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MacStorms August 30, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Toys, Updates & Patches.
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I’m a big Lego fan, always have been. Add to that, a big robot fan as well (Michael Bay’s Transformers is a milestone in my life). And then, as we all well know, a Mac fan too. Put them all together, and what have you got? The Doodler’s dream toy: Lego Mindstorms NXT!

I own an older set, gifted to me by my wife several years ago, which I’ve buttressed with upgrade kits and accessories like more sensors and remotes and motors and blocks from Technics sets through the years. I’ve yet to upgrade to the NXT version (I’m time- and resource-challenged at the moment), but I now have more reason to expedite the process.

National Instruments and the Lego Group announced yesterday a much-awaited software update for the Lego Mindstorms NXT Robotics Invention System, which, among other important things, adds support for Intel-based Macs (alright, for Windows Vista too, but who’s keeping score?) as well as improving memory management on the NXT Intelligent Brick.

If you’ve never played with this kit, it’s advanced Lego for older folk, improved with all kinds of high-tech sensors and motors, and controlled by a programmable and powered “brick” which acts as the brain of the whole thing. Using special software, you program what the robots do, based on your design, and what you’ve built into them.

The software used here has now been updated to Version 1.1, which with the optimized memory usage allows for more complex programming and instruction, and better system performance. The software runs on the National Instruments LABView graphical programming environment, is compatible with the National Instruments Toolkit that comes with the set, and was made in close collaboration with the Lego Group.

You Lego blockheads can get the update and more info here.

(I’m such a geek. I find this so cool, it disturbs me.)