National Instruments and Lego Group on Tuesday announced
a software update for the Lego Mindstorms NXT robotics system. The new 1.1 software — which is powered by National Instruments’ LabView programming environment — supports Intel-based Macs.
Lego Mindstorms NXT lets users built programmable robots using Lego building blocks that can respond to light, sound, touch, measure distances and more. It’s all done through the NXT, a “brick” that connects to the Mac using USB or wirelessly via Bluetooth, and can accept programs or upload data.
The software itself employs a graphical, drag-and-drop interface that enables users to program the NXT brick using “blocks,” each of which performs a specific function, such as moving the motors, displaying a message, detecting a sound or measuring a distance.
Lego Mindstorms NXT is available as a kit for $249; additional pieces and parts are also available.