"We will do for robotics what iPod did for music."
If you're not familiar with this quote, it was apparently posted in numerous places at LEGO during the development of the MINDSTORMS NXT. It's a grand statement, so my question to you is this - has LEGO done it?
I'd like to point out that many students have now entered college/university (or will be shortly) who have had access to these kits. Whether they're choosing robotics as a career or not, it could be argued that having access to MINDSTORMS may have sparked an interest in math and science that will follow these students into their chosen careers.
The iPod has definitely shaken up the music world. I own one and have converted every CD I own so I can listen to them on my iPod. I continue to buy music from iTunes at 99-cents each. Yes, there are other products out there that play MP3 and other formats, but... I'll be honest here... the look of the iPod, combined with how easy it is to use, is what sold me. Can the same thing be said for the NXT?
Has the NXT (and RCX) done for robotics what the iPod has done for music? I think we can all agree that MINDSTORMS has definitely sold well and has achieved media attention (magazines, TV, newspapers) and contests such as FLL and FTC continue to introduce robotics to students, parents, and teachers around the world. Other kits exist - VEX comes to mind - but has any other robotics kit done more to increase interest and awareness of the field than MINDSTORMS?