Updates Featuring Lego Mindstorms NXT and BattleKits

Bill Loguidice's picture

Lego Mindstorms NXT Robot CreationBoy, the Lego Mindstorms NXT is looking cooler and cooler. I still have the original kit and won't be getting this one for quite some time until I break the seal on that one, but this one sure looks great for those who don't already have something like this or want something especially hardcore.

From the Newsletter:

============================================= Newsletter – November 21, 2006
Robot Kits, Robot Books, Robot Toys


1. Lego Mindstorms NXT

2. Super Deals on Used Books

3. BattleKits – Heavy Duty Robot Kits

1) Lego Mindstorms NXT

What is the hottest robotics toy/kit this holiday season?
Lego Mindstorms NXT!

Create the smartest, strongest and most advanced Lego robots ever, in as
few as 30 minutes! Lego Mindstorm's highly versatile palette of Lego
Technic elements combines with state-of-the-art ultrasonic, sound, light
and touch sensors in the next generation of intuitive robotics. With
included Quick-Start guide and step-by-step building instructions,
beginners and experts alike can create humanoid, vehicle and animal robots
that obey every command!

Improved light sensors can detect different colors and intensities, while
the new sound sensor enables robots to respond to sound patterns and
tones. Robots can really "feel" with improved touch sensors, while
ultrasonic "eyes" measure distance and movement. Mindstorms now works with
both PC and Macintosh, plus with Bluetooth support, you can even command
your robot from your mobile phone!

What Can You Invent?
What makes Mindstorms so elegant is that its simple-to-learn programming
can control robots that perform such complex functions. Robot construction
is like putting together regular LEGOs, everything snaps together. The
instruction book lays out step-by-step plans for several robots.

The Mindstorms system has been used to create alarm devices that sense
when someone passes through a doorway; coin-sorters that distinguish coins
by detecting their diameter, a candy dispenser that dishes up sweets
according to simple bar codes, and a wandering robot that takes pictures
with an onboard camera. The devices are intelligent enough to follow paths
(via markings on the floor), and move around obstacles.

One gifted robot maker invented a LEGO copy machine. It uses the light
sensor to detect dark and light regions on one piece of paper and
duplicate them on another with a felt-tip pen. He also invented a
card-dealing robot that uses a complex mechanical movement to separate the
cards. Of course, you're not going to be an expert from the start, but in
an hour or two you can be making machines that appear to think!

Everything about system has been optimized for ease of use. The most
amazing example of this is the programming. The visual programming
environment allows you to drag, drop and stack commands and bits of code
on your computer screen. This means there is no program code to write!

Blocks of code that represent commands are graphically displayed as icons.
You can choose from a long list of commands such as left and right turns,
reverse, sound effects, pauses, sensor settings, motor speed, or
custom-designed functions. Drag the icons together into a row and arrange
them into a logical order for a full-fledged, event-driven program. The
process is not unlike the physical act of assembling Lego bricks. With two
clicks of the mouse, you can upload your program to the RCX, then hit the
"run" button and your creation goes to work.

Educational and Fun!
MindStorms is one of the most potent educational products ever. There is
no better way to teach kids about computers and mechanics than to let them
build an actual working machine and program it. But the real news here is
that this "kids" toy is one of the best robotics kits ever produced for
the adult robot hobbyist! Less than half of the Mindstorms systems are for
kids, the rest are purchased by adults for their own use. It is a
testament to the product's success that Mindstorms is challenging enough
to stimulate engineers and robot hobbyists, yet simple enough to engage
the technical neophyte!

Visit to see Lego

2) Super Deals on Used Books

Now you can start, (or complete), your robotics library with the help of
these super deals on used books. The prices change periodically but we try
to showcase books that are selling for less than five dollars and are at
least 75% off of their normal retail prices. If it wasn't for the $3.49
shipping fee, some of these books would cost almost nothing!

Here are some examples of used book pricing as of November 21st:

$1.00 Build a Remote Controlled Robot
$2.84 Robot Builder’s Bonanza Second Edition
$0.17 The Official Guide To BattleBots
$0.73 Combat Robots Complete
$0.49 Making Robot Warriors from Junk
$2.00 Space Robots
$1.25 Robot Inventor's Workshop
$1.09 Anatomy of a Robot
$0.27 Robot Companions
$2.45 Building Bots

We feature a total of 27 used titles. At today’s prices you could purchase
all 27 for a total of $58.39 plus shipping!

Visit to see today’s prices on
used books.

6) BattleKits – Heavy Duty Robot Kits

If you have not seen the BattleKits line of heavy duty robots yet, we
invite you to take a look at

In addition to four different sizes of robot kits, we offer Modular Drive
Units, Motors, Motor controllers, wheels, and several other robotics