CHAPTER 1In the Beginning

LEGO launched the MINDSTORMS NXT in the fall of 2006, but our story really begins eight years earlier in the fall of 1998, when LEGO introduced the first MINDSTORMS kit: The Robotics Invention System (RIS) with the Robotic Control Explorer (RCX) programmable brick (see Figure 1-1). It represented the evolution of five decades of modular construction techniques from LEGO, with years of computer-based education methods from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Figure 1-1. The Robotic Command Explorer (RCX) circa 1998

LEGO had been producing construction toys since the late 1940s, starting with the familiar ...

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