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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Johnny 5 is alive and well, and coming to you this Christmas

Johnny 5Ok, 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.



    Geez.. thanks alot, I'm going to be £180 poorer in a few months *sigh*

    The sad thing about this is, I'm going to turn 24 in 2 months. *cry*

    By Anonymous W00T, at 7:17 PM  

  • hey w00t... don't worry about that. I'm in my mid-30's and I want one!

    I think of it like this... now I can buy all the cool stuff I was never allowed when I was a kid.

    I just hope £180 provides a little more than 35 minutes entertainment though...

    By Blogger the geekette speaks, at 8:18 PM  

  • £180 = 341.030 USD

    A bit expensive for a toy don't you think? :)

    If you get one, produce a little video and put it on youtube, I want to see this hehe.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 9:40 PM  

  • That does not look anything like Johnny 5.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 PM  

  • Anonymous: Hey, you're in serious need of glasses my friend.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:32 PM  

  • LOL ok, so Johnny 5's less interesting, poorer, second cousin, twice removed then.

    Just a hint of family resemblance, around the eyes.

    I guess it all boils down to how creative you can get with Lego and a bit of imagination...

    By Blogger the geekette speaks, at 1:15 AM  

  • Glasses? That stupid thing has legs for crying out loud. What are those things on the end of it's arm? Where are it's eyebrows? Is that an iPod on it's chest? Go find a real picture of Johnny 5 and then come back and tell us who needs glasses. That thing is mega lame.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:18 AM  

  • Gotta love anonymous posts :)

    Hmmm, I followed my stat engine to this fark thread, and some people posted a cool picture of the same robot, but modified to look like johnny 5....Check it out.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 11:22 AM  

  • I saw this for sale in Kennesaw GA Toys R Us on Friday. I think the cost was $249.00

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 PM  

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