Lego Mindstorms

Lego Mindstorms

The LEGO Mindstorm series of kits contain software and hardware to create small, customizable and programmable robots. They include a programmable brick computer that controls the system, a set of modular sensors and motors, and LEGO parts from the Technics line to create the mechanical systems.

The hardware and software roots of the Mindstorms Robotics Invention System kit go back to the programmable brick created at the MIT Media Lab. This brick was programmed in Brick Logo. The first visual programming environment was called LEGOsheets, since it was created by the University of Colorado in 1994 based on AgentSheets.

The original Mindstorms Robotics Invention System kit contained two motors, two touch sensors, and one light sensor. The NXT version has three servo motors and one light, sound, and distance as well as 1 touch sensor. The NXT 2.0 has 2 touch sensors as well as a light and distance sensor, and support for 4 without using a sensor multiplexer. LEGO Mindstorms may be used to build a model of an embedded system with computer-controlled electromechanical parts. Many kinds of real-life embedded systems, from elevator controllers to industrial robots, may be modelled using Mindstorms.

Mindstorms kits are also sold and used as an educational tool, originally through a partnership between Lego and the MIT Media Laboratory. The educational version of the products is called Lego Mindstorms for Schools, and comes with the ROBOLAB GUI-based programming software, developed at Tufts University using the National Instruments LabVIEW as an engine. In addition, the shipped software can be replaced with third party firmware and/or programming languages, including some of the most popular ones used by professionals in the embedded systems industry, like Java and C. The only difference between the educational series, known as the "Challenge Set", and the consumer series, known as the "Inventor Set", is that it includes another light sensor and several more gearing options.

Mindstorms is named after the book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas by Seymour Papert.

Read more about Lego MindstormsLego Camera, 4.5V PC Interface, Technic Control Center, Dacta Control Lab, Cybermaster, Codepilot, Scout, Micro Scout, Spybotics, Lego Mindstorms NXT, LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Educational Version, Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0, Programming Languages, Community

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