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LEGO has officially announced that the firmware for the NXT will be open source. In addition, they will be releasing developer kits for hardware, software, and bluetooth. From the press release:

  • The Software Developer Kit will include the NXT driver interface specification and necessary tools for creating third-party programming environments. 
  • The Hardware Developer Kit will provide the schematics and detail for the NXT 6-wire digital connector system, enabling the community to design and develop third-party sensors that can interact with and control the NXT motors and intelligent brick. 
  • The Bluetooth Developer Kit will detail the Bluetooth protocol embedded in the NXT microprocessor, allowing users to create applications for any Bluetooth device that them to communicate with MINDSTORMS robots.

 

The source and kits will be available on the Mindstorms website starting August of 2006. Soren Lund, director of Mindstorms NXT says:

“When we launched the legacy MINDSTORMS platform in 1998, the community found ways to do these things on their own, and we were faced with the question of whether to allow it, which we decided to embrace and encourage. Now, given the strong user base and versatility and power of the NXT platform, the right to hack is a ‘no brainer.’

Finally! A big company that’s embracing the Maker ethic. Three cheers for LEGO!

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