main index Note: my LEGO® bricks index page is here!

Le mie pagine sui mattoncini LEGO® sono qui!

YEAH, i got it! Finally, a Mindstorms NXT is here!

I won't go in excessive details about the first impressions of having an "8527" ready to go. But I hope the notes in this page will be helpful for someone...

Required: a camera! As for other great moments of your life, shoot photos while you open your every set! :-) (including your smiling face while doing inventory, building, testing).

NXT brick and... low batteries!

First, you need six batteries. As always, I only had two 1.5V "low" common batteries and four 1.2V NiMH rechargeable batteries. When I put them in, the NXT brick turned on and gave twice the "start sound" (the first one appeared with a message "LOW BATTERY").

I wasn't able to connect to my Apple Mac (Mac OS X 10.4.7), neither by USB nor by Bluetooth. Sigh!

I also wasn't able to test any motor. The "View" menu correctly reported rotations, but there was insufficient current even to see a little bit the motor running!

Sensors were OK, even ultrasonic sensor was able to show distance. This means that if you do need only sensors (no motor, no connection) then you can have the NXT running even with very low batteries!

First, absolutely first: inventory!

Yes, I placed my rechargeable AA batteries in the charger. Now, it's time for inventory: open the box, open all seals, and begin sorting all pieces (by shape and by colour).

This is not actually needed (I don't have any news of sets coming with missing bricks), but this will help you to "familiarize" with them (for example, mentally giving a nickname: "the ball with a sword", "mom's shoe", "L-shaped arm, "super stick", "black chain", "gray axle", "monster wheels", etc). This will help you for one of the Most Frequently Asked Question To Yourself: "do I really have one of these knibble-knobble axles in my set?!?" :-)

Click here for some hundred projects using Mindstorms!

Disclaimer: yes, I've always been a LEGO® fan! LEGO, the brick configuration, and the minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this Web site.

A few evenings after...

If you just build the TriBot and the suggested variants (Grabber, etc), you finally will think:

  1. great!!!!!
  2. it's time to build my own super robot...
  3. (no, no! let's first try AlphaRex!)
  4. wow! it's even compatible with standard LEGO bricks!

I also built AlphaRex (nice one! but syncing its feet gave me some hard hours, especially when programming it to turn around).

Please note: the thesis of my laurea degree was a "Visual Language Compiler Compiler", that is, a source generator for software like the "Mindstorms NXT" software! :-)

Third party sensors problems

I bought a few NXT-compatible sensors from Mindsensors, and had some problems...

Some information for LEGO® headquarters