Feb 12, 2009

NXT 2.0 Expectations

I'd like to ask our readers for some commentary here - I'll ask that The NXT Step contributors hold back from the discussion. (Also, some of the contribs, myself included, are members of the current MCP group, so I'll go on record as saying our ability to participate in this discussion is limited for obvious reasons.)

So, here are some questions for discussion/thought/debate - keep it clean, polite, and on-topic, please.

1. The NXT 2.0 kit is coming - what are your thoughts on the kit? (See earlier post here and here for details that are publicly available.)

2. If you're an NXT 1.0 owner, do you plan on purchasing 2.0? If not, any particular reason?

3. Is there anything you're looking forward to with 2.0?

4. Any concerns or gripes with 2.0 (or with 1.0 that might or might not carry over to 2.0)?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

With very little information released to the public about what improved over V1.1 where is the incentive to lay out $$$'s to be the guinea pig when upgrading?

Yes, datalogging has been added, but that is targeted at a very specific market. What about the general bugginess (sp?) of the API. How much of that has gone away? Does it still leak memory?

It seems to me that there should be some type of formal release statement from Lego that defines what changed, improved, etc etc. versus V1.1.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 nxts and dont plan on another one intil a new model (2018?). I feel it is more difficult to have 2 nxts connect to a computer than to have one with say sensor mutiplier or pf motors. Im mean, why add another nxt? Because you need more motor and sensor ports. I didnt buy the old rcx kit when it was 1.1 either.

William said...

I am hoping for an upgrade kit to get NXT-G 2.0 and the new color sensor along with any new useful parts. Otherwise, NXT 1.0 is plenty for me- i might even go for a second while they're around

tom said...

I am planing on buying a NXT kit. So far, only the NXT-G 2.0 software would be the only reason for me to wait for the 2.0 kit. But this might be not before another 6 month, right? Other than that, i dont see much difference, why to call the whole package NXT 2.0 with only the software and one lousy sensor changed.

Lego official statement missing indeed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with William.

Want to buy the sensor (and maybe the other unique pieces added to the kit, though I already have treads). So a NXT upgrade package would be a welcome product. Though it WOULD be fun to have two NXT bricks. :)

Pe-ads said...

To be honest, I like the new NXT.
Most people are grumbling, saying "It's 1.5, not 2.0! Where's the 5 gig memory, 5 motor ports, mp3 speakers and 20 sensor ports? Huh? Lego? Are you mad?"
Only joking, but that's what it sounds a bit like. This is in the same vein as the RCX sets: same old basic hardware, but with altered sensors and different parts.
I only have 1 NXT, and will hopefully get this one for the zamor sphere gun, another NXT, colour sensor, and more pieces!
Also, the software will be different from NXT-G 2.0. That was for Lego Education, so whilst it will probably have some of those features, it probably won't have the data-logging function. It does, however, have a remote control :-)

Pe-ads

Anonymous said...

i am going to be buying nxt 1.1 when the new version comes out because the price will be dropping alot.

FlintStone said...

I will try to stay focused with Jim's 4 points (in that order):

1. It has been nearly two years. It is time for a new version. I am glad they did not throw away the old NXT - I am very happy with it - why change something that is so good? There is nothing comes close to it from Vex / Meccano / Wowwee and other suppliers in this price range.

2. I own Version 1 - but it is tattered and old with two years of abuse. I am planning on purchasing it assuming the price stays below $300 US.


3. From what I read so far, the main reasons for my purchase would be to do with the software enhancements (BlueTooth remote for Windows, NXT-G bug fixes (hoping), ammunition (Zamor balls and shooters), and the new cool color sensor.


4. All the NXT 2 models I seen so far in Brickset and NXTStep are lacking in gears. For example I did not see turntables, worm gears or the 40 teeth gears in the models - though it is possible they are well hidden. It will be good if one of you who have been to Toy fairs or member of MCP can confirm my observation.

Fred

Anonymous said...

I think the 2.0 should be able to have somthing in the program that lets you type what ever you want in the sound block.

Also, it needs more memory.

PS. I want one but I wish NXTs were not so expensive.

robotics130 said...

I would get a nxt 2.0- only if I had enough money! I was hoping for at least a extra motor port.I like the new version of nxt-g, but I'm not that good at programming.I already have a lot of pieces, I just don't have a lot of electronics- only 3 motors, the 4 basic sensors, a pf-medium motor, and a pf battery box.If I can save enough money, I would hope by then the prices would drop.

ThinkBrick said...

i think lego should go with keeping to their word of 'doing to robotics what the ipod did for mp3 players' ..colors at the same pricepoint would be amazing. I've got a bunch of 1.0's already, and i'll probably get this one as well, just for the new software and extra parts. I'm expecting there wont be much change in the hardware, but the new packaging should be enough to get new people in!

Anonymous said...

I'll need to see more info before deciding. But I do hope they fix AND document NXT-G 2.0.

I once read that the original plan was to be able to toggle back and forth between NXT-G and LabVIEW. I'd love to see that plan implemented.

LEGO Fan said...

For what they're worth, here are the thoughts of an anonymous reader:

1. It looks very similar to the NXT 1.0, to be honest.

2. I would like to buy it but I still get a lot of use out of my NXT 1.0 so I may have to put it off until I feel the need for an upgrade.

3. I'm mostly looking forward to being able to buy new first party sensors separately.

4. I'm concerned that they could achieve the same end result with a firmware and software upgrade. The new kit mainly offers more out-of-the-box gadgets.

IMrobotics said...

There are so many books on the market base on the 8527,If LEGO can sell upgrade sets for 8527 user,and some pasts that 8527 have but 8547 don't have,then both are the same parts base,all books can be used,and can have 2nd edition for these books to the new feature.

N X T said...

1. I think, in the Fincance-Crisis is a new NXT set with only a new colour-sensor not very good. With more updates, it would be better.

2. No, i didn't would buy a NXT 2.0, while: They are not enough updates.

3. No. Software not, while i will go to a other programming language.
Hardware not while: Look above

4. Sorry, i couldn't understand this qouestion.

L Giskard V0.1 said...

I have a NXT, and was planning to buy a second, but will now wait until v2.0 comes out.
I like the data-logging, color sensor, like the new "Alpha-Rex".
I would like to see more memory on the NXT, and don't see why the don't put it on. Also making it kind of an mp3 player as well would go a long way, but not a big deal for me.
I have an overall disappointment with LEGO, but try to remember they're not a "Robot" company, just a building toy mfg. However a formal annoucment would have been nice - again, don't see why they just don't do these really basic things.
So, waiting until v2.0 to buy a second unit because I want the most for my money. If the price of v2.0 is more than $10-$20 more than the current set, I will not get it - defintely not worth it.

airplaneguru said...

I have NXT 1.0, and with the expensive price and the minor changes, I don't think it would be a good choice to buy NXT 2.0.

Eric D. Burdo said...

Yes, I do plan on buying one. Just not sure when.

Why? Easy. I have a set of educational curriculum in the works, and I want to make sure I can build everything from either kit. Have separate kits lets me test that easily.

The 4 questions:

1) I'd like to see a detailed list of a) what's included and b) what's different.

2) Yes, see above.

3) Color sensor, and tracks.

4) I'd like to see some expansion of hardware. I'd LOVE to be able to run the .NET Micro framework on the NXT. That would require more memory.

Anonymous said...

Will probably pass on nxt 2. Doesn't really matter if you call it version 1.5 or 2.0, it just doesn't have that much new stuff.

I've been hoping to see at least one alternate motor to the original with a different form factor. Maybe more like the PF motors, but with encoders.

Will also want to see how the color sensor is different from the existing Hitechnic sensor. The idea of a color sensor isn't new, it will just have the LEGO logo on it.

Wouldn't really want the base brick to add more expansion, but having an officially sanctioned expansion architecture for more input/output ports and power would have been great.

Anonymous said...

1) Nice Modells
2) Yes
3) Compatability to Lego Technic, especially PF-Motors and battery box

NickNackGus said...

I hope that NXT-G 2.0 has fixed the 1.0 bugs. For example, in 1.0, myblocks are added to the main code when compiled and sent to the NXT. Sometimes it sends incorrect files. This also prevents the user from simply downloading an upgraded myblock to correct a program. Also, NXT-G 2.0 doesn't have all the power of the NXT unlocked, such as an official sine/cosine block, or control over non-printable characters in text files generated by our programs. (Which is how LEGO intended for us to datalog. This way, we can "not only create datalogs, but read them as well.")

New sensors, a second NXT, and more parts also sounds like a new idea. (I managed to get my mom to sort what LEGOs I have, and they should be sorted soon...either I put them away in the right place, or my mom has another reason not to try to sort my LEGOs :) )

I probably won't be able to afford this for years, though. Remind me how long it took me to get my first NXT... (and RCX... and spybot... and...what were we posting about...)

-NickNackGus

-P.S.
I may abbreviate NickNackGus to NNG

bazmati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bazmati said...

it's a nice repackaging, glad to see orange technic parts and more models for the newbie - i'm sure the color sensor is same as HiTechnic (prob made a deal with LEGO). From the looks of it the NXT2 seem identical (maybe it has updated firmware but then we should be able to apply that on the NXT1) I AM VERY HAPPY the NXT has not changed ! that would had been a big mistake, To many school have invested in it and many resource are now available -- a major change would had been a marketing faux-pas. A retail repackage however is a welcomed move.

What would be really cool and necessary is some kind of plug-in module to increase memory or read SD cards -- How can it be compared to the ipod and not even have a gig,,, today's kids expect more multimedia and we know that consumes mbytes -- i have the color sensor, i wanted to make a program that said all 17 colors it can see.... so i created the rso for the missing color (pink, pale green etc.. ) to then find ot it was impossible to have them all in the NXT for lack of memory.

SW wise,, the remote is cool BUT more important is will BLUETOOTH and other features work flawlessly in VISTA, MAC Leopard and soon to come Windows7 ? that is what matter most I'd say.

will i buy one? maybe
do i want one? YESSS please

Play Well, Stay Gold

NeXTSTORM said...

I already own the retail NXT 1.0 and also had the opportunity to experiment with the educational NXT-G 2.0 since December 08. For the latter, first impression is quite positive, but I will not go into details so to stay in topic.

Honestly, I was not expecting much from the new NXT release. Just a “facelift” (btw, I’m not sure if I really like the look of the new Alpha Rex, or the box cover artwork with the blue background, but this is minor). However, it seems that what finally comes with NXT 2.0 is beyond my (reasonable) range of expectations .

In my opinion at the time NXT 2.0 will be available (August?), for someone that already owns the previous release and need to add another complete NXT set (brick/motors/sensors) in his collection, there is no reason to continue to invest on NXT 1.0. And I’m saying no reason because I don’t expect that NXT 1.0 price will significally drop (as happened for the NXT-G software).

It is exactly like the rest LEGO set. For example, most (...I believe) owners of Power Functions will continue to buy new Technic sets with PFs just because they want to add more cool LEGO sets in their LEGO vault and because more pieces …more alternatives and opportunities.

I will definitely invest on NXT 2.0!

NeXTSTORM

Austin Boyle said...

I do have an NXT V 1.0 but I'm kinda a noob. I plan on purchasing a V 2.0 when it comes out in August. Since I'm such a novice I have a couple of questions:

1.Will the NXT 2.0 also contain the NXT-G 2.0?

2.Can NXTs connect by bluetooth even without a bluetooth doggle? (I think that's what its called)

kevin h knuth said...

I have found that the greatest constraints that the NXT brick imposes is the number of motors and sensors.

Expanding to 6 motors would help somewhat, but that is still rather restrictive.

The touch sensor multiplexer from hitechnic enables one to plug 4 touch sensors into a single port. This is helpful. However, specialized ports for binary sensors and actuators, such as mechanical relays, should be more plentiful and come with the NXT rather than as expensive add-ons.

I will buy one or two NXT 2.0 units for my lab, although I am quickly finding that for someone with experience in electronics and microcontroller programming, in the long run it is easier to design your own circuitry for ambitious projects.

Clearly, if you are happy with the limitations that the NXT imposes, then this may be a welcome development. Although, considering the cost of the circuitry enclosed in the brick, the $400 cost is overkill. I think LEGO would do better by making these things less expensive and making their software upgrades free!

Kevin Knuth
BrickEngineer.com
and Robot's Everywhere.com

tharrison said...

An opinions from a more casual user. I am a software engineer; got the NXT for my son (11) and daughter (7). Programming is way too hard for them.

The three features I want to see are:

1) A large library of MyBlock routines,

2) Better battery life or and/or a DC input, and

3) A few more "smart" blocks that work in the area of being able to control the motors (or others, but hey, it's the motors, right :-) that simplify programming.

The NXT is probably the single most undersold "toy" I can imagine. When we have even simple things working, my kids get all the joy of construction, mechanics and creativity I got from Legos in the 1960's when I grew up, with a wonderful (almost) accessible programming interface.

Actually, my biggest wish for NXT 2.0 is great marketing!

Enrique said...

I think I would definitely purchase an upgrade kit from 1.0 to 2.0, comprising the new parts and the new NXT-G version (which I understand is not the same as the 2.0 version in Lego Education, which is for Data Logging).

But there is not yet enough information on what are the new parts, for example I do not care much for the "cosmetic" parts, but I would like to see what are the new "building" parts. And MOST DEFINITELY would like to see what improvements the new NXT-G has and what new documentation will be available on it.

To be honest the 2.0 kit seems to be a bit underwhelming. The color sensor has been around for a long time. Is not an amazing advantage like bundling an EPOD or gyro or compass sensor would have been. I own already threads/tacks (the plastic ones from legoeducation.com). The other parts are probably available from Technic sets (except the cosmetic covers which I do not care much for).

That really leaves the new NXT-G as the main attraction to me, again based on the information that is available in the public domain.

I guess what Lego did is try to repackage and relaunch the NXT from a marketing perspective, make it more attractive to the general public, reach new market segments, while keeping product development expenses at a minimum. Something like a "mid-life upgrade". But not introduce a radically new technology.

So my conclusion is that this kit is not really targeted to the people like us who spend the time to post at the NXT STEP Blog but rather to a more ample audience who might not even be aware of the existence of the NXT robotics kit .

I guess the real benefit we (as "hardcore NXT fans") could get, is that more marketing means more awareness, which means more sales (hopefully), which means more fans, which might convince The Lego Group to place more product focus in this extraordinary NXT thing, that could lead eventually to a REALLY and RADICALLY new NXT 3.0.

I apologize to Jim I did not respond in order and to all readers for the length of this post.

AVCampos said...

Well, my two cents from someone who has two RCX's, bought an NXT 1.0, and shamefully still didn't open it...

1. Like previous comments expressed, it appears to be more like "NXT 1.5" than "NXT 2.0". Personally, I'd apply "2.0" to an improved version of the pBrick itself.
The colour sensor doesn't seem to be the one from HiTechnic, but rather a new one. I think I read somewhere that, unlike HiTechnic's, it can also detect light intensity and not just colour. If so, it's a worthwhile replacement for the standard light sensor.
Newer software and a new sensor, by themselves, won't appeal much to those who already have 1.0 and other parts: for those cases, an upgrade, like the 3803, would be preferable. Of course, there may be more novelties than meets the eye, besides just panels.

2. I don't plan on purchasing the 2.0, since it doesn't appear to bring enough innovations to be worth the buy. When/if I need a colour sensor or another pBrick, I'm pretty sure it'll be cheaper to buy them individually.

3. I hope this version, like Control Center 1 to 2, brings the option to use AC power: either through the already available battery (or a slimmer one), or through a new, cheaper adapter, which directly connects the AC adapter's output to the NXT's battery terminals (with some conversion in-between, of course).
I don't care much about the software, since, as someone more used to textual programming than NXT-G or LabVIEW, there are other alternatives available.

4. My main gripe is the same as on the previous point: the NXT kit doesn't come with a way of receiving AC power.
Also, like was said before, 3 outputs and 4 inputs aren't much. But, since the NXT is supposed to able to run on 6 AA batteries, not much more current could be drawn without their lifetime be vestigial. I think this should be left to the NXT's successor, which should be powered, instead of batteries, from a large, maybe located outside the pBrick for size reasons, rechargeable battery.

Spencer said...

Unless there are major changes to the NXT-G Software and more than just the new color sensor, I won't buy it. I am an NXT 1.0 owner and, well, I don't see using $200-300 on what seems like just more Technic parts and a couple of other things.

techt said...

Will the brick have more memory? Will the color sensor be approved for the FLL tournament? Will the 2.0 be approved to use for the FLL tournament? I need more info

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