MINDSTORMS NXT FAQs by xzd16972

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									NXT FAQ – v .02 - 21012009




                                LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT 2.0 FAQs

What is LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT?
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is a robotics toolset that provides endless opportunities for armchair
inventors, robotics fanatics and LEGO builders ages 10 and older to build and program robots
that do what you want.

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is the second generation of robotics products from The LEGO Group,
which launched the first generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS in 1998 with the LEGO MINDSTORMS
Robotic Invention System.

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT was launched in 2006, with the first version of the robotics toolkit, the
NXT 1.0, which was a tremendous success, introducing entry-level robotics to children from age
10 and up, with state-of-the-art hardware and easy-to-use programming software.

In just 30 minutes young robot creators can build and program their first working robot.


What is the difference between the NXT 2.0 and the NXT 1.0 version?
The NXT 2.0 set has a bigger and revised element assortment of 619 elements, 16 building and
programming challenges for 4 new fun and action-packed robotic models complete with
building instructions. The new hardware mix consist of an NXT micro-controller, 3 Interactive
Servo Motors – with built-in Rotation Sensors, 1 Ultrasonic Sensor, 2 Touch Sensors and the new
Color Sensor with triple functionality; it acts a Color Sensor – detecting different colors, as a
Light Sensor – seeing different light intensities and also works as a Color Lamp.


What is in the new LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 set?

The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 comes with new models, new technology and new software
features.

The NXT 2.0 set has a big assortment with 619 new hand-picked elements, including the NXT
hardware, for building thousands of robotic inventions.

It comes with new step-by-step building instructions and 16 challenges for 4 new, fun and
action-packed robots, ranging from a robotic vehicle, an animal robot, a robotic
machine to ultimately a humanoid robot.

The software has features that make it easy for children to customize and
personalize their robots, by adding their own sounds and images to the NXT, and
even getting control over their robot directly from their PC.


What are the new models about?
The 4 new models have been optimized to be easy to build with ranging complexity,
going from the Quick Start model that you can assemble and program in under 30
minutes, to the ultimate Humanoid – which is also easy to assemble and all models
are designed for easy battery change.
NXT FAQ – v .02 - 21012009


Shooterbot, a moving vehicle robot that can guard your room and will shoot balls at
intruders!
Robogator is the animal robot,that moves like an alligator. It will protect its area
and jumps forward and snap at anything that comes too near. Watch out!
Color Sorter is a robotic sorting machine that can sort different colored objects and
dispense them as you please. It can easily be modified with a catapult mechanism
that can precisely shoot the different colors where you like.
Alpha Rex is the ultimate robot. It is a humanoid robot, easy to assemble and with
multiple functions; it walks and turns, dances, talks, can see and avoid obstacles,
can grab and distinguish between different colored objects.




What kind of sensors come with the MINDSTORMS NXT?
1 Ultrasonic Sensor: makes the robots ‘see’, it can measure distance, movements and detects
objects.
2 Touch Sensors: make the robots ‘feel’, reacting to touch or release.
1 Color Sensor: The Color Sensor is a three-in-one sensor; It acts as a Color Sensor, accurately
distinguishing between different colors, it acts as Light Sensor, detecting light settings, both
ambient light and light intensities from surfaces, and also works as a Color Lamp, shining bright
red, green or blue.

Additional sensors and accessories are available from our online shop.

How many motors come in the set?
3 Interactive Servo Motors with built-in Rotation Sensors for precise control of your robot’s
movement.

What is a servo motor?
An electric motor whose speed or position is controlled by a closed loop feedback circuit that
can sense its position. The speed of the motor is measured by a tachometer. The tachometer
produces a voltage that is proportional to the speed. This voltage is compared to a reference
point and the difference, or error, is used to adjust the speed of the motor, either up or down.

What kind of software does the set come with?
The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 comes with an intuitive easy-to-use programming software. It
has PC and Mac compatible software interface, powered by LabVIEW from National
Instruments. It has an intuitive, icon-based drag-and-drop environment for "building" programs
by connecting command blocks.
Also, it includes 16 fun and action-packed robot challenges with step-by-step building
instructions to introduce beginners to the process of building and programming their very own
robots.

Is there any difference in the NXT micro-controller coming with the NXT 2.0?
No. It is the same 32-bit micro-controller with 256 KB memory as in the NXT 1.0 set (#8527).

There is no Light Sensor in the set – will it still be available?
Yes. Though the new Color Sensor compliments the functionality of the old Light Sensor, our
online shop will still be selling the Light Sensor.

There is no Sound Sensor in the set – will it still be available?
Yes. You can purchase the Sound Sensor through our online shop.

Can advanced users program the NXT with other programming languages and applications?
NXT FAQ – v .02 - 21012009


Yes. Since the NXT generation was launched in 2006 a big collection of languages and
applications has been adapted to work with the NXT, mostly developed by hardcore users in the
global MINDSTORMS community.

Notably, the NXT can also be programmed with LabVIEW, the high-end programming
environment on which the NXT programming language is based.
To create programs for the NXT using LabVIEW you can download the free LabVIEW Toolkit for
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT via the National Instruments website:
http://www.ni.com/academic/mindstorms/

Read more about alternative programming languages on www.legomindstorms.com

What is the NXT Intelligent Brick?
The “brain” of the robot: an intelligent, computer-controlled LEGO brick which makes the
robot come alive and perform different operations.

What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a technical industry standard of short-range radio technology that facilitates
communication between wireless devices such as mobile phones, PDAs (personal digital
assistants) and handheld computers, and wireless enabled laptop or desktop computers and
peripherals. Once the connection between two devices is established (and approved), no third
device can interfere.

How do you download programs to the NXT Intelligent Brick?
Downloading programs to an invention is easy. Anyone can use the included USB 2.0 cable to
connect their computer to the NXT for program transfer. Users with Bluetooth®-enabled
computer hardware can transfer their programs to the NXT wirelessly. Once a program is
downloaded the robot then takes on a life of its own, fully autonomous from the computer. The
inclusion of Bluetooth technology also extends possibilities for controlling robots remotely, for
example, from a mobile phone or PDA.

How far can Bluetooth in the NXT brick reach?
Up to 10 meters as a minimum, but it is very likely to have longer reach. The NXT uses a Class II
Bluetooth radio, this means you can communicate wirelessly up to 10 meters.


General System Requirements
512 MB of RAM minimum
Up to 300MB of available hard disk space
XGA display (1024x768)
1 available USB port
CD-ROM drive
Compatible Bluetooth adapter (optional)*

Windows System Requirements:
Intel® Pentium® processor or compatible, 800 MHz minimum
Windows XP Professional or Home Edition with Service Pack 2 or later
512 MB of RAM minimum
Up to 300MB of available hard disk space
XGA display (1024x768)
1 available USB port
CD-ROM drive
Compatible Bluetooth adapter (optional)*
NXT FAQ – v .02 - 21012009


Macintosh System Requirements:
PowerPC® G3, G4, G5 processor, 600 MHz minimum
Apple MacOS X v. 10.3.9 or 10.4 or later
512 MB of RAM minimum
Up to 300MB of available hard disk space
XGA display (1024x768)
1 available USB port
CD-ROM drive
Compatible Bluetooth adapter (optional)*

Does the software work on a mini-PC?
If the PC meets the system requirements it will work within the limits of the PC. The NXT
software is not designed for the low power features and the small LCD screens. So while it will
install on qualified systems your experience will not be optimal.

What Bluetooth software is supported?
Supported Bluetooth software are Widcomm® Bluetooth for Windows newer than v. 1.4.2.10
SP5 and the Bluetooth stacks included in Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later /
Apple MacOS X 10.3.9 and 10.4 or later.

Which Bluetooth hardware should I get to get started?
Note that you get the best experience with Class II Bluetooth dongles, which is the
classification of the Bluetooth unit in the NXT micro-controller.

What are the technical specifications for the NXT Intelligent Brick?
• 32-bit ARM7 microprocessor
• Bluetooth Class II wireless communication
• USB 2.0 port
• 4 input ports
• 3 output ports
• Power, 6 AA Batteries

What is the usability of the USB port in the NXT brick?
The USB port is a "slave" which means that it can only communicate with USB "master" ports,
e.g. computers. The usage of the USB port is for fast download from PC to the NXT brick via
USB cable and does not require any Bluetooth capabilities in the computer.

How many batteries are needed?
The NXT micro-controller uses 6 AA (LR6) batteries. Alkaline batteries are recommended but
rechargeable batteries can be used but power may be reduced.

I'm a teacher and would like to use the new MINDSTORMS set in my classroom.
Contact our sales team and they will be able to help you in making the best choice
http://www.active-robots.com/contact/

Are the elements and hardware from LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 1.1 compatible with the NXT
2.0?
Yes. The new NXT 2.0 belongs to the NXT hardware platform and the sensors, motors and cables
are the same.

I have the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 1.0 or 1.1 software - do I need to remove the old NXT
software in order to install the new NXT 2.0?
No. The NXT 2 software will replace your current software..
NXT FAQ – v .02 - 21012009


Will I be able to build more than the ideas in the enclosed building instructions?
On www.MINDSTORMS.com you will be able to find building instructions and new challenges for
more than 10 extra models you can build from the NXT 2.0 set.

Will I be able to buy accessories separately?
You will be able to buy accessories like additional NXT hardware, sensors, motors and cables in
our online shop http://www.active-robots/products/mindstorms4schools/nxt-accessories.shtml

What is the future of LEGO MINDSTORMS?
LEGO MINDSTORMS is and will remain to be an important part of the LEGO product portfolio.

How can I get information on advanced programming and models?
For the advanced users, information about advanced and alternative programming, extreme
and complex models will be available on www.legomindstorms.com as well as links to other
sites made by and for advanced users.

								
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