Johnny 5 is alive and well, and coming to you this Christmas
Ok, perhaps you can blame my design background but I always get mildly excited when I see something new in the world of robotics.
There was Robosapien (until I realised that it wasn't nearly as much fun as I thought it would be). Then of course there was Qrio (until Sony announced earlier this year that they weren't going to be making them for the public market).
So this year, looking remarkably like Johnny 5, we have the Mindstorm NXT from the makers of that perennial childhood favourite, Lego.
As reported in today's issue of London Lite:
One of the most advanced robots ever launched for children in the UK goes into the shops this week - in kit form with 577 parts.
There's enough electronic gadgetry involved to make Robosapiens, the big seller of the past two Christmases, look dull.
The £180 kit, called Mindstorms NXT, includes sensors to detect sound, light and touch, three interactive motors and a 32bit microprocessor "brain" capable of powering a small laptop computer. It can even be programmed through a mobile phone Bluetooth system.
And Pocket-lint expands on this:
Building upon the success of the globally-renowned Robotics Invention System, for the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS, lego has made it easier to build meaning robot creators can build and program a working robot in just 30 minutes.
The heart of the new system is the NXT brick, an autonomous 32-bit LEGO microprocessor that can be programmed using a PC, or for the first time in the retail offering, a Mac. After building their robots, users create a program within easy-to-use yet feature-rich software, powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments.
read full article
Yes, ok, so they're aimed at a market demographic almost a decade younger than the legal voting age. Does this bother me? Sadly no.
So should I find myself with a spare £180 in my pocket this Christmas I think curiosity may actually get the better of me and I may have to go and rediscover my eternal child.