Coming Soon from Dexter Industries: a 6 DOF IMU

19 07 2011

Wow, a lot of new sensor/ NXT stuff these days – this is the third in row: Dexter Industries comes with a 6 DOF IMU. It was first leaked on I’d Rather Be Building Robots, where Xander wrote:

Dexter Industries are currently developing a great new sensor, a proper 6 Degree of Freedom (DOF) Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for the NXT. It consists of two sensors on a single board; a 3-D gyroscope and a 3-D accelerometer. Both sensors can measure their respective values on the X, Y and Z axes.

The sensor, like many of the other Dexter Industries products before it, comes with a very bright U-R-Blind LED™ to indicate when it’s powered on. This light is also useful when trying to find your way out of a dark cave.

I’m currently working on a driver for it which will be part of the Driver Suite, of course.

The following image cannot be displayed: Xander's Photo of DI's 6 DOF IMUI’m imagining it’s going to be a lot like what Aswin did for his ball balancing bot. I hope the DI one’s gonna be just as precise – see A Grain of Sugar. Again, once people start doing stuff wit hthis sensor, I’ll post links below:





Dexter Industries’ NXT Thermal Infrared Sensor

27 06 2011

EDIT: I was working on a (/this) post about the stuff that people have done with Dexter Industries’ thermal infrared sensor, when it hit the shelves today (24/06/2011), so here is a more up to date version of it.

First off: some images

The following image cannot be displayed: Dexter Industries' Thermal IR Imaging Sensor; Front ViewDexter Industries’ thermal IR sensor, front view. image source

The following image cannot be displayed: Dexter Industries' Thermal IR Imaging Sensor; Hind View The following image cannot be displayed: Dexter Industries' Thermal IR Imaging Sensor; Side View Dexter Industries’ thermal IR sensor, back and side views, respectively. image source

The cool thing about this sensor is that it can read temperatures of up to 380° C (700° Fahrenheit), more than double the amounts their NXT thermometers measure. And that with the same accuracy of .5 degrees Celsius!

Based around the MLX90614, the sensor has a resolution of 0.2 degrees Celsius. It can read “both the ambient temperature (the temperature of the air around the sensor) and the surface temperature of the object that the sensor is pointed towards” (source). So, since it’s a non-contact based thermometer, it can detect heat at a distance; a flame can be spotted up to 2 meters (6 feet) away.

And that’s exactly what Xander Soldaat did. He built a pan and tilt rig and pointed it towards a candle, taking 80 x 90 readings. Those he put into excel, and turned them into these two images:

The following image cannot be displayed: Xander's Excel Graph of his Experiment        The following image cannot be displayed: Xander's Thermal Image of his ExperimentXander’s results. image 1 source, image 2 source 

He did the same with a glass of water, and also made a video of his rig. You can see those at his blog post over here.

With the introduction of their latest sensor, Dexter Industries also published a new manual wiki. The manual for their infrared imaging sensor is available over here, packed with descriptions, explanations and warnings. It’s for sale for just under 55 USD.

Here’s a (hopefully) full list of things people did with the sensor; if you did something new, or see something I missed, just leave a comment and I’ll add it:





Coming SOON from Dexter Industries: Wifi for the NXT

10 04 2011

New info available! From the DI blog:

Dexter Industries brings Wifi to Lego Mindstorms NXT.

We’ve built our first prototype and we’re shipping them out to our beta-testers and collaborators.  The hardware is done, and over the next few weeks we’ll be working to develop some killer software applications that will bring all the power of the internet and wifi to Lego Mindstorms NXT

Picture available, too:

Wifi-From-Dexter-Industries





Coming (soon?) from Dexter Industries: WiFi for the NXT

25 03 2011

Earlier today, Dexter Industries, the folks responsible for the dFlex, NXTBee, dSolar and much more, released a preview to some of their upcoming products. One of those was a WiFi sensor for the NXT (!!), to “let the NXT communicate with the internet”. This’d open up a million of possibilities for NXT to PC communication, NXT to NXT communication, data storage, data sharing (live?), etc, etc, etc.

WiFi blocks for the NXT have been made before though, but they’ve never been for sale (as far as I know).  Sjef Fransen, for example, has done something similar for “Lego Beyond Toys“, see picture below.

It’s unknown when it’ll come out.





NXTBee’s invasion

9 02 2011

New from Dexter Industries: the NXTBee has arrived! From their website:

The Dexter Industries NXTBee’s are now up for sale. We have some example code to get you started in RobotC, and we’re working on NXT-G blocks for the sensors.

Goodbye slow, short, and unreliable communications over bluetooth. Hello easy, fast, far-reaching, and awesome communications between the Mindstorm NXT’s and other devices with XBees.

It’ll be for sale in three editions: regular, naked and pro. The regular one gives you:

  • Fast, long-distance wireless communications.
  • Communicate Far: Send data over 300 feet.
  • Communicate Fast: High speed communication between NXT’s.
  • Communicate Wide: Talk to multiple NXTs and other devices and robots.
  • Communicate Easily: Minimal configuration with advanced options for secure and mesh networking.

NXTBee Regular

In addition, the NXTBee naked has:

  • Fast, long distance wireless communication the NXT.
  • Just the adapter. No radio included.
  • Configurable for XBee and XBee PRO.
  • Slide an XBee or XBee PRO radio into the sockets and go!

NXTBee Naked

And, finally, the NXTBee PRO adds:

  • Fast, long distance and easy-to-use XBee PRO adapter and radio for the NXT.
  • Communicate Far: Send data over 1.2 KM.
  • Communicate Fast: High speed communication between NXT’s.
  • Communicate Wide: Talk to multiple NXTs and other devices and robots.
  • Communicate Easily: Minimal configuration with advanced options for secure and mesh networking.

NXTBee Pro

The three models (regular, naked and pro) will be available as singles, costing $55.01, $33,02 and $78.00, respectively, as well as being sold in pairs, for about double those prices. More info:








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