I can describe the Lego Mindstorms NXT kit in different ways, but only one fits best and this is a complete learning solution. Mindstorms NXT is based on original kit Lego Mindstorms and uses the same principle of construction with Lego blocks. The biggest difference of the new entry kit is the intelligence provided by the NXT module for Lego robotic projects.
LEGO Mindstorms NXT is a programmable robotics kit used in complex designs since July 2006 when was released. The kit is shipped in two versions; one version is an Educational set while the second is a retail version. Both versions are programmable in different programming software including here NXT-G, or optional LabVIEW with support for Lego Mindstorms, as well as programming languages like NXC, NBC, leJOS NXJ, and RobotC.
The latest version for Mindstorms NXT reached the third generation and is known as EV3 with improved characteristics to make it user-friendly for programming skills both children and adults. NXT EV3 has a wide range of features and comes with plans for 17 different models. A number of 12 models were designed by Lego community members.
EV3 is a powerful programmable brick with ARM9 robotic processor, embedded 16 MB flash memory with expanded possibilities using SD memory card. The brick is compatible with Linux, Android and iOS for mobile devices, has four input and output ports, allows Wi-Fi connectivity as well as Bluetooth.
Another useful feature is the compatibility with the second version of where users can use everything.
A series of advantages could be included in the Mindstorms NXT starting with the ability to share the work between teachers, students, hobbyists, and continue with quickly prototyping robotic projects, or compatibility with different programming languages like LabVIEW, RobotC, and Java.
In the following I include a collection with advanced Lego Mindstorms NXT projects, from handling balls and recognize colors to projects that imitate Mars Curiosity Rover.
Great Ball Contraption 1.0
Complex Great Ball Contraption Logo system that passes balls from a module to another. Many hours of work, more than 1,500 Lego pieces and four motors was used to build this such complex structure.
With a little bit of imagination and programming skills a vending machine with LEGO components was designed in a primitive form. Vending machines are used to dispense products like snacks, cigarettes, etc.
Factory application for sorting balls based on colors. The balls are transported on a conveyor belt while a robotic arm with three motors collects the ball.
Multi-Bot Ball Shooter Arm
Interesting ball shooter arm application with a combination between a multitude of sensor, actuators, tracks, and Lego pieces. Comprehensive tutorial to build from scratch a ball shooter robot using 100% Lego components.
The Payloader is an all wheel drive construction vehicle while the inspiration become from a real Payloader.
Lego paper plane folding machine
A folding machine for paper built entirely with Lego pieces and a wide range of sensors, actuators, and 2x NXT.
Kno Textbook Tablet Tester
Lego is a very powerful kit used in various applications and one of them is testing gadgets. In our case a Lego robot is used for stress test the screen of a Kno tablet by pulling in different direction a stylus.
An autonomous Lego NXT robot designed to solve a sudoku puzzle. The project uses a light sensor for scanning the puzzle, calculate the solution and writes the digits.
LEGO Street View Car v2.0
Based on Google Street View cars, in this project is a small transposition of the original project from Google. The car uses NXT module as well as a wide range of sensors including here dGPS to know the GPS coordinate.
Zwolle Street Sweeper
Mindstorm NXT project with ultrasonic sensor in front for obstacle detection ability. A light sensor is used for steering detection while PF motors are controlled using a Mindsensors PFMate motor controller.
Lego Queboid controlled through Philo joystick and designed to communicate over Bluetooth technology.
[link not available] RoboFlush: The Lego NXT Mindstorms Toilet Flusher Robot
The robots are the best to do the dirty work and this example may be a model. RoboFlush is a simple Lego Mindstorms NXT that flush the toilet automatically using sensors and motors.
A smart robot with smartphone for robot brain, a lot of motors and sensors. It works very fast and solve the Rubik Cube puzzle in seconds.
Obstacle Avoidance Using the NXTBee
Autonomous obstacle avoidance NXT robot designed to communicate with a computer where sensor information are processed and send commands to the robot.
Odin, a robot for odometry
Odin is designed for a precise measurement of distance traveled and orientation based on odometry principle.
Following the line using two light sensors
A classical example how to use a Lego NXT robot to follow a line with a light sensor.
NXT Segway with Rider
Simple balancing system where instead gyroscope or IMU sensors are used a color sensor.
Simple robotic arm built from scratch only with Lego components to pick-up or move objects. This is not an autonomous robot, the control is provided through a controller.
Lego Mindstorms Mars Curiosity Rover
Inspired by NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover robot, this Lego robot is a much smaller copy of the original. It can turn at 360 degrees and uses a wide range of sensors and actuators.