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The Mindstorms NXT may look like a children's toy, but it's actually a robot development kit. A programmable controller allows anyone who buys the $249 kit--expected to hit the market in August--to create any of an infinite number of possible robots.
Lego Mindstorms director Soren Lund (center) discusses the Mindstorms NXT program in front of a slogan declaring the program's goal: "We will do for robotics what iPod did for music."
Lego's Mindstorms robots, like the AlphaRex pictured here, are built with four sensors: ultrasonics that function as eyes, as well as those that react to light, sound or touch. The robots are Bluetooth-enabled, meaning they can be controlled by, and can control, any Bluetooth device.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Lego showed off its Mindstorms NXT kit, which will enable kids and adults alike to program Lego-based robots.
One device Lego showed off at CES in January was a programmable slot machine that can detect when someone has won and then opens up a cage on its bottom to reveal a prize.
Lego has created several robot kits for educational purposes in its Mindstorms program.