LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Robotics Toolset Now Widely Available
One-of-a-kind Hall of Robotics Debuts at Toys “R” Us Times Square
National survey reveals kids more prepared than adults for robotic future
NEW YORK (August 2, 2006) – LEGO Group today announced the national availability of its much anticipated LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT, 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 they want. To celebrate its retail availability and the growing consumer interest in robotics, LEGO Group also unveiled a Hall of Robotics at Toys “R” Us Times Square. Leading companies such as AOL, GAP, Energizer, Microsoft, Reebok, Southwest Airlines and others accepted a challenge to design, build and program a custom NXT robot. For more information on LEGO MINDSTORMS and the Hall of Robotics, please visit www.mindstorms.com
Proving that kids everywhere are ready to add creations of their own to the Hall of Robotics, results of a national survey, released today, found that the majority of kids believe they can build and program robots that do what they want; while only 20% of adults have that same confidence. In other survey findings:
Building upon the success of the globally-renowned Robotics Invention System (circa 1998), the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS makes it quicker and easier for robot creators to build a working robot in just 30 minutes. Simultaneously, new technologies and expanded sensor capabilities add a level of sophistication to excite and challenge more experienced robot creators.
The heart of the new system is the NXT brick, an autonomous 32-bit LEGO microprocessor that can be programmed using a PC, or for the first time in the retail offering, a Mac. After building their robots, users create a program within easy-to-use yet feature-rich software, powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments.
Downloading programs to an invention is easy. Users with Bluetooth®-enabled computer hardware can transfer their programs to the NXT wirelessly, or anyone can use the included USB 2.0 cable to connect their computer to the NXT for program transfer. 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.
“A byproduct of consumer-driven innovation, the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT has been developed, tested, tweaked and tinkered with by a select group of dedicated LEGO fans and robotics enthusiasts around the world,” said Søren Lund, director, LEGO MINDSTORMS. “Now, as the toolset makes its way to national availability, even more LEGO fans and budding roboticists can discover the potential of the kit, join the MINDSTORMS community, share their creations online and draw inspiration from other users.”
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT highlights include:
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is now available at most toy and discount merchandise retailers, like Toys “R” Us and Target, as well as at select consumer electronics retailers, like Apple Stores, Best Buy, Comp USA, as well as online, and has a suggested retail price of $249.99 (USD) and $349.99 (CAD). A special version for school and institutional use will also be available.
Survey Background and Methodology
This report presents the findings of online surveys designed and conducted by Leflein Associates, Inc. Both a children’s and adult online survey were fielded July 2006, among a national Internet population of 1,663 children aged 6-14, and 1,020 adults 18+, comprised of 1/2 males and 1/2 females (please note that not all U.S. homes have Internet connections.) The margin of error for each sample overall is +/-3%. The margin of error for subgroups is larger.
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