The NXT is a robotic kit that released by LEGO in 2006. The purpose of the NXT is to be educational base for the youth to understand the basic concept of engineering and design. In fact, it is also can be used in the higher education, According to Dr.Chen Yuan Chen, the NXT can help computer engineering student to learn programming cycle (link).
The main component is the NXT intelligent Brick or the computer. This brick controls all the inputs and send orders to the other parts. This brick has a small LCD display and 4 buttons that can be used to navigate the user orders. It has a micro-controller with 256KB of flash memory and 64 Kb of RAM. And, power is supplied by 6 of 1.5 V battery. It also has 4 numbered input ports which control the sensors, and has 3 lettered output ports to control motors. You can control sensors and motors by plugging in them into the ports on the brick, and then writing programs on the computer then download it through a USB cable to the brick.
Another important components are sensors. There are more than 10 sensors such as color sensor, light sensor, touch sensor, compass sensor, accelerometer sensor, rotation sensor, Bluetooth communication sensor. Also, there is the rotation sensor, which is actually a motor. Each one of these sensors has a port, which can be connected to the main brick by special cable to send and receive information.
It is very easy to program it. There are 2 ways to do that. First, create the program by using the menu on the NXT Intelligent Brick. Second, the more complicated programs and sound files can be downloaded from the computer by using a USB port or wirelessly using Bluetooth. NXT-G is the program that is using to program the brick. The NXT-g is a graphical programming environment that comes bundled with the NXT. Also, there are a lot of lessons on different websites, one of the best is http://www.nxtprograms.com/. it shows you how to do the robot from the level zero until you finish it.
I have been using this kit since I was in the 10th grade. I like it because I can bring my ideas to reality. For example, I built a LED wand clock. The wand is carrying tiny lights (LEDs) at its top that creates the rare display. As the wand whips through space, the LEDs shimmer at megahertz speed so that you see their light but cannot see the wand. The result – you see a complete image magically suspended in midair.
Another implication that I used it in is following a line. It sounds easy, but it is not. First, we had to design a car by using LEGO bricks. We had to create the best design for this task. We became with the most efficient mechanism design, which is making the robot has 3 wheels, two in the front and one in the back. Second, we had to program it in the smartest way. And that can be done by having a program connected to the design of the robot. We used the Zig-Zag motion, so the robot is moving forward such that the right wheel works while the left stops just for a moment. Then the left works while the right wheel stops, and so on.
In Addition, I used the NXT to make a first model of Electronic checkpoint. It was a system that helps people who travels in boarder to have easy and fast document check. For example, the border between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain becoming too crowded in the holidays. Some people might wait about seven hours to finish the document check. The problem was that the officers are too slow. And from that I had an idea to make the whole system change to be electronically. Basically, the traveler would go to an electronic check point which will take the information of each passenger and the information of the vehicle. Then, he will be free to go.
Finally, a lot of people have a lot of interesting ideas that they use it in the NXT , and they some of them can be found here. Also, their interesting videos for some projects such as LEGO mobile bridg , LEGO 360° Milling Machine, Robot Sumo , Lego Gun and LEGO Factory.
1- AN INNOVATIVE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT LEARNING CYCLE
BY LEGO NXT FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION- http://www.ijicic.org/ijicic-10-10001.pdf
2- Fun Projects for your LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT, http://www.nxtprograms.com/
3- Awesome Projects for your Lego Mindstorm NXT & EV3 , http://www.onemindstorm.com/
4- LEGO mobile bridge, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pslLoNkiL0
5- LEGO 360° Milling Machine, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF0pMILT7_Y
6- Robot Sumo Is Real Sumo! , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIYMAymGzdI&list=TL4J3IT8IU6Uk .
7-Lego Gun, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoDPF_zMZF0
8- LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Factory, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nehqrqN0c9o