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LEGO Mindstorms NXT Review _157_

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					LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 (8547) Quick Summary

The Mindstorms NXT 8547lets you visualize, make and program your own robot. But
that's not everything.....

As you go more experienced, you'll learn to go past the user's manual, and as is the
nature of Lego, you can push aside all the conventions and go on to build anything
you want. With time your robots will turn more complicated both in the way they look,
and in the way they act - the things they can do. Some of the abilities will easily shock
and astound you.

You're not going to end up take over the world with your robots, but with all the
things you can do with it, you'll never get worn-out.

In all honesty it's quite expensive for a Christmas present, but for a gift you can go on
using forever, the Mindstorms NXT 2.0 8547 is certainly worth it.

Who Is This For

Mindstorms is designed for all who are more than 10 years old. Making your first
robot is easy when you follow the easy instructions in the manual.

And ofcourse, anyone hearing the world 'programming' is likely to think it's going to
be perplexing, but it's remarkably easy when you actually acquire it and give it a try.

A younger audience will undoubtedly be able to discover their own way to enjoy
playing with their robots, whereas the die-hard robotics fan can indulge himself in
complicated programs that can play naughts and crosses and even solve a Rubik's
cube.

What Do You Get Inside The Package?

The Mindstorms NXT 2.0 8547 box contains 619 parts. This consists of a collection
of connectors, wheels, rods, beams and sensors.

Standard Constructing Blocks

You may notice that the standard piece is a beam instead of a block as they usually
have in LEGO, making it feel a bit like Maccano. Not like Meccano however, you can
easily put the pieces together without the need for any screw drivers or spanners - just
use your hands. All you need is the contents of your box, and of course... a PC.

Due to a huge number of parts that look almost identical, you may find yourself
wasting a lot of time in the beginning trying to find the right unit. But when you've
played around with the set for a while you'll start making those robots with amazing
efficiency.

Motors x3

The motors are what make your robot move.

Four Environmental Sensors

The sensors enable the robot to gather information about its environment so that it
may then process it and act accordingly. The Mindstorms NXT 2.0 8547 comes with
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1. A light sensor, with which your robot can 'see' different levels of light and even 'see'
colors so that it can respond when you show it a blue ball for example, and not
respond to a yellow one or respond differently.

2. A unit that senses touch, which allows your robot to have a particular reaction when
it touches something/someone, or when something else touches the robot.

3. A sound sensor, which responds to audio input from the surroundings.

4. An echo sensor, which applies sound-beams and sound echos to find out how far
away the robot is from an object, so it can avoid it or move around it.

The Mindstorms Intelligent Brick

Your robot's central processing unit, a tiny computer-like device that you program and
according to the programming you give it, instructs one, two or all three of the motors
to start kinetic motion, whether it be by pacing forwards, turning a wheel, shooting
balls, flicking through pages in a book.... and so on and so forth.

User's Manual

The User Manualis great to get you started, with easy steps on how to create four
robots of varying difficulty.

Beyond that you're left to use your own imaginativeness to create whatever you want.
You can also purchase separate guides (yes, whole guides published just on the Legos
Mindstorm NXT) that show you how to build more complicated robots with far
superior programming.

However, there is one problem you may run into when making your own robots, and
that's running out of parts. If you have this predicament, you can always complement
the Mindstorms kit with pieces from the Lego Technique range, which makes use of
the same basic unit.

Where Do They Have The Lowest Prices For The Mindstorms Set?

Be careful, the new Mindstorms 2.0 already comes with a hefty price tag and you
shouldn't have to pay more than you already need to. Click here to see where you can
get it for the best price.

For more ideas about what to get your loved one for Christmas, check out the
following...

learn groove musical table
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