Thanks for the link, reader Thomas!
LEGO Mindstorms (and indeed regular technic) are a not unusual sight in science laboratories. Unfortunately I’m not lucky enough to need ‘work LEGO’ but I have looked jealously into labs that do. Typically it’s used to automate simple procedures or make quick reconfigurable rigs.
The Kim Laboratory of the University of Washington use LEGO in a novel way: to test fear in rats using the aptly named Robogator. This is certainly the first time I’ve seen LEGO used in neuroscience and I have to admit the idea of testing fear using a bright colourful toy robot is pretty clever and amusing. They have a few videos too.
Did you know you can make a 3D laser scanner out of LEGO bricks and a few custom parts? No? Nor did I until today. Did you know you can then use your LEGO model to scan LEGO parts and turn them into 3D CAD LDraw parts to make virtual LEGO models out of? Amazing hey?
Phillipe Hurbaine (philo) is well known for his clever software, hardware, LEGOware and general LEGO-mechanical skill but I have to say his latest work just takes the cake. And as if making a 3D scanner wasn’t enough he has actually used it to model some LDraw parts. I think this is probably the best working LEGO thing I have ever seen.
This is…huge. Large. And I think it might just come after me in my sleep.
· Project Lead: Steve Hassenplug
· Chess Body Design: John Brost
· Software & PC Interface: Ron McRae
· Move Selection Center & Showcase Event Coordination: Bryan Bonahoom
· Chess Clock: Jenn Wagner
With nearly 2 dozen people helping with the actual build, this chess set is clearly a herculean effort. It looks simply amazing.
Mike Dobson has created “CubeStormer” — the world’s fastest Rubik’s Cube solver. Watch it to believe it.
CubeStormer uses the older MINDSTORMS RCX robotics system, hooked into Cube Explorer software.
Thanks for the tip, Carter. I’d passed this up when it made the rounds on the ‘net about a week ago, but this MINDSTORMS Rubik’s Cube solver is different indeed.
We’ve just received some exciting news from LEGO. It seems that they will be selling a limited edition black Mindstorms NXT kit. Here’s the press release:
LEGO MINDSTORMS 10 Year Anniversary Exclusive: The Black NXT Limited Edition.
Now you can be the proud owner of one of the Limited Edition Black NXT micro-controllers that we have produced to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of LEGO MINDSTORMS.
The first LEGO MINDSTORMS products came out in the year 1998 and have since then continued to bring fun and active building and programming experiences to millions of robotic builders across the world!
Why a Black NXT? Because it is cool! And looking around in the MINDSTORMS community we noticed that a Black NXT was high on the wish list among users. Also, talking to the MINDSTORMS Community Partners, the closed web forum of adult fans collaborating with the LEGO MINDSTORMS development team, it was very well received and suggested as a must-have!
Once you have bought and received your new Black NXT you will get access to additional materials like a special-made program for the Black NXT, a personal certificate of ownership, wallpapers, building instructions for special models.
The LEGO MINDSTORMS Team
I must say, I find this to be pretty cool news. I think that the LEGO Mindstorms Black NXT Brick is quite sharp looking. Maybe our own Nannan will even find a way to work on into one of his black fantasy creations.
I’m not sure why their press release says there will be 1998 made in one spot, and 1000 in another, but I’ll try to get an answer on that.
EDIT (AB): I’ve confirmed with LEGO that it’s 1998.
UPDATE: Nearly all of the LEGO sets featured in this post are now available, including LEGO Space Police, Castle, and Agents 2.0.
LEGO fans don’t normally get an official look at third-quarter LEGO set releases until Toy Fair New York in mid-February. However, CTV technology journalist Kris Abel visited the Canadian Toy & Hobby Fair in Toronto this past weekend, posting a full run-down of the late 2009 LEGO releases.
We’ve confirmed with The LEGO Group that this is official. Although Kris Abel reports that many of the sets and box art are still prototypes, his photos of the sets themselves are pretty good. In keeping with our new policy, then, here goes…
5972 Container Heist opens up to reveal a massive cannon:
If you can’t see the photos, click the links at the bottom of this post.
5974 Galactic Enforcer has classic (dare I say Classic?) lines:
The alien criminals in the LEGO Space Police sets have several new, unique pieces:
In LEGO Star Wars news, Endor gets a bunker (8038), the Y-Wing gets a facelift (8037), the Neimoidians get their own shuttle (with Nute Gunray minifig?), and 7749 Echo Base includes a first-ever LEGO tauntaun:
LEGO Power Miners sport a larger rock monster and a very large drilling platform:
The LEGO Indiana Jones assortment includes a boat chase, a pair of fighters, and a new Elsa Schneider minifig:
On the LEGO Castle front, the trolls get their castle and the undead make their return in 7079 Drawbridge Defense:
Finally, LEGO has announced MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0, with a new color sensor.
You can read all of Kris Abel’s coverage on his blog:
We’ll expect even more complete coverage at Toy Fair New York in a few weeks from the usual suspects. In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comments.
Brickshelf user (and Klocki contributor) Sariel presents two versions of an auto-controlled tripod turret, one featuring light-up fiber-optic cables and a spinning barrel while the other features a fully-working firing mechanism that launches 12 clips.
Check out the Youtube video of both versions of the gun: