This is the first installment of “Monthly Mindstorms,” a new series of posts that will summarize the most important news in Mindstorms NXT of the month. News will be organized into the following categories: general news, new sensors, MOCs, and maybe some more that I will add later. Enjoy!
Aug 24th: RobotC 3.5 Beta Released
The new RobotC v3.5 Beta has been released to the world, so go check it out! Some of the new stuff:
- Full ANSI-C support to support pointers, recursion, and stacks with an updated compiler and updated robot firmware.
- New and Updated Debugger Windows
- Updated documentation
- More! See the source link below
Aug 26th: RobotC: Driver Suite v2.8 Released
Xander Soldaat, the man behind the awesome RobotC third party sensor driver suite, has released a new version of the code, adding support for two new sensors and lots more. See the source link for the complete change log and a download link.
Source: Bot Bench
Aug 20th: Dexter Industries: NXTBee USB Adapter
This awesome new toy will let you connect your NXTBee to your computer, for highspeed NXT to PC communication. From the blog post:
The NXTBee USB is a radio for communicating with your NXTBee devices, allowing you to send and receive information to the NXTBee from your computer. Send data to your NXT, receive data from [your] NXT.
Source: Dexter Industries Blog
Aug 27th: HiTechnic: MiniScope
HiTechnic has some new goodies for us: the MiniScope. From their website:
An oscilloscope is one of the most commonly used measurement instruments used in the electronics industry. At the most fundamental level, an oscilloscope enables the variation of an electronic signal with time to be viewed as a graph. This means that waveforms can be readily displayed and analyzed.
The HiTechnic MiniScope is specially designed to work with the SuperPro board. It fits into a standard breadboard making it easy to use with testing new circuits.
Aug 30th: Mindsensors: Light Sensor Array (Coming Soon)
Xander also got us some juicy news about Mindsensor’s new Light Sensor array, which features 8 individual sensors to help you follow lines like you never have before. Read all about it at the Bot Bench source link below.
Aug 3rd: Lightplot
A very nice, very creative project here: it’s called lightplot, and it does exactly that. The robot shines a laser pointer onto a flat white wall, and a long exposure camera captures what it “draws”. See the source links for more information; especially check out the Vimeo one for the project’s awesome video.
Aug 5th: Controlling your robot with a TV remote
Xander over at Bot Bench published a great story about how you can use your TV remote with a Sony PS2 Controller Interface from Mindsensors, and also included RobotC code so it’s easy to get started right away. See his video below for a demo:
Aug 6th: LEGO Mindstorms NXT Curiosity
After NASA’s Curiosity Rover successfully landed on Mars earlier this month, The NXT Step ran a story about Will Gorman and Doug Moran’s LEGO Mindstorms NXT Curiosity Rover. It is a very impressive thing to see, and it’s packed with some very cool functions. Check out the video below for a demo, and see the source links below for a lot more on the rover.
Aug 6th: NXTified Rescue Helicopter
Yet another very nice NXTification from Anika Vuurzoon: the 9396 Rescue Helicopter. From the video description:
It can turn, tilt forward and backward, do all the original function and much more.
To learn more about the helicopter, see the video below and, as always, the source links.
Aug 8th: Mindstorms NXT Laser Cannon
R J McNamara brings us this very cool NXT Laser guided cannon. From his blog:
I was asked by my son to build a LEGO® Mindstorms NXT Sentinel Cannon for him to play with and take to school to show his friends. My initial thoughts was to build a LEGO Zamor equipped Cannon for the job. Upon reflection, I could see the Robot, and a couple of dozen Zamor Spheres leaving home for school, with only the Robot returning. I thought why not up-scale the Zamor Firing Mechanism and use Pin-Pong Balls as projectiles instead.
Source: R J McNamara
Aug 15th: New NXT X-Y Plotter
Another one from R J McNamara: a very nice X-Y plotter. It is a very impressive-looking device, and the write up on his blog is very detailed as well. Go check it out at the source link.
Aug 20th: Coltar, Lego Mindstorms NXT Guitar
A very creative project that “mixes art and science.” From the RobotC blog:
By mixing imagination with ingenuity, PhilippLens created the hybrid guitar using a LEGO Mindstorms NXT brick with a color sensor and two touch sensors (one on the Coltar itself, the other on the ‘pick’). Using the touch sensors to control chords and the color sensor to control which notes are being ‘strummed’ allows the Coltar to emit a surprisingly large range of notes.
Aug 25th: full Size LEGO Cart
:O was my initial reaction. This beast of a machine is capable of transporting a 40-kilo child! Hit the source links for more.
If you’d like your stuff featured here next month, or if you think there’s anything missing from this month’s post, please contact me on my Google+ or my Twitter (sending me a story does not guarantee that it will be in the post).