Jan 052006
 

Lego Mindstorns NXT Robot

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been in full swing in Las Vegas for the last few days, and while there’s been a lot of cool gadget news and product announcements, there hasn’t been much worth mentioning here until today. To the surprise of many people, myself included, Lego announced this morning that the next version of their Mindstorms robotics kit, NXT, would be available for purchase in August of 2006. While many had written the platform off after the 2.0 version released in 2001, Lego has actually been undertaking a super-secret development campaign in conjunction with a select handful of Mindstorm enthusiasts for more than a year and a half. The fruits of this endeavor, NXT, will not be an upgrade to 2.0, but rather is a complete overhaul of the entire kit from the building blocks to the microprocessor.

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Dec 102005
 

ROBOTIS Bioloid modular robot kit

I’m finally getting through posting about the robots at IREX last week, but the one that is left on my list, the ROBOTIS Bioloid robot kit, may be of the most interest to amateur roboticists. There are several robot kits available these days, and they run the gamut from relatively simple and cheap to expensive and complicated. On the more affordable end of the spectrum are Lego Mindstorms and Radio Shack’s VEX system. More expensive (and complex) products include Kondo’s KHR-1. Korean manufacturer ROBOTIS offers systems similar to the KHR-1 in that they can be purchased in a kit form that includes a microcontroller, servos, sensors, frames, and wheels. Unlike the KHR-1 each kit can be assembled into a variety of different forms including a humanoid, dog, spider, or whatever you can imagine. If you need additional components to create your custom bot, ROBOTIS sells all of the parts individually as well. The Bioloid kit sells for $1500 USD.