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Lego Robotics

Updated on November 9, 2013

Lego Robotic Resources

Robots are everywhere, yeah! Many companies see the value in building robots for the home. iRobot is building hobby robots, vacuum robots, gutter cleaning robots and military robots.  My favorite robot is the Lego Mindstorms NXT robot and it is winning a lot of awards.

There is a nice collection of visual presentations available at on the NXT robot and programming environment. Be sure to stop by the NXT STEP blog and the NXTasy web site for the latest information on the NXT robot. These are two great sites that can be used to keep up with NXT news and information. Of course I need to keep my normal Lego building skills up to date. Check out my latest creations over at

FLL teams check out TechBrick for 2011 competition resources.

Lego Mindstorms NXT Class Lessons/Projects/Challenges

Ideas on NXT curriculum.

People are starting to publish free information for educators to help provide instructions on the NXT platform.

My Lego Dragster Challenge Idea:

A touch sensor must be used to initiate the burn out sequence. The dragster must re-stage itself behind the black line with out any help. Failure to stage is a disqualification. The dragsters will respond to a voice command to start the race. First to the finish line, with out loosing parts is the winner. A black line can mark the finish line and sensors must detect it to stop the robot. Students can use up to 3 motors. Students choose their gear ratios and wheels. Only Lego parts allowed.

Robot Competitions - Test your skills!

I will be starting to teach elementary school students in February how to build and program Lego robots so they can practice for FLL in the Fall.

Lego Mindstorms NXT

The NXT robot is a nice upgrade to the previous Mindstorms RCX product. The kit contains new sensors that were not previously available, for example an ultra-sonic sensor, a sound sensor and a light sensor that can detect color. The New motors also integrate rotational information within the motor where before a separate rotation sensor was required.

The programming interface is nice to work with and I like the added capabilities. I just started training some Elementary schools students on this platform and it will be interesting to see how quickly they learn to build and program this robot.

Lego Mindstorms Sensors, Parts and Pieces

Find the extra parts and sensors you need by using the resources below. I have used the Lego Educational store many times to buy extra gears and special pieces. I have also started beta testing sensors for

Mindstorms NXT Books

WARNING! Some books have building instructions which require parts that are not part of the standard NXT kit. Others have parts packs which can be picked up from the Lego store.

Can Legos be Organized?

It can be done.

Stanley makes some great products which help to keep my Legos organized. The organizers have removable bins that simplifying the building process. The thin unit has 25 shallow bins and the large unit has 10 deep bins. I currently use 2of the 25 compartment and 5 of the 10 compartment units to organize my NXT and RCX MindStorms parts.

Amazon Carries these Organizers

Batteries and chargers from Amazon

I use nickel metal hydride batteries in my robots but research the best brands of batteries and chargers. Charging the batteries to fast will shorten their life. Jeff Atwood has a nice write up about batteries.

La Crosse Technology BC700-CBP Alpha Power Battery Charger
La Crosse Technology BC700-CBP Alpha Power Battery Charger
This is the new one and has the capability to charge, discharge then charge, refresh old rechargeable batteries as well as test them. This is a cool product that helps us know the state of our most important robot asset, power.

Applied Robotics - Robotic solutions

The hope has always been that robots will take over or simplify the work that we have to do. Below are a few examples.

Be Prepared in Case We Get Good at Building Artificial Intelligent Robots - Remember Terminator 2?

Vex Lego Hybrid

Combine the best of both robots.

The metal pieces that come with the Vex kit are a bit limited, and since I started with Lego, I prefer the solutions I have used in the past. The teeth of the Vex gears match Lego gears. For the picture next to the text, I took a flat lego piece, lined up the Vex and Lego turntable gears then I drilled holes in the lego flat piece to match up with the Vex metal pieces. I then completed the front steering by adding additional Lego pieces to add support for the front axel. In addition to the turntable gear, Lego even has slip differential gear kits, gears which allow for better robot drive behavior.


Please let me know if you would like additional resources placed on this lens which would make it more valuable. If you have time, build your own Robotics lens and share your knowledge.

Visit my Lensography for a look at other lenses I have contributed to the Squidoo community.

Thanks for your time,



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