Back in mid-April 2006, I wrote an open letter to LEGO, including some thoughts and ideas for the future of the NXT. This is part II.
So, now that the NXT is in hands other than the MDP's, I wanted to write to you again and revisit some of my original items as well as some new ones.
First, some revisits:
1. I would still love a Black NXT Intelligent Brick. Black robots are just cool (to me). How about a NXT Nano?
2. So far, the only product I see listed on the official website is the basic retail kit (product # 8527). The tab says "Products" (plural) so I'm hoping to see some new stuff soon. But I'm patient.
3. We need an OFFICIAL NXT FORUM. No offense, but the current one doesn't offer much right now besides "NXT RULEZ!" and similar posts...
4. The link to new Building Instructions via "My Portal" in the software - cool. Give us more, please... including programming instructions.
5. I would like to know (and I'm sure others are curious, too) about feedback you are receiving from teachers/educators who are using or plan on using it in the classroom. I imagine there's not a lot right now, but you're going to have to be your own cheerleader right now until others begin sharing their successes (and failures) online.
6. I'd still love a quarterly or bi-annual NXT magazine, but I'm sure that's low on your list right now. And make it free to students if you ever offer it.
And now some new items:
1. Others have requested it and I'd like to add my own vote: Please PLEASE consider adding Technic components to the LEGO Factory. Letting us purchase mixtures of pieces to further customize our bots would be a great feature. I imagine that letting us purchase individual pieces (go ahead and set a minimum order level) will generate more income than you anticipate.
2. Design Contests - Stir up the excitement NOW and offer up some prizes for a few design categories. How about the 4 in the software - Humanoids, Animals, Machines, Vehicles? You need to get some more bots in the public eye other than Spike and AlphaRex and the best way to do it is to let your customers do it for you. (You gave the MDP a Grand Challenge - now give the general public one. - (NOTE: I'll be posting a writeup on the MDP Grand Challenge very soon, readers).
3. Offer up a nice financial prize for the person or team that builds the FIRST LEGO Mindstorms NXT biped. There's been some discussion on what would be needed to build one on The NXT STEP blog and BNXT and there's doubt as to its viability. Money talks - offer up a financial prize and you might get some surprising innovation. Yes, there might be some sensors that are needed that haven't been built yet - but just put the challenge out there with some rules/guidelines and see what happens.
4. I'm curious about the Web Downloads tab in the software. Are you planning on offering some expansion programming blocks for download soon?
5. This last one is just a big Thank You! I haven't had this much fun building and designing in years. I hope LEGO has a long, successful run with the NXT.