Recently in the LEGO Category

"NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully have used an experimental version of interplanetary Internet to control an educational rover from the International Space Station. The experiment used NASA's Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol to transmit messages and demonstrate technology that one day may enable Internet-like communications with space vehicles and support habitats or infrastructure on another planet. Space station Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams in late October used a NASA-developed laptop to remotely drive a small LEGO robot at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. The European-led experiment used NASA's DTN to simulate a scenario in which an astronaut in a vehicle orbiting a planetary body controls a robotic rover on the planet's surface." More

Using Space Internet to Control Robots

"ESA and NASA have tested a communications protocol that will allow astronauts to control robots from space stations orbiting planets or asteroids. The test marks the way for a trial-run with an astronaut on the International Space Station next week. Last week a Space Station user centre at the University of Boulder, USA sent a command to a NASA laptop on the International Space Station to start a script that controlled the Mocup robot at ESA's ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany. The robot was commanded to move forward and take pictures, which it performed as planned. Mocup is one of the robots in ESA's Meteron - Multi-purpose End-To-End Robotic Operations Network - initiative for future missions to the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies. Space exploration will most likely involve sending robotic explorers to test the waters on uncharted planets before sending humans to land." More

"My Lego tribute to the end of the space shuttle era. Proving that although retired, this machine can still fly, albeit in toy form. The launch took place from central Germany and reached a max altitude of 35000m. A 1600g meteo balloon filled with helium was used alongside a GoPro Hero, Spot GPS and of course Lego Space Shuttle model 3367." More

The X PRIZE Foundation and the LEGO Group today announced MoonBots 2.0: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO(R) MINDSTORMS(R) Challenge. This second annual contest will challenge teams of youth to design, program, and construct robots that perform simulated lunar missions similar to those required to win the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private race to the Moon designed to enable commercial exploration of space while engaging the global public. To further this purpose, the X PRIZE Foundation and the LEGO Group have partnered with WIRED magazine and FIRST robotics to offer a competition that will excite students and their families about the Moon, robotics,and team building.

NASA And The LEGO Group Partner

A LEGO space shuttle headed to orbit helps mark the Tuesday signing of a Space Act Agreement between NASA and The LEGO Group to spark children's interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

To commemorate the beginning of this partnership, the small LEGO shuttle will launch with the crew of the space shuttle Discovery on its STS-133 mission, targeted to launch Wednesday, Nov. 3, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The partnership marks the beginning of a three-year agreement that will use the inspiration of NASA's space exploration missions and the appeal of the popular LEGO bricks to spur children's interest in STEM. The theme of the partnership is "Building and Exploring Our Future."

The LEGO Group will release four NASA-inspired products in their LEGO CITY line next year. The space-themed products will vary in terms of complexity, engaging audiences from young children to adult LEGO fans. Each product release will contain NASA-inspired education materials.

ESA's Rosetta comet-chaser goes LEGO

What does a scientist do to visualise a space journey? Build a model, of course. A model of Europe's Rosetta comet-chaser made out of LEGO(R) blocks started out in this small way and has grown into a high-fidelity Rosetta Lander Education Kit. Engineering and art students of the University of Rome gathered yesterday to test the prototype of the Rosetta Lander Education Kit. Not only did they build the LEGO MINDSTORMS comet lander, they also learnt why ESA's mission is travelling all the way to Jupiter's orbit to rendezvous with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. More.

Cheaper, Better Satellites Made From Cellphones and Toys, Wired

"Instead of investing in their own computer research and development, engineers at the NASA Ames Research Center are looking to cellphones and off-the-shelf toys to power the future of low-cost satellite technology. The smartphone in your pocket has about 120 times more computing power than the average satellite, which has the equivalent of a 1984-era computer inside. "You can go to Walmart and buy toys that work better than satellites did 20 years ago," said NASA physicist Chris Boshuizen. "And your cellphone is really a $500 robot in your pocket that can't get around. A lot of the real innovation now happens in entertainment and cellphone technology, and NASA should be going forward with their stuff."

The X PRIZE Foundation, the world leader in incentive prizes to drive innovation, and LEGO Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of play materials for children, has announced the twenty finalists for MoonBots, a global educational contest. Using LEGO bricks and MINDSTORMS components, the challenge requires teams of students to create simulated lunar rovers similar to those competing for Google Lunar X PRIZE, a competition that will award $30 million to privately funded teams that explore the surface of the Moon with innovative robots. More than two hundred teams from sixteen nations registered for MoonBots and completed the requirements of the first phase of the competition, which required both in-depth research about lunar exploration as well as the use of Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software to mock up a lunar robot.

This Rubik's Cube solver was designed and programmed using an ARM Powered Android Motorola Droid mobile phone, a LEGO Mindstorms NXT and lots of yellow LEGO technic pieces! Come and see the Speedcuber at ESCsv2010 The Android App running on the DROID uses the phones camera to take pictures of each face of the cube and sends the solution to the LEGO NXT controller via Bluetooth.