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O'Reilly Network: Lego MindStorms: An Introduction

Jan 31, 2000, 22:06 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Knudsen)

"The Lego MindStorms Robotics Invention System was clearly the coolest toy of 1999. A surprise bestseller, this set from Lego has captured the imaginations and wallets of people of all ages. It offers the chance to breathe life into Lego creations-to make them move and think. Lego robots are a fun, surprisingly easy way to explore the fascinating and complex field of mobile robotics."

"What makes Lego robotics such a success?"

  • First, cheap electronics make small robots affordable.
  • Next, Lego bricks have always been a good mechanical prototyping tool. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have been combining Lego bricks and small computers in interesting ways for years."

"And the fast-growing Internet is an excellent medium for robot builders to gather and share ideas. In the rest of this article, I'll talk about what MindStorms means, what the Robotics Invention System really is, how MIT is involved, the Internet connection, and how all this has changed the Lego company itself."

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