The volume of news from CES is totally overwhelming, and frankly you’re better off going elsewhere for the full experience, but there are occasional highlights that I’d like to pick out. One such highlight is the newly announced LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ NXT Robotics Toolset.
I’m a huge fan of the original Lego Mindstorms robotics kit. It was a fantastic achievement in that the basic kit and software was accessable to kids, while more advanced hackers managed to hack the buggery out of it, implementing not quite c, pbForth, and even a Java OS! And of course the venerable Linux geeks got their hands on the thing too.
The new NXT system looks pretty slick, with a 32 bit processor, Mac compatibility, Bluetooth for remote programming and commands, and a bunch of new sensors (including ultrasonic for motion tracking). I really, really hope they continue to embrace the hacker culture that built up around the original Mindstorms. The outlook for that is good, with Lego promoting a Developer Program, opening the sensor inputs for 3rd-party add-ons, and backing a blog based around NXT coding/hacking and robotics in general.