Fun with Mindstorms

My son recently told me that he was interested in learning to program computers. I am a computer programmer and I was excited to see he was interested in more than just playing games on the computer. But where to start... He's in elementary school and I didn't think that any traditional programming language would be appropriate yet. He still needed to understand that computers aren't "smart" on their own. You really have to tell them everything to do. I investigated Logo and some other kid oriented programming languages, but didn't think they would hold his interest. Then I checked out the Lego Mindstorms. He already loved building with Legos and the graphical programming language was easy for him to grasp. We got a Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 2.0 for Christmas and are both hooked.

Here are some useful Mindstorm links and projects we have built.

Killough Platform A really interesting 3 wheeled robotic platform that can move in all 3 degrees of freedom
Getting Parts Where to buy that cool part to connect a thingamajig to a whatchamacallit
Programming Languages When you want to try more than the graphical language that comes with the RIS
What's NXT The next generation of Mindstorms





Feel free to send comments to me (Steve Appling).