Categorized | Tech Talk

A fun way to get your kids interested in programming and robotics

Posted on 20 August 2011 by Michael

Let’s face it. Kids love robots. Robots and puppies. But since this article isn’t about puppies, let’s delve into the robots thing for a bit and discuss what’s quite possible the coolest Lego set to come out since the Lego Pirate Ship Barracuda was released back in the early 90’s .

I’m talking of course about Lego Mindstorms.

Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is the latest in a series of Lego sets that teach the basics of robotics and programming. It is the only Lego set to feature a programmable brick, known as the NXT Brick, which allows kids to control the movement of their creations.

Pretty cool huh? If only they had this when we were kids.

The NXT 2.0 set itself consists of 619 pieces, including color, touch and ultrasonic sensors, 3 servo motors and the NXT Brick. It’s capable of Bluetooth connections with a computer and up to three other NXT Bricks.

These sensors allow you to do just about anything imaginable. You can build a robogator, capable of snapping its jaws at unsuspecting fingers, a shooter bot that launches balls at various targets, a color sorter that can distinguish between different colored balls, and just about anything else you can imagine.

Let’s see the Pirate Ship Barracuda try any of that.

The Lego Mindstorms NXT robotics building set gives your child an educational and fun experience.

Not all that creative? Don’t worry, there are tons of books available online and at your local bookstore that feature a whole bunch of ideas for things to build. Just follow step-by-step pictured instructions and you and your child are all set.

Learn Programming

The programming of the NXT Brick is pretty straightforward. It’s all GUI(Graphical use interface. Think your windows OS.) based. The programming language is NXT-G and it’s all included in the box. Download it onto your computer and open it up. It’s simple drag and drop environment.

While extremely educational, Lego Mindstorms also makes for a great family experience as well. Think back to your own childhood. For those of you who had Lego sets growing up, remember how much fun you had building it for the first time with your mom or dad. Why not create those same kinds of happy childhood memories today with your son or daughter, while at the same time, giving them an educational experience helping them better prepare for their future.


Science and technology are the careers of the future. The best thing about Lego Mindstorms is that it gives your child a solid foundation in subjects like engineering, computer science and physics, not to mention it’s just a really fun and cool way to let loose your creativity.

Legos are great at sparking the imaginations of children and teaching them how to turn those images into Lego brick masterpieces. Dump a bucket of Legos and watch their eyes lighten up in excitement.

So if you’re looking for a way to introduce your child the wonderful world of programming and robotics, or you’re looking to for a fun and creative way to bond with your child while educating them at the same time, Lego Mindstorms might just be what you’re looking for.

And, unlike a puppy, you don’t have to feed, water and pick up it’s messes everyday either.


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  1. Not your fathers Lego’s anymore | New Electronics Guide Says:

    […] Lego sets are way more technologically advanced and intricate then anything I ever owned. Take the Lego MINDSTORMs set for instance. With this set you can build AND program yourself just about any type of thing you […]

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