Feb 21, 2006

CNET coverage of Toy Fair 2006 (NXT mentioned)

Picture #2 is of, what else, my FAVORITE NXT robot... no new information that isn't already available, but I'm glad to see that NXT is continuing to get coverage.

Read the accompanying article here.

UPDATE: Did anyone notice that they put a touch sensor at the top? Why?? In the other image, it's the sound sensor (see Feb 19 post picture)... weird.

8 comments:

Filip said...

Wow, I didn't see that. The only use I can see for this sensor is to easily and quickly change the behavior of the robot during demo by cycling through the programs.

The buttons on the NXT Brick itself likely also allow to debug or shut down the program, and it must be really annoying during a quick demo to fiddle around with that. Especially if you accidently shut the program down instead of switching to the next step!

Filip
bNXT.com

Koshdukai Yordarth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

joystick.... what the difference between a remote controlled car and lego now ?

Koshdukai Yordarth said...

Up to now, there's still very little pic/video coverage of the matrix screen, IMHO.

I'm very curious about the matrix screen capabilities.

I know it's fast enough for animation because I saw some footage of what looks like the NXT boot up sequence where the LEGO logo "morphs" into the MINDSTORMS logo, but I still can't find anything about the flexibility of the standard software to easily do graphics or animations on the NXT brick.

If this is possible out-of-the-box, I can see some NXT's being used as the 1st platform for kids to develop their own custom portable mini-apps/mini-games, through the use of the NXT as a standalone mini-games machine (GameNXTboy?) or making more evolved interfaces, like using the sensors as the game input.

You can make a 2 axis "analogue" joystick through the use of the sensors in the motors. Add to it another 1 axis joystick with the spare motor, and a "fire" button with the touch-sensor.

Imagine using the Ultrasound sensor to control with your hand, the bat of an Arkanoid-type game :) or (more annoyingly) using high/low pitch to control the bat on a Ping-Pong game... hmmm... or both to control a Tetris-like game (yup, a *CLAP* sound would rotate the piece, and the proximity to the Ultrasound would slide left/right).

All this could be possible if there's an easy way to control the screen graphically.

Forgetting "games" and thinking more about real robotics uses, I expect to use the screen as the main option for debugging programs. I hope I can do it not only in text format but graphically.

If true, one would be able to present data in a more understandable format for the kids right there on the NXT screen. For instance, real-time plotting a 2D graph of the Ultrasound sensor on X axis and motor sensor angle on Y axis (or more like a proper RADAR display) or a Sound Pitch vs. Time graph, etc...

If nothing of this is possible now with the standard software, we just have to wait to see if NextBrickOS(?) or even NQC can provide this kind of flexibility.

Koshdukai Yordarth said...

Anonymous,

I don't understand the question, but, I think you know that LEGO also sells Remote Controlled LEGO Cars.

http://guide.lugnet.com/set/?q=RC

If you're talking about the difference between an RC car and a pBrick (CyberMaster, RCX, Scout, Spybotics or the new NXT) well, the difference is that an RC car is just that... it's as dumb as the BattleBots you see on TV. But put a pBrick on it and it can react by itself to the environment or make it's own decisions (like real robots do) although you have the freedom to interfere remotely if you want.

Daniel Wittenaar said...

Did you notisce that there are 2 touch sensors on this robot??

I think this is a building error.. Because under the ultrasonic sensor is the real place where the touch sensor have to be.. And there is only 1 touch snesor supplyed with the NXT..

Koshdukai Yordarth said...

Well, not really an error. More like, maybe a quick hack.

Remember that that's simply a demo bot used at a demo show, so they can use whatever they want if that's usefull for the demo, like Filip said about quickly changing the bot behaviour by simply touching on that 2nd touch-sensor. More so if that configuration isn't really taking advantage of the sound sensor.

Jim Kelly said...

Good catch, Daniel! I was so busy wondering why they'd put a touch sensor in that rear location that I didn't even notice the one up front! :)

I'm with the majority here - these are probably just mockups (functional, though) that perform one or 2 functions and the builder probably slapped extra sensors on so they look cool!

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