Are Lego robots?

by Chante

I've seen some lego robots toy kits where you can build and program a robot. Are those the real thing? If not, how different from real robots are they?

Sebastien's answer

Hello Chante,

Lego Mindstorms Robots?

Yes, the Lego robots are "the real thing". They are called Lego Mindstorms, or Lego Mindstorms NXT (for the second edition actually).

These are like standard Lego sets but with electronic parts. So you keep the original idea of Lego blocks that can be reused a million times, and then add some sensors and micro-controllers to the whole thing.

So you can build almost anything from simple line followers to very advanced robots, the only limitation may be the processing power.

On top of that, Lego made a big effort to make everything as easy as possible: from building to programming. You can build you robot using regular robot Lego blocks combined with Lego Technic blocks and electronic blokcs. Programming is also about block building (at least for beginners).

Lego Mindstorms Projects

Some advanced Lego Mindstorms Projects I have seen is a Rubik's cube solver or a Lego Builder (it can build picture in 2D with Lego blocks). You can find the instructions for the Rubik's cube here.

This last link points to another good point of Lego Mindstorms: there is extensive documentation about it. So it's really easy to get helped to build your own Lego robots on the net.

So Lego robots really are robots. They can feel their environments with a large choice of sensors (bumpers, color camera, sonar...), they can interact with objects and can make advanced tasks like playing soccer.

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