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Mindstorms Explorer

Custom desktop client for the LEGO Mindstorms NXT robots

  • Project Details

    • Year

      2018

    • Category

      Desktop, Hardware

    • Technologies

      Electron, Node.js

LEGO Mindstorms NXT, released in 2006 is a robotics kit with a programmable central unit, motors and sensors along with the conventional Technic LEGO pieces. The official programming environment that comes with the kit is called NXT-G, it is not only a graphical environment to program the robots but also a collection of tool to support working with the NXT. Unfortunately, in recent years this software is no longer supported since LEGO is focusing on the successor of the NXT, the EV3.

I personally really like the whole NXT ecosystem and since they are still working perfectly it would be a waste to through away these bricks, sensors or motors just because of the lack of software support. Fortunately, LEGO released some precious official developer documentations about the NXT, so the community can create their own software that works with the NXT. This is what I did as well, Mindstorms Explorer if a cross-platform desktop application based on Node.js and Electron that can connect to the NXT with a USB cable or Bluetooth. The user can manage the files on the brick, view the screen, control the motors or plot the sensors’ values to a chart.

Note:

  • Although the app does work in my local development environment, it is not ready for public release. I plan to review the app and push this project further later.
  • LEGO, the LEGO logo and MINDSTORMS are trademarks and copyrights of the LEGO Group.

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