I gave the Wish List to LEGO while at the FLL competition along with a list of questions... below are LEGO's responses to some (not all) of the questions submitted by readers. LEGO will most likely be checking on readers' responses to these answers, so please post your comments if you have them.
You can view the Wish List post here along with readers' questions (as comments). LEGO has informed me that the List "is in on our table when we talk new ideas - and it is, honestly!"
I'll let you know as soon as I hear from LEGO regarding the Wish List.
And now, here are some questions and answers:
1. Does LEGO plan to release a new pneumatics set for use with NXT?
NO. But the pneumatics elements will still be available in other LEGO TECHNIC sets, so if you want to combine it, go ahead.
2. What extension sets are planned for the NXT?
In time of writing there is no extension sets planned for the NXT set (#8527). But the sensor developers have many new ideas for extra sensors coming out.
3. Is there a plan to create a cheap (<100$) camera sensor for autonomous robot operation?
I would turn the question around and ask: what would you really want to do with a ‘camera sensor’?
4. Will there be a next (and upgraded) version of the NXT?
Hm, who can tell? Again, I cannot tell about what we are working on…
5. Could you make another type/kind of motor for the NXT that is smaller and maybe include a tachometer (rotation sensor) too?
These are some of the top wishes we get from users, so it is something we make a note of. I cannot reveal if we are working on such things…
6. Will the firmware be updated so that the USB port can be used with a memory stick to enlarge the amount of memory available for the NXT? (Windows VISTA has this feature).
The USB port within the NXT can only function as a SLAVE meaning it can not control a USB memory stick.
7. We now have that full LabView support, but only if you have a LabView license (I got a free student license). Is this the way things are going to remain, or will some of the LabView functionality start migrating into the retail software?
In time of writing there is no extension in regards to more advanced LabView functionality planned for the retail software. This software is targeted towards children.
8. The NXT-G software is really slow and even small programs compile into huge files. The firmware upgrade may help with the execution speed problem (a little bit), but we would see a bigger benefit from generating smaller, more efficient executables. Is anything being done about that?
This is one of the top wishes we get from users, so it is something we make a note of. I cannot reveal if we are working on such things…
9. MyBlocks cannot be executed in parallel threads. This greatly reduces their usefulness. Are there any plans to modify threads so they are?
In time of writing there are no plans to modify the system to handle MyBlock execution within parallel threads.
10. Will there be a NXT v2 ?
What do you mean by NXT v2? What is it? Is there something in the very long wish list Jim has compiled that you do NOT want in NXT 2?
11. Could you make another type/kind of motor for the NXT that is smaller?
Right now, it is possible to use the ‘old’ Mindstorms motors by using so-called legacy wires that can connect between the NXT outputs and the ‘old’ connector plates, so using those motors is possible. I cannot tell if we are working on new motors.
12. Will LEGO release the bluechip firmware so we can make community firmware supporting HID etc. (e.g. Wii)?
The firmware for the Bluecore chip uses proprietary code from the Bluetooth chip vendor and therefore we can not release the firmware for the Bluetooth chip. It is also quite complicated to update the firmware within the Bluetooth chip and it requires special software tools.
13. When will the NXT-software be available as a Universal Binary for Intel Macs?
MINDSTORMS NXT 1.0 currently runs in emulation mode on Intel-based Macs. A new version of the MINDSTORMS NXT Software that runs natively on an Intel-based Mac will be available in the Summer of 2007.
14. What is in the works for LabView for Mindstorms Phase 3 ?
Two things: First, I would ask you to specify what Phase 3 is – what was the two other phases? Second, I really cannot reveal what we are doing right now – only that we are looking at a lot of interesting things right now… I have some of it right here on my desk…