXT / Educational

If not obvious already, I'm looking forward to the upcoming release of Lego's new Mindstorms kit -- entitled 'NXT'.

I'm interested in this bit I found though -- perusing the 'educational' lego sites:

Unique Features for Education:

Rechargeable lithium battery & charger
Extra touch sensor
3 lamps
3 converter cables (for using existing sensors and motors with the NXT brick)
Plastic storage bin with sorting trays

I've got many old bits for the old RCX, and touch sensors were always important.

1) Apparently the commercial version has a single touch sensor
2) Apparently the educational version understands the need for TWO
3) Apparently the educational version understands the need for converter cables
4) Apparently the commercial version is 6 AA battery dependant, educational is not

I'm commited to only purchasing, to start, a single commerical kit...

But the above add-ons quickly add up if purchased individually. Enough to make this version very tempting for a second purchase.

But if I pick up a second brick -- the educational version seems very useful and gets a lot of 'bang for the buck'.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
ooohhhh... that's a lot... decisions...

I want one too, and the educationaly version seems REALLY nice. how much is it as opposed to the commercial?
Apr. 21st, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
Opening a new school: $3.5 million
Creating an afterschool program based on Mindstorm: $310,000
Educational version of Lego NXT... $250
Knowing an educator or already having an account with Lego Dacta? Priceless

Same price as the commercial version ($249.99 -- apparently educators don't use pennies).

But see... you have to be an educator to get that pricing.


For now, I'm sticking to the commercial side -- there's actually more 'construction' bits... and Lego would be foolish to not provide those translating cables to the general public, and that's all I'd really need... :)

Or... just order a 'bridge' to the old RCX from this site:

(the head of the hitechnic group is one of the people who helped design NXT - the sonic sensor is his design)

They're making a 3rd party 'bridge' so you can get RCX and NXT talking.
Apr. 21st, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, one other thing.

Educational version is PARTS ONLY. There is a weparate license for the software to make it work.

The Educational version is really only an option when shopping for a 2nd brick and extra parts, not a first. You'll need something to be able to program the robots, and the lego software will be a strong start. With the RCX, it was actually more cost efficient to buy a second kit than to buy a second RCX, because you got a ton of extra parts and sensors. It's why I bought one RCX 1.0 kit(with it's ability to use an AC adaptor), one RCX 2.0 kit (battery operated only) and one 'just the brick' 2.0 (when I lucked into them at an incredible sale in Mall of America). The extra parts were well worth it. A few lucky finds of large kits at a discount at places like KB and Toys-R-Us finished out the beam and technic parts collection. Of course, you have to be willing to rip apart your old creations and use them for parts. :)

To further the need for the base commercial kit, most aftermarket controlling methods/programming languages will require dll's or other bits (like the communications wires & such) that will be included in the base software. Though I expect alternative programming environments to pop up much quicker than on the RCX, I do expect them to presume you've got a base commercial set.

So, if you want one of these things, the first one really should be a commercial set.

Preorder now.

LEGO shop in Tyson's is offering free shipping but you'll pay sales tax.
LEGO shop online is offering no sales tax but you pay shipping.

The difference is only a few dollars and it was much more convenient to order from online.

Preorders ship July 1. "In Store" release date is August 1.

Sounds like Christmas in July to me!

Apr. 21st, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
I do indeed have such a connection.
My old professor for Systems Engineering gave out mindstorm sets to each group to build a robot to go through courses and tests. He may be willing to purchase new ones and/or let me purchase through him.
If that fails, the robot club on campus has them as well, and is much more likely to purchase new sets. I'm about 75% sure they'd let me buy a set through them.

However, with the lack of software and the limited hardware provided, I think the commercial version would be better. At least, for the first purchase. I'm sure I can get myself a few extras if I really want them.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )