Friday, March 03, 2006

Lego Announces 100 MDP Chosen out of 9610 Applications

Lego announced today that for the Mindstorms Developer Program, the 100 participants have been selected. It also said that 9100 people have selected, with ages ranging from 35 to 75 years old, coming from 79 countries. About 50% of the applicants was younger than 35.

The 100 selected people will focus on one of three aspects:
  • software and hardware development;
  • inventions and creations;
  • community.
Personally, I would create an invention like My First NXT Project, to develop software in libraries for all to use in different ways, and write about that on my blog. This seems to go right across the categories.

The announcement also raises some questions. So far, not everyone has who that applied with Lego, has received either a “congratulations” or “sorry” note. Is that notification delay purely of a technical nature, related to the quantity of notes to send out?

In the press release, Lego indicates that the units are shipping now to the MDP participants. Lego will accept selected changes to the product until just one month before launch.

As a side note, Lego intends to provide ordinary batteries with the kit to MDP participants. So it appears that the rechargeable battery kit that comes with the educational NXT may not to be ready for shipping yet. If Lego wanted the MDP kit that they sent out to be cost-efficient, they would ask participants to buy their own batteries. Within the 100 selected MDP participants, there are teachers. Lego would want to hear from them how they feel about the new rechargeable battery pack. The pack also has a wall socket, which would have allowed testers to run the robot software for longer test periods.

Overall, if the pre-launch interest is any measure, Lego should have a huge success on their hands with Lego Mindstorms NXT.

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