Legos Are Awesome

August 10, 2007

Today is the 75th Anniversary of the Lego.  For those of you who are unfamilar with the wonderfulness of legos, check out this Business Week article on the making of a lego brick.

After reading that, I was inspired to look through the lego website to see what’s been created since my lego-playing days, and I discovered something thoroughly awesome – Lego Mindstorms.  You can build and program lego robots!  Is it odd that I’m 24 and still kind of want to play with legos? 

The robots appear to be a pretty grown-up toy, however – their brain is the NXT system.  Taken from the website –  “The NXT is the brain of a MINDSTORMS® robot. It’s an intelligent, computer-controlled LEGO® brick that lets a MINDSTORMS robot come alive and perform different operations.”

The specs:

  • 32-bit ARM7 microcontroller
  • 256 Kbytes FLASH, 64 Kbytes RAM
  • 8-bit AVR microcontroller
  • 4 Kbytes FLASH, 512 Byte RAM
  • Bluetooth wireless communication (Bluetooth Class II V2.0 compliant)
  • USB full speed port (12 Mbit/s)
  • 4 input ports, 6-wire cable digital platform (One port includes a IEC 61158 Type 4/EN 50 170 compliant expansion port for future use)
  • 3 output ports, 6-wire cable digital platform
  • 100 x 64 pixel LCD graphical display
  • Loudspeaker – 8 kHz sound quality. Sound channel with 8-bit resolution and 2-16 KHz sample rate.
  • Power source: 6 AA batteries

The NXT software is also going open-source.

Legos sure have come a long way since castle-building and alien-army-fighting days.  This lolcat seems appropriate:

lego-lolcat.jpg

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