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From: Niels Kistrup <72410...@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Robot kit?
Date: 1998/03/01
Message-ID: <uUfPCCTR9GA.326@nih2naab.prod2.compuserve.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 330802480
Organization: CompuServe, Inc. (1-800-689-0736)
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


In the March issue of Wired (p. 49), there was a mention of a 
Lego robotics kit. It featured:

	1) 8-bit CPU's,
	2) Light sensors,
	3) Touch sensors,
	4) Motor ports,
	5) Infrared ports, and
	6) Programmable from your PC.

Does anyone know where I can get more info about this? Screw the 
rugrats, this seems like an excellent adult toy.

							Niels

-- 

From: "Dennis White" <Dennis...@bigfoot.ebu.ericsson.se>
Subject: Re: Robot kit?
Date: 1998/03/04
Message-ID: <01bd479b$03f56a00$2c9b558a@bt-risky>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 330820265
References: <uUfPCCTR9GA.326@nih2naab.prod2.compuserve.com>
Organization: Ericsson Data Services Americas
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


Try either of these two sites.  The kit that you are talking about hasn't
been released yet. Or that is the way it seems to me. I also plan on
picking this up when it comes available. You also might want to get the
Lego Technics series which seems to have some interesting stuff in it as
well.

Lego website
http://www.lego.com/

Lego Robotics Kit information site
http://www.legomindstorms.com/

Hope this helps...

-- 
Dennis White

From: Clint Laskowski <cl...@robotic.com>
Subject: Re: Robot kit?
Date: 1998/03/04
Message-ID: <34FDA2D2.712F@robotic.com>#1/1
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Reply-To: cl...@robotic.com
To: Niels Kistrup <72410...@CompuServe.COM>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Organization: Robotic Systems, Inc.
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


I'm pretty sure the kit described in the latest issue of WIRED are the
LEGO Mindstorms Robotic Invention Systems products. Check it out at
<http:/www.legomindstorms.com>. I do not think they are for sale yet,
but there is a space to submit your e-mail address for an electronic
announcement once the kits are shipping.

Check out my brief story on this at ROBOTIC.COM
<http://www.robotic.com>.

-- Clint

ROBOTIC.COM

"The latest news and information about intelligent mobile robots!"

ROBOTIC SYSTEMS, INC.
Clint Laskowski, President
10437 Innovation Drive, Ste. 314
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Tel (414) 259-1301
Fax (414) 259-1311
Net <mailto:cl...@robotic.com>
Net <http://www.robotic.com>

From: "Corey Hansen" <mye...@myserver.com>
Subject: Re: Robot kit?
Date: 1998/03/05
Message-ID: <6dl90g$1f9$1@newsource.ihug.co.nz>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 330968474
References: <uUfPCCTR9GA.326@nih2naab.prod2.compuserve.com> 
<01bd479b$03f56a00$2c9b558a@bt-risky>
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.2106.4
Organization: The Internet Group Ltd
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


IMHO

I'm sorry to say , I think Legomindstorms suck. Huge price , small
usability. Mainly the price is what is bad. $239.............

:David


Dennis White wrote in message <01bd479b$03f56a00$2c9b558a@bt-risky>...
>Try either of these two sites.  The kit that you are talking about hasn't
>been released yet. Or that is the way it seems to me. I also plan on
>picking this up when it comes available. You also might want to get the
>Lego Technics series which seems to have some interesting stuff in it as
>well.
>
>Lego website
>http://www.lego.com/
>
>Lego Robotics Kit information site
>http://www.legomindstorms.com/
>
>Hope this helps...
>
>--
>Dennis White
>

From: "Dave Newton" <neut...@aol.com>
Subject: Re: Robot kit?
Date: 1998/03/06
Message-ID: <01bd48af$143a8ca0$769dadce@default>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 331261643
References: <uUfPCCTR9GA.326@nih2naab.prod2.compuserve.com> 
<01bd479b$03f56a00$2c9b558a@bt-risky> <6dl90g$1f9$1@newsource.ihug.co.nz>
Organization: Concentric
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


Corey Hansen <mye...@myserver.com> wrote:
> I'm sorry to say , I think Legomindstorms suck. Huge price , small
> usability. Mainly the price is what is bad. $239.............

Small usability? That's bizarre.

How can an easily-reconfigurable platform have small usability?

I'm reminded of the MIT site where an undergrad (I'm sorry, I can't
recall his name at the moment) built an admittedly low-res copying
machine and a pseudo-ATM (it dispensed a given quantity of Skittles-
type candy depending on how many stripes were on a card that is
inserted into the machine) using this kit.

Anyone that finds a kit such as this lacking in "usability" has
a limited imagination. I'm not sure I could think of much that 
_couldn't_ be built, quite frankly, taking into consideration
the number of parts the kit will have. (There will probably be
notably few ridable robots created :)

I wish the price was lower, too, but I look at it this way: most
small robot micro kits (I'm thinking of, say, a mini-board) cost
~$120 assembled, ~$85 unassembled. Add their "parts kit" and you
add on ~$35 (can't recall the price of that either, but I'm sure
it's close). So, since the LEGO kit is assembled, you're looking
at ~$150 without _any_ sort of hardware to put the robot on.

So throw on a suitable base (either scrounged, $0, or a quasi-nice
one, say $30). Up to $180. Now you're looking at a difference in
price of ~$60. Now realize that the LEGO kit can be built, re-built,
torn down, re-built _again_, etc. etc. etc. You can even get other
LEGO kits to add more stuff.

It's a _perfect_ minibot prototyping platform. (I mean, jeez, the dude
built a bloody copying machine out of it.)

neutron

From: Larry Pieniazek <l...@voyager.net>
Subject: Re: Robot kit?
Date: 1998/03/05
Message-ID: <34FF7797.3CC4A2F9@voyager.net>#1/1
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Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
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<01bd479b$03f56a00$2c9b558a@bt-risky> <6dl90g$1f9$1@newsource.ihug.co.nz> 
<01bd48af$143a8ca0$769dadce@default>
Mime-Version: 1.0
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Organization: Cambridge Technology Partners
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


This kit sucks??? A few points, least to most:

Don't forget that the base set comes with 750(!!) pieces. A lot of those
have GOT to be good technic pieces. That HAS to add some value.

The dude you're referring to has a roommate, and he posts to this group
all the time. I'm a boor because I forgot his name. (so I went and dug)

OK, here is a sig of his: (I scoped out the URL when it first appeared,
too)

Ben Erwin
b...@alum.mit.edu

LEGO Data Acquisition and Prototyping System
http://ldaps.ivv.nasa.gov/

Let's review, Ben went to MIT, he's working with ** N! A! S! A! ** for
criminy's sake, and he gets to play with Lego(tm) brand building
blocks... tell me again why this robot sucks???

The ** UI ** (I can't dignify it by calling it an IDE) sucks, yes. But
in 40 minutes with a poor UI (they used to let me code for a living and
when I did, I LIVED in emacs with 10-20 files, shells, dirs, compile
sesssions and debug sessions in my edit ring, so I think I know a poor
UI when I see one), in a constrained situation, with not very many parts
to work with, my kids and I got that robot to do some amazing stuff.

I can hardly wait. Heck, I'm gonna but AT LEAST TWO of them.

I bet within 3 months someone will have the IR codes cracked and someone
else will have a linux version of an X based GUI/IDE that also runs on
the MAC and NT and '95. Look how fast the blue sensor got cracked, and
that isn't even that important compared to the IR codes... therefore I
am not worried about the sucky IDE.

-- 
Larry Pieniazek    http://my.voyager.net/lar
<this space for rent>
Don't blame me, I vote Libertarian!

From: Russell Nelson <nel...@crynwr.com>
Subject: Let's reverse-engineer Mindstorms!
Date: 1998/03/06
Message-ID: <m2ogzjddo0.fsf_-_@desk.crynwr.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 331427589
References: <uUfPCCTR9GA.326@nih2naab.prod2.compuserve.com> 
<01bd479b$03f56a00$2c9b558a@bt-risky> <6dl90g$1f9$1@newsource.ihug.co.nz> 
<01bd48af$143a8ca0$769dadce@default> <34FF7797.3CC4A2F9@voyager.net>
Organization: Crynwr Software
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


Larry Pieniazek <l...@voyager.net> writes:

> I bet within 3 months someone will have the IR codes cracked and someone
> else will have a linux version of an X based GUI/IDE that also runs on
> the MAC and NT and '95. Look how fast the blue sensor got cracked, and
> that isn't even that important compared to the IR codes... therefore I
> am not worried about the sucky IDE.

Sure, let's reverse-engineer Mindstorms.  I sent mail to Lego
suggesting that they might want to work with us, but got no response
(of course).  We always have the option of reverse-engineering it.
I've already got a mailling list set up.  To get on it, send mail to
	lego-roboti...@crynwr.com

I'll put up a web page with whatever information we discover, as we
discover it.

-- 
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com>  http://web.crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr supports Open Source(tm) Software| PGPok |   Freedom is the primary
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice |   cause of Peace, Love,
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   |   Truth and Justice.

From: Clint Laskowski <cl...@robotic.com>
Subject: Re: Let's reverse-engineer Mindstorms!
Date: 1998/03/06
Message-ID: <350055F9.232E@robotic.com>#1/1
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Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
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<01bd479b$03f56a00$2c9b558a@bt-risky> <6dl90g$1f9$1@newsource.ihug.co.nz> 
<01bd48af$143a8ca0$769dadce@default> <34FF7797.3CC4A2F9@voyager.net> 
<m2ogzjddo0.fsf_-_@desk.crynwr.com>
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Organization: Robotic Systems, Inc.
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


In <comp.robotics.misc> Russell Nelson <nel...@crynwr.com> wrote:

> Sure, let's reverse-engineer Mindstorms.  I sent mail to Lego
> suggesting that they might want to work with us, but got no response
> (of course).  We always have the option of reverse-engineering it.
> I've already got a mailling list set up.  To get on it, send mail to
>         lego-roboti...@crynwr.com
> 
> I'll put up a web page with whatever information we discover, as we
> discover it.

Isn't this a little crazy? The Mindstorm products aren't even on the
market yet!

Why reverse-engineer it? At "around $200" it seems to be a very, very
good value. LEGO has invested in the robotics market, why not support
them? How many other companies are _really_ supporting this very risky
market? I'll tell you, from my many years of experience and research:
almost none! Granted, it is not entirely their innovation (MIT made
contributions to this product, as I understand it), but why not let them
benefit from their investment? Do you really think you can put together
a better package and beat their price? If not, why waste your time with
a reverse-engineering project? Why not BUILD ON TOP OF WHAT LEGO IS
DOING? Develop something cool that will build on top of the Mindstorms
kits (i.e., additional project plans, sensors, competitions, etc.). Set
up a web site and a mail-list to build on top of the Mindstorms kits,
then you'll be doing something to benefit everyone!

Just my 2-cents!

-- Clint

From: Russell Nelson <nel...@crynwr.com>
Subject: Re: Let's reverse-engineer Mindstorms!
Date: 1998/03/06
Message-ID: <m2iuprcyyp.fsf@desk.crynwr.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 331513049
References: <uUfPCCTR9GA.326@nih2naab.prod2.compuserve.com> 
<01bd479b$03f56a00$2c9b558a@bt-risky> <6dl90g$1f9$1@newsource.ihug.co.nz> 
<01bd48af$143a8ca0$769dadce@default> <34FF7797.3CC4A2F9@voyager.net> 
<m2ogzjddo0.fsf_-_@desk.crynwr.com> <350055F9.232E@robotic.com>
Organization: Crynwr Software
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc,rec.toys.lego


Clint Laskowski <cl...@robotic.com> writes:

> In <comp.robotics.misc> Russell Nelson <nel...@crynwr.com> wrote:
> 
> > Sure, let's reverse-engineer Mindstorms.  I sent mail to Lego
> > suggesting that they might want to work with us, but got no response
> > (of course).  We always have the option of reverse-engineering it.
> > I've already got a mailling list set up.  To get on it, send mail to
> >         lego-roboti...@crynwr.com
> > 
> > I'll put up a web page with whatever information we discover, as we
> > discover it.
> 
> Isn't this a little crazy? The Mindstorm products aren't even on the
> market yet!

I don't want to waste time getting organized after the produce is
available.  You know you're going to buy one, I know I'm going to buy
one, let's get together beforehand.

> Why reverse-engineer it?

Because vendors never supply sufficient documentation to do anything
*really* interesting with their products.  If TLG documented the
programming language byte-codes, and the communications protocol used
to talk to the RCX, we wouldn't have any reverse-engineering needed.
We could start right in doing interesting things.  Instead (as I
suspect), we're going to have to waste time creating a clone of some
document sitting in Denmark somewhere.

I really wish TLG cared that we exist.  Maybe they do, but there's no
indication of it.

> Why not BUILD ON TOP OF WHAT LEGO IS DOING? Develop something cool
> that will build on top of the Mindstorms kits (i.e., additional
> project plans, sensors, competitions, etc.). Set up a web site and a
> mail-list to build on top of the Mindstorms kits, then you'll be
> doing something to benefit everyone!

That's the plan, Clint.

-- 
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com>  http://web.crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr supports Open Source(tm) Software| PGPok |   Freedom is the primary
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice |   cause of Peace, Love,
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   |   Truth and Justice.

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