Jun 4, 2007

Grandparents and NXT

I wonder if LEGO has ever considered actively marketing the NXT to people nearing retirement (Baby Boomers)? According to USA Today, this is the wealthiest group in the U.S. NXT is almost the perfect product for grandparents---more brain-stimulating than crosswords or Sudoku, and a very high "cool" factor with the grandchildren. Are any of you grandparents out there using NXT with your grandchildren?

17 comments:

Adam Eyring said...

I've thought of a similar thing - put Legos in nursing homes. Instead of watching TV, playing cards, etc., they could have Lego and NXT contests. If a researcher hasn't looked into this as a way to stave off early death or Alzheimer's, this it worth looking into. Retired engineers and scientists probably would love it because they can do technical things that they don't need to be in their old workplaces for.

Andy said...

But maybe programming on the computer won't be so good on theire eyes though... But sounds like an good idea, I wish my grandparents were like that :-P

Andy

Mason Flake said...

I am a Grandparent and I have been building Lego Robots for 4 years. I recently purchased the NXT which has been a great deal of enjoyment for my Grand Children and me. I am 73 years young and buy every book available on Robots. Robitics is the next technilogical rage. It will be like computers were in the 80's I have built a number of robots using the Basic Stamp, and the ooPic R board. I would highly recomend robotics for the older generation, It is a great way to keep ahead of the Grand Kids :-)

Mason Flake

Jim Kelly said...

Mason,

That's great to hear! My grandpa loved to fish and used to take me fishing in the Gulf... I don't think it matters what you're doing, but spending time with the grandparents is always good.

Mason Flake said...

Jim,

Your Grandpa enjoyed spending time with you more than he enjoyed fishing, you can bet on that.

I purchased your first book, and really enjoyed the informatin available in it. I am looking forward to your next publication.

I spend more money on books than beer, and thats insane.

Regards,

Mason

Anonymous said...

Count me as a grandpa of age 75. My grandkids are at the half way across the States. Sigh...

Jim Kelly said...

I just had my first child born a few weeks ago... and one of my many aunts sent this to me:

http://www.tacmovie.com/

I figured some of you might enjoy it.

Jim

Andy said...

Congratulations Jim!!

Robert said...

That's a sound idea - but the programming would be a bit tricky for some - maybe a bunch of people could from these sites could setup a OAP Programming Service. In most cases people can describe very well what they want logically on paper in English and pseudocode.

Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

Thanks for the link Jim! Adult life has many of us blind to the things that are really important. We are just not as simple as we should be these days. Caught in circles so that we miss the earth while standing on it. Constant attention is needed because if we don't watch we will loose sight again.

It's all about the kids. ...And (in my opinion) should always be. Growing them to be kind and gentle will position this world for a better future.

Chris

Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

Wow...giving back.

The programming service is a fine idea. Not very difficult either. Only a dedicated force of programmers would be needed.

I can see it now....

A queue of help needed...and programmers that choose one to work on.

Chris

Anonymous said...

I do not belong to goggle.

Am 66 yesrs old and have used and read about compturers and robots for a number of years, if not decades. I have a 4 yr. college degree.

PROBLEM; I am legally blind. The NXT was my first LEGOS. I had to use a magnifier to get the START HERE robot built (took over 4 hours).

Waqs starating to follow the simple demo programnes. On sound, the brick asked me if I wanted to delete the sound demo program? Sure! It was just a demo I did. Results I now have no sound on my brick. I thought I was just deleting a personal try demo, not the actual program code.

Thus, how do I get back the LEGO Brick sound program? Do I have to deinstall and reinstall the whole LEGO c-d? Or, do I only have to UBS the Start Here Robot and then hit the NXT Icon on my desktop?

Just found this blog and gald to see some are thinking ahead. I feel LEGO did not think about first time users much on NXT.


LEGO Co. should make a movie rather like TOY STORY and combine it with the TRON angle, the young characters have to build robots and take them with them into the story. Marvel (MVL) and Mattel (MAT) should be good partners on such a movie, for LEGO (if LEGO mmgt. is up to it).

If anyone can steer me to LEGOS 'NXT Kindergarten' programning, I would be greatful.

I have a number of LEGO books and found Dave Prochnow Hacker's Guide interesting.

garymindb@yahoo.com

Rick Rhodes said...

Anonymous,

I don't know of a current book on programming in NXT-G, but Jim Kelly has a book on programming the NXT-G coming out in August--LEGO Mindstorms NXT-G Programming Guide. Reviews of Jim's previous book (The Mayan Adventure) were excellent and from what I see of Jim's writing, he's very good at explaining things in layman's terms.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rick R.

I think thats the book for me, I thought about getting his Mayan Adventure, though I am not ready for it yet.

Was able to find a discounted LEGO 2916 Set (for the Treads and Wheels it has).

Anyone noted the new air-less design Tires that Michalin Tire Co. is working on? Should be very interesting for LEGO Vehicle
builders to consider. The tire design 'flexs' over obstacles, and utilizes an outer and an inner layer of flexibility strut
structure.

The design might be useful for novel forms of gearing also (appying various torque forces would distort a gear/ratio)?

Fred said...

It seems that most of the comments are from grandparents but not baby boomers. The first year for that was children born in 1946. Although not a grandparent (my kids are 11 and 15), I became active with the RCX and then the NXT when I coached my son's FLL team. I sure there are lots of older Americans who should love the opportunity to "play" with the NXT. I love it!!

armando said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tpobrienjr said...

I'm teaching a course "Robotics for Grandparents" using the NXT 1.1 kit and some Carnegie-Mellon lessons. Class starts Wednesday Sept 16, and 18 people have signed up, with 6 on the waiting list. See http://roboticsforgrandparents.blogspot.com
for a running commentary.

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