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Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.
My wife uses one to teach her science class and we liked it so much that we purchased one for ourselves. It is a very cool system, but you have to spend a bit more money to get an extra motor.
I found with the parts in the kit, you can make some reasonable models, but for more complex models there are just not enough parts in the kit. I built a model that could identify black boxes in its path, and then use an end-effector to pick them up, rotate its body and release them out of the way. I only used two motors, one to power the end-effector and the other to both drive and turn. I used a directional transmission to get different modes out of 1 motor. This model used nearly every gear in the kit and I had to borrow some gears and axles from other kits to complete it.
If you are creative with your engineering skills, make thousands of robots a week, and can't afford to buy loads of metal to make real ones. Go for it!
I've got two of them, with various other pieces of Lego kit that I have collected over the years. The programming can be done with the provided software, or reprogram the micro to use NQC (Not Quite C) this make the unit very versatile and easy to use.
The only real limits are the number of inputs and outputs, but I have never needed more than the Two units (The communicate with each other via an Infrared link) this gives me 6In/6Out. I tend to multiplex the I/Os so that I can achieve a higher number, but this shouldn't be needed for simpler models.
Bear in mind you will need alot of Lego parts to make some more complex models. I have made many robotic arms and things which have taken most of my parts up. (Thats about 6 large storage containers!)
But for a begining in robotics (both electronic and mechanical) it is well worthe the money.
lego mindstorms rock i have gone through 1 (stopped working) but i got a new one and apart from my rabbit chewing of the tops of the buttons it is an exellent kit and have found some programs that allow you to directly control the rcx (bricxs command centre) but i have also made some of my own sensor and stuff eg;relay
I was in my school's robotics team and we were required to use the Lego Mindstorms kit to build a robot for the area competition. I did not get to use it for long, nor am I the mechanical person that wanted to build the body itself-- it is very easy to use. I agree with above posts, the Mindstorms kit allows you to create great robots without needing to build your own platforms, cutting and drilling every time. Just snap on.
It's been touched on that the IO lines aren't enough, but there are ways to use more than add on from one IO line (you'll have to read up on that). Aside from that, the programming for it is all graphical, and I've heard you can find a way to get real programming language compilers for it.
Anyways, I think the kit is a good choice! Good luck,
I know the second year Integrated Engineering students at UWO use Mindstorms for their yearly collaborative projects. Playing with Lego for course credit seems like a good time to me! I'm envious of the prototyping fun you can have with these sets - all imagination, as long as you can figure out how to snap it all together. Not a bad idea if you want to lower the overhead for real world mechanical solutions while you iron out the bugs of the first version of a real world machine.