Monday, February 20, 2006

Mindstorms Education

UPDATED on February 21.

More information on the difference between the retail and educational version of Lego Mindstorms NXT is now available at http://www.lego.com/eng/education/mindstorms/home.asp?pagename=ngm&l2id=4_5.

Here are the key differences mentioned:
  • Rechargeable batteries. These will only be available to users of Lego Education. The Lego Education blog says

    The 1400 mAh lithium battery more than replaces AA batteries that run down quickly and cost so much to replace – it has a minimum capacity of 670% of 6 AA batteries (although you can still use AA batteries in a pinch). It doesn’t take long to recharge, either. Only 4 hours are required to charge the battery from zero to full. And, since it’s a lithium battery, you can partially charge it or leave it charging overnight without having to worry about any negative effects. There’s also an A/C plug in the battery to allow the NXT brick to run from a direct power supply when needed.

  • Instructions and curriculum in languages other than English in 2007.
  • CD-ROMs with 30-hour introduction to robotics engineering, 45-hours robotics project program and 15-hour guided research experiment.
  • Sets cater for 2-3 students, although it is unclear what that actually means.
  • Sturdy storage boxes for the parts with sorting trays.
  • Options to buy additional NXT bricks and sensors. I'm guessing this will also be available for retail versions, but the packinging and pricing may be different.
  • Converter cables out of the box, to connect legacy motors and sensors to the new Lego Mindstorms NXT brick. I believe these will be available as separate purchase for retail.

It is also interesting that they minimize the difference between the current RoboLab and the new LabView software.

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