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Toys

Lego Mindstorms AT-AT 113

cybercuzco writes: "Lego has just released a new mindstorms add-on that lets you 'create a fully operational Imperial AT-AT walker.' Pictures and specs are available here. The price is rumored to be $99, so start saving your nickels."
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Lego Mindstorms AT-AT

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Somehow I don't think there'll be rebel-scorching LASER CANNONS attached.





    But by golly gee, if there are... who do I have to kill?
  • Posted by DRAGONWEEZEL@HOTMAIL:

    Ok, so you put a few extra dollars into this kit, buy a couple of 6.5 megawat lazers to replace the lego "swords" and then, you got your self an awesome toy!!!

    DW

  • by Brian Kendig ( 1959 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @09:11AM (#704857) Homepage
    The 'Dark Side Developer Kit' ('http://guide.lugnet.com/set/9754 [lugnet.com]') has been out for a few months now. The central component of the kit is the LEGO Micro Scout, which is the same component used in the R2-D2 'Droid Development Kit' ('http://guide.lugnet.com/set/9748 [lugnet.com]'). The Micro Scout isn't nearly as customizable as the LEGO Mindstorms RCX unit, but it's still fun.

    If you've got deep pockets, get the Mindstorms base kit and add 'Vision Command' ('http://guide.lugnet.com/set/9731 [lugnet.com]') to it. Vision Command comes with a small USB video camera which can be programmed to watch for movement in various 'zones' of its field of vision; what it sees is sent to your computer via USB, and then your computer can send that information back to the Mindstorms RCX unit via infrared. The result is that you can make a robot which turns its head to watch you as you walk in front of it (as in, make it turn its head to the right if it sees motion to the right of center), or which can orient its gaze on anything it sees of a specific color. Very cool!

    If you're interested in LEGO at all, check out the Lego Users Group Network at 'http://www.lugnet.com/ [lugnet.com]'. They have discussion groups for everything from robotics to train sets, they link to set instructions and CAD programs and information on programming the Mindstorms RCX in Java. Also, there have been two books published (one by O'Reilly) about building robotics with Mindstorms.

  • I agree.
    I clicked on the link, willing to be talked into blowing money on a new toy, but I was not about to update Junkbuster's cookie file just for this.
    The idiots are costing themselves customers. I would understand requiring cookies in some sort of shopping cart system once I had chosen to add the item to a cart. But just to check it out?

    Forget it.
  • AT-AT? Nay, I want a Mindstorms BattleMech! Sort of like these [cyberramp.net], but with motors and programming capability. And working lasers, of course! =)
  • I saw this the other day at K-Mart, and it was around $100. They also have a new (non-mindstorms) series of Star-Wars Technic sets that are designed to be models. The X-Wing is fantastic (about 2 feet long), but weighs in at $150.
  • I see. Yoda was just a burnt out FORTH programmer.
    --
  • Kind of the way that Mercedes-Benz is an average car in Germany but roughly twice as expensive in the US.

  • Have you considered checking major on-line toy stores? I haven't checked, but I'd be surprised if someone like Toys'R'Us didn't ship abroad.

    Obviously toy stores maybe aren't going to be as cheap as direct purchase from Lego, but it may be cheaper than buying locally.

    ~Cederic
  • I thoguht the images were really intersting, but I thought that it was really annoying that YOU HAVE to accept a cookie from this site before you can view it. It is not like this is a secure site. Even Doubleclick does not make you accept a cookie to view there ads. Hey portols don't make you accept cookies unless you want to log in and that includes slashdot!

    What makes this site 'require' cookies? That really pisses me off and I don't think it is worth going back to see again. There was nothing on that site that I required a cookie being set on my system.

    On another note. If you are into robotics this is probably a really neat toy for you to get.

    Sure and this is where someone calls me a troll and moderates me down. Remember this thougth. Cookies are used for tracking visitors. Doubleclick has devised a way of tracking visitors and knowing where they are located in the US based on there IP address and using the cookies to see if they are a repeat visotor at another site that they are serving ads at. Or to put it more simply. You visit here site once. You get a cookie. The next time you visit a site that has ads served by doubleclick your cookie is checked. They now know what type of sites you like to visit. They know where you are by IP address and depending on the site that you are visiting and weather you have an account and the privacy policy they could have all sorts of information and they do!

    Hey I am not using Mozilla M18 with the new cookie tool so that I can go to a site and have them set a cookie (like mindstorm) just because they want to access my system. I have a right to reject cookies. If you want to refuse my viewing your site because I reject your cookies you have that right too. But when there is NO benifit to me to accept your cookie then you loose page views. Your loss not mine. And yes I did delete there cookie after viewing the page.

    Hmm ever wonder how much info slashdot has about you? They have every article that you ever posted against, every article you clicked on, if you have an account, whoa..... Okay I'm not parynoid, but....

    I don't want a lot, I just want it all!
    Flame away, I have a hose!

  • by TA ( 14109 )
    The web site just says that you have to have cookies enabled to access it. Now I wonder what they want that for. No way I'm visiting sites with such ridiculous setups, bye-bye lego.
    TA
  • I'm saving my money for that fully operational death star they are working on.

    (I think I'll spring for the redundant power supply option though...)
  • Um, that means the rest of the legs would keep trying to move, which is just as bad! Try this instead:


    int i;

    struct leg {
    unsigned int status; /* 1=OK, 0= Damn Rebels */
    unsigned long odometer;
    unsigned int rebelSquishCount;
    unsigned int running;
    } theLegs[4];

    int stopLegs(void) {
    int i;
    for (i = 0; i
  • That just had to happen... *sigh*


    Um, that means the rest of the legs would keep trying to move, which is just as bad! Try this instead:


    int i;

    struct leg {
    unsigned int status; /* 1=OK, 0= Damn Rebels */
    unsigned long odometer;
    unsigned int rebelSquishCount;
    unsigned int running;
    } theLegs[4];

    int stopLegs(void) {
    int i;
    for (i = 0; i < 4; i++)
    theLegs[i].running = 0;
    return 1;
    }

    void gpf(void) {
    sing("Daisy");
    while (1) {
    justSitThere();
    }
    }

    for (i = 0; i < 4, i++)
    if (theLegs[i].status == 0)
    if (! stopLegs(i))
    gpf();
  • No, Lego don't win either: they lose a lot of potential sales.
  • Actually, some languages with C-ish function call syntax, such as Perl, allow parameter-less functions to be called without parentheses. From the explicit then statement, it's obvious that the OP is not using C.

  • Of course. C is the programming language of the Dark Side of the Force; all good Jedi Knights are expert FORTH hackers. This is why we don't see many of them nowadays...

  • The blurb commented on the "steep" price - $99 US. Well, I recently decided to buy a Mindstorms set for my 12 year old brother, to see if I got him interested in programming. (He is already an avid Legoer, and has a lot of engineering potential...) On the Lego web site, I found one which looked good - only $60 too. Problem is, I'm in Brazil, and they don't seem to ship overseas. So I go shopping, and I find out that they don't sell this set here for less than R$280, which is about 150 dollars!

    After some research, I found out that these kits are also ridiculously overpriced in many other countries outside of Western Europe-US-Japan. This is really too bad; there is a big market of hacker-larvae around the world who would kill to get one of these, if only they could afford it. By limiting their market like this, Lego are causing a situation where no one wins.

  • by Kaufmann ( 16976 ) <rnedal AT olimpo DOT com DOT br> on Sunday October 15, 2000 @05:07AM (#704873) Homepage
    The Imperial R&D Department, in the basement of the Death Star...

    Clinko Palpatine, age 12, the Emperor's nephew and head of development, is working on the control software for the new AT-AT model...


    > IF legs == blocked, THEN stop walking

    A few days later - the AT-AT, sent into battle, falls into a trap...

    TYPE MISMATCH: legs is of type LIMB, blocked is of type BOOLEAN
    FATAL ERROR: stop walking is not a known function
    TOO MANY ERRORS
    SEGMENTATION FAULT
    DISACTIVATING UNIT


    With programmers like clinko running the thing, it's no wonder the Empire lost!
  • Maybe because people post inflammatory advocacy messages without bothering to provide any proof for the points they make?


    --
  • Personally, im[sic] dismayed at such a level of irresponsibility from such a distinguished company.
    Me, too. So I grudgingly turned my cookies on, fired up the site, found their feedback email address, saved it off, shut down Netscape, flushed my cookie jar (changing cookies.txt's attributes so it "opens" with Win32 Emacs, then made a shortcut to it so I can do this quickly next time... but I digress), re-fired Netscape, and fired off a salvo in their general direction as to just how offensive this was and that I was dropping Lego from my shopping list and urging other parents to do likewise.

    Perhaps if they get enough of these notes they'll wise up... after all, Shopping Season is close upon us.

    services@lego.com [mailto] is the address to bug'em yourself. Yes, I know this is liable to slashdot'em. Serves'em right, IMHO.

    I'm a big fan of parental responsibility; what your kid sees and does on the net is YOUR problem. But when I can't get in to have a peek and make sure the site is legit because someone insists on shoving a cookie down my craw, it rather sticks there. Yeah, yeah, there are other ways to track, but my inside addresses are NAT'ed and my outside one is part of a huge ISP's block, so a whole lotta damn good that's going to do them... but nooooo, Lego isn't satisfied with a good generic demographic, they want it ALL...

    Well, they shall get none from me.

    --
    "If you don' like it, you can kiss my furry little butt!" -- MiB

  • Really? We can witness the power of this Fully Operational AT-AT?

    Who would have thought that the first affordable blaster would come from Lego! Now mindstorms ust need an X-10 interface and I can set a cadre of these to guard my house...

    Kevin Fox
  • $199 for the base + $99 for the AT-AT * 48 = $14.4K... No wonder you didn't get the raise.. ;)
  • Sure, they're very intimidating... but all you had to do was throw one grenade through that eye window in front and it was done for... or funnier yet, simply get those legs twisted up and they instantly toppled. Why on Earth build a vehicle with enormously long legs that invariably do nothing but topple the whole thing if they get snagged.

    I'm much prefer that giant quadrangle thing the guys who collect robots had. You weren't going be tying any strings around that thing.
  • Here's the space fungi thing you're referencing.

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/10/02/191229 &mode=thread [slashdot.org]
  • Turbolasers and all? Mischief night might get a bit more fun with one of them! (Egg doors? why not blow 'em in!)
  • ...Sony Aibo ripoff! I would love to have a lil pet to put together, with most of the same feature set of the original Aibo's. I would actually just like an Aibo that I can *afford now*, but that seems unlikely given their $1500 price for the dog, $170 for the Energy Station, $100 for the Lithium Ion Battery. This doesn't include the price on software for it or anything else. Check out Sony's pricelist for the Aibo at Aibo's Pricelist on Sony's site [aibo.com]. Even if it were only half the price of the Aibo's, it would be a step in the right direction.
  • Check out a two-legged walker here [uwa.edu.au].
  • by mihalis ( 28146 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @05:17AM (#704883) Homepage

    Oh come on, it's not as if the rest of the Star Wars universe had been scrupulously checked for engineering consistency and then the AT-AT ruined it.

    It's the feel that's important with George Lucas films, and Empire was among the best.

    Can you imagine the Star Wars series with strictly plausible plot devices? :

    R2-D2 plugs into a power socket instead of a data port. When his circuit breakers are reset they have to completely reinstall him from cd and get the data from backups, which takes all day.

    Han Solo gets frozen in carbonite. When they defrost him he's only good for feeding to Jabba's pig-like guards.

    R2-D2 heads off into the desert to find Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke easily finds him 20 ft. away bumping up against a rather tricky step and feebly wiggling his little front leg trying to climb.

    Luke finds Obi-Wan, the last Jedi in the universe who survived the slaughter of his entire order. Unfortunately he threw away both his and Anakin's lightsaber many years ago to avoid being identified and now smokes a bit too much wombat resin and only answers to the name "Bob".

    etc etc

    see?

  • "comp.lang.forth has been talking about a Forth logo ... an anime Jedi warrior girl, scantily clad."
    --Chuck Moore

    Let's see a camel or a cup of coffee compete with that!

    --------
  • by Janthkin ( 32289 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @04:47AM (#704885)
    This isn't really a mindstorms expansion; it's a new set, using their Scout microcontroller (handicapped RCX: only 1 motor, only 1 light sensor, but intergrated into the computer brick). I fully expect that the normal mindstorms users could build this sans the kit (provided either a) you don't mind using yellow and red for your AT-AT, or b) you have lots of grey parts). We'll find out in a few hours, though!
  • And, they could also be a violation of the new COPPA law. Follow me here folks, these passages are from their own privacy statements:

    What if I don't accept the cookie?

    You still can participate in many of our online activities. However, if a LEGO Cookie is not present, it may limit our ability to customize and deliver a better online experience and improve our features.

    Does LEGO.com Use Cookies?

    Yes. When we ask to add a cookie to your computer, we are not collecting personal information, but the non-personal information that we do get helps us give you a better online experience.

    Non-personal responses collected during a guest visit are used to help us make sure that our products and our communications to our guests are responsive to their interests. We hope to be able to continue to make the LEGO World Wide Web sites interesting and entertaining for users of all ages, and to ensure that we continue to make the kind of products that children love and parents trust.


    Now, if cookies arent required, why cant you even get into the home page, without accepting them? If they arent using them to track info on users, why the barrier to the home page? If they are using it to track users, then they arent making people aware of it. And, furthermore, I would assume that may be their aim, otherwise, why require a cookie?

    And, if that is the case, and they are forcing children at browsers to accept the cookie, they could be in violation of the United States COPPA law. Personally, im dismayed at such a level of irresponsibility from such a distinguished company.

    Bah.
  • NO, you're not reading the error message correctly. It doesn't say, "No Cookie" -- it says "No Wookie". Any idiot knows that you need a Wookie to compromise Imperial security!

    ----
  • Big freakin deal. I'm 27 and play with my Mindstorms. Who cares? My g/f don't care, and my coworkers join in when I get a new box, so who cares? It's like the guy in the commercial... jump's through the kid's slip-n-slide with his suit on! Live a little!

    I just hope when I'm 70, I can glue some pieces together and make myself a lego cane! Yep, an old fart still playing Dead Milkmen in the car...

    Rader

  • ...is make the ball/socket joint an "official" part.

    What do I mean by this?

    Go buy one of the ThrowBot kits. In each one of these kits, there is one, sometimes two, springy throwing "arms", that allow you to flick the included disks. These arms (as well as some specialized pieces) have a knob "ball" end that snaps into a socket, to allow you to position the arm just about anywhere.

    Now, the sockets are nice - pretty standard style pieces in the LEGO fashion. But the ball arms that fit are anything but standard. The hard plastic ones are shaped weird, and are hard to use in anything but these ThrowBots. However, the soft plastic, springy throwing arms...

    See the ball on the end? It is attached to the rest of the arm by what? That's right! A short length of cross-axle! Cut the ball off, leaving the cross axle attached, and then it becomes VERY versitile - allowing you to extend it with other axles, attach gears, etc. - the movement is kinda stiff, but a little sanding of the ball with 120 grit and some silicon oil will loosen it up some, allowing you to make great walking machines or any other creations that need such a joint.

    I wasn't the one who first noticed this, someone else did - but this is a part they need to make standard (instead of making us cut up LEGO pieces). A standard ball and socket joint - for making walking machines and other things (right now, in order to do something similar, you esentially have to build with universal joints (weak), or use you own system (bulkier, and heavier UJ style constructs) in order to build walking bots).

    I support the EFF [eff.org] - do you?
  • The problem with getting other kits is that you have to only make use of the grey or black parts to make sure they blend in right. [I've actually debated on buying another Dark Side kit just so I wouldn't have so many damned yellow and blue parts that I never use.

    In messing about with another kit that I got late August, I mounted a catapult to the top of my AT-AT, and it fires after taking a few steps forward. [a worm gear kicks a block out of the way, which releases the arm to fire]

    My problems right now, however, is that it slowly tears itself apart [after each firing, you need to retighten a few parts to make sure it's still solic], and the catapult partially obscures the light sensor, so I can't quite use it for an alarm system at work [damned flourescent crappy lighting]
  • by kaphka ( 50736 ) <1nv7b001@sneakemail.com> on Sunday October 15, 2000 @06:38AM (#704891)
    TYPE MISMATCH: legs is of type LIMB, blocked is of type BOOLEAN
    FATAL ERROR: stop walking is not a known function
    Oh, come on, that could never happen. I'd bet my bantha that the Empire programs exclusively in Ada [tuxedo.org].
  • I bought the R2D2 set from Toys R Us since it was on sale for $50. It is by no means part of the official Lego mindstorms set. The scout core(just like on the ATAT) only has a light sensor, and 1 motor that can go forwards/backwards. I should have saved my $50 towards a real mindstorms setup. I do like the new 10 and 20 tooth gears though. Good for making new transmissions.
  • AC wrote:
    I dont give a flying fuck about online music, I dont give a flying fuck about politics, the cuecat, freshmeat, anime, starwars or lego. This site blows harder than it ever has

    Well, what topics do you like, and on what online forum do you discuss them? If we're all crying for decent topics to discuss, perhaps you'd like to let us in on your secret.

    While you're at it, why did you hang around this long? What makes a site like this interesting is the selection of topics. Complaining about it tends to make the powers that be try to please everyone who complains. Trying to please everyone leads to the sort of corporate least-common-denominator pap that nobody likes.

    So, in order to engage in conversation that you like, you need to engage in conversation that you like and ignore the rest. That helps the rest of us, who don't mind discussing the topics that you dislike so intensely.

  • You can have all but the Ewoks. Chewie, Leia and Han are all available in the Millenium Falcon set retailing at US$99.
  • Some website developers (like me) use cookies for session state management, and not devious Mind Control techniques.

    A touch more secure than querystrings if you don't have PHP or ASP to do the hard work for you.
  • Doppler effects on stars, quasars, etc.

    Measuring the movement of the ship relative to interstellar medium and dark matter.

    Would say inertial tracking, but if acceleration is zero, than that wouldn't work. Inertial memory would be a close enough approximation, though (just have the computer remember the accelerations that the ship had gone through, vector sum them up, and calculate the needed counter-acceleration vector to neutralize).

    What about some sort of galactic GPS system? Time beacons are used in Star Trek, so the idea of a grid of beacons would not be far-fetched (for the Star Trek/Wars worlds, of course). Just use Doppler measurements on the signals (this assumes that the beacons themselves are stationary, of course).

    Of course, on the flip side, most of the time anyone asks for a complete stop is in orbit around something, so there is a point to declare the ship stationary to (whether it is a planet, an anomoly, another ship, a star, yada yada yada). I really can't remember any Star Wars/Trek episode where a complete stop was ordered in the middle of deep space.

    As well, let's say that a complete stop is called in the middle of deep space. So what if the ship is moving a little bit? Rest assured, between our sun and Proxima Centauri, sixty miles an hour is rather insignificant; perhaps it would be called "pseudo-stationary". As well, as long as the ship wasn't accelerating, the velocity would not be a problem; you and the ship are moving the same velocity, you would think that the ship is stationary. Anything that would need a complete stop to do (repairs, investigation, commercial breaks, etc) could be done at a constant velocity just as easy (remember, "at rest" is the special case of constant velocity where constant velocity = 0).
  • Er, "normal" accelleration? I am not sure I follow that. I will assume, from your "crushed when the ship" comment, that you believe "normal" accelleration (a) is when 0 < a < 10g; that is normal acceleration is between nothing and about 10 times Earth's gravity. This is a misconception; acceleration is simply the change of velocity over atime. Acceleration can be as high or as low as the force can be generated.

    In Star Trek, the main reason the ship crew and officers don't become smears on the opposite wall is because ships are equipped with inertial dampers - devices that nullify the effects of extreme acceleration inside the ship (kind of impossible, by most Newtonian physics. See also - reactionless drive). Other sci-fi books assume that the warp bubble that the ship rides distorts the space around it, but doesn't warp the space inside it - the end effect being that since the stuff (crew) inside the bubble are not accelerating with respect to the space inside the bubble, they do not undergo any acceleration. Babylon 5 and Star Wars never exceeds 5g, and use hyperspace (with little acceleration) to transverse long distances. Joe Haldeman's "Forever War" uses statis chambers to hold the crew from rupture during hi-g manouvres.

    As for the multi-dimensional sensor, it wouldn't be a problem. Most nuclear submarines have two-dimensional inertial trackers, which monitor accelerations forward-backward and starboard-port. The creation of a three-dimensional tracker is left as a exercise for the reader.

    I agree with your interpretation of the captain's orders, and you see how few Americans would understand some of the complex ideas (such as "no coffee breaks" and "no cowboy stuff").
  • mindstorms.lego.com and www.logitech.com are the only two sites that have absolutely refused to let me in without cookies.

    Guess which two sites I'll never visit again?

    -=-=-=-=-

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @07:12AM (#704899) Homepage Journal
    Just chmod your cookie file to be read-only. Works like a charm. Your browser accepts all cookies until you shut it down, but it never writes them. When you shut it down, they all go away.
  • Let me preface this by saying:
    1)This is a serious post...not intended as flamebait.
    2)I never owned my own lego set as a child, although I always wanted one.

    What is the fun in getting a mindstorm kit like this AT-AT. It is so specialized... I never much liked the specialized (non-mindstorm) lego kits either. I'd much rather have a generic building kit, or different sets of generic building kits. But they always seemed hard to find. There were lunar lander kits, and castle kits and what not, but a plain generic set of assorted rectangles was hard to come by.

    I suppose you could cannabalize these specialized kits for your own projects. Is that what you guys like to do?

    --Scott
  • What its got the blaster cannons and everything ?...

    Wow .. gotta get me one of those!

  • ...and the == true part is a bit redundant too.
    ...and what language uses both double equal signs and "then"?
    ... and where are the parentheses? Have they changes operator precedence since "a long time ago"?

    if (walk.status && (check_distance() == 0))
    walk.stop;

    Now we're getting somewhere (no we're not)

  • It wasn't a power socket, was it?
    I always figured it *was* a data port, but the shock came from the stormtroopers blaster?
  • What fascinates me in both StarWars and Trek is the concept of a complete halt of a starship. When the falcon or the enterprise stands still in space, against what are they measuring their speed?
  • Inertial memory? Yes, but since these future vessels hardly uses "normal" accelleration (or everyone would be crushed when the ship entered hyperspace/warp speed) I guess you would need some multidimensional inertia sensor. Intresting thought...

    Actually, the typical standstill scenario involves a planet and at least two vessels.
    "Captain the alien vessel has halted above the planet"
    "Full stop! Hailing frequencies open! Ready with the blasters!"

    I interpret this as
    "Captain the alien vessel has entered a geostationary orbit around the planet"
    "Move our ship into a similar orbit! (a rather complex manouver that severly limits the number of available attack angles on the alien vessel) No coffee breaks at the radio just now damnit! Yeah and the same goes for you blaster guys and please no cowboy stuff this time. I'll tell you when to blast aliens and not"

  • I want a fully operational Death Star
  • The goal of an AT-AT is indeed to intimidate more than anything else. I don't think it has enough firepower for its size and probable cost. Also its defence really sucks. I think that it would need a couple of Phalanx guns on its back.

    But about the design, I think that it's not so unrealistic. If feet are heavy enough, then the legs should not get snagged. It would take some pretty solid trees to block those legs. If the ground is not all even then it doesn't matter because the feet sink in the ground. The only problem is detecting soft ground. Slopes wouldn't be a problem unless they too were soft.

    All in all, I think it's a good vehicle. I think that a tank is better, but if you need a vehicle that size, it's acceptable.
  • Sheesh, that AC wasn't even me... and sorry about that, I wasn't really trolling, I just wanted to compliment the first poster on his web site, but... guess I offended some people. Sorry!
  • You bastards! Quit baiting me! arrrrrrghhhh....infinite...troll...loop.......... must....divide by zero......

    *poof*

  • R2D2 and C3P0 (who first of all must really be named R2D29T5Y67U4FP9763 and C3P044H2RT559 since droids scurry throughout the Empire like cockroaches) are blown up in the escape pod in Ep. IV since the Emperial Starfleet has no reason to conserve one blaster shot after letting loose like a John Woo film in the first 5 minutes.
  • Well, if we're getting picky, its REALLY more likely to be R29T5Y67U4FP9763D2 and C344H2RT559P0, since we know R2D2 is an "R2 unit". Speaking of which, if a bunch of astrodroids are R2 units, why is R2D2's nickname "R2"?
  • When I read the note (I'm not going to the site because they demand cookies without any valid reason), the question came to my mind:
    Does "Fully Functional" include working weaponry.
    This in turn, reminded me of the filk song (Science fiction folk -- don't ask me where the 'i' comes from) called "My murderous little toy"
    The Murderous Little Toy
    Words: Mike Roberts
    Music: The Marvelous Little Toy: Tom Paxton

    When I was just a wee little lad, my Daddy brought to me
    A toy he made down at the lab; it filled me full of glee!
    A wonder to behold it was, with many buttons bright.
    From the moment that I turned it on, it filled us all with fright.

    Chorus:
    It went ZAP! when it fired; it cursed when it missed,
    And whirred as it took aim.
    It didn't know if we were friend or foe:
    It attacked us just the same.

    Curiosity killed the cat, and the dog was next to go.
    The parakeet beat a fast retreat, as the wall began to glow.
    A turret turned, some bullets fired, and the TV was no more.
    My friends, you should have seen it as the napalm hit the floor.

    Chorus

    It broke each window down the hall, and then I heard it laugh.
    I must admit, I chuckled when it cut my brother in half.
    My sister made it to the stairs, when it caught her in the pants.
    My daddy had the shotgun out but he never stood a chance.

    Chorus

    It fired two mortars at the wall, and when the smoke had cleared,
    I looked all around for my murderous toy, but it had disappeared!
    Then I saw it leave through watered eyes; the tear-gas smelled so sweet.
    Things weren't too good for the neighborhood, as it ambled down the street.

    Chorus

    Well that's the last I ever saw of my murderous little toy.
    It might be dead but I hope it's not, `cause it filled me full of joy.
    They say it reached the Bearing Strait, and crossed the icy flows.
    The Russian Army ain't killed it yet, but it keeps them on their toes.

    Chorus

    Well, the years have gone too quickly now, and I've my own little boy,
    And just last night I told him `bout my murderous little toy.
    I recognized his crafty look, I could almost read his mind.
    My son has grown up like his dad, `cause he wants one just like mine.

    Chorus

    oh yeah: stolen and reformatted from: another fan site [rmit.edu.au]
    `ø,,ø`ø,,ø!

  • I saw it in a store on Saturday. now I have to save my pennies to buy a Mindstorm kit and this work of art. If only lego had student discounts ;)
  • I want a lego set which emulates Meccano. Yep - for all those who haven't a clue what meccano was, go play with your lego, or anything else for that matter... Ah, those heady days of bolting together bits of metal with holes in them whilst listening to the buggles or madness on the radio feel like yesterday ! Lego - well, you can't bend a piece of lego to get it to do what you want, but it seems that you can make a small nuclear reactor powerfull enough to supply the average non-american household with it these days. Kids just aren't the same any more, for one, they are anywhere between 0 and 50 and for another, they just don't have the same values anymore, the little blighters ! Stick your lego where the sun hasn't shone yet and give me a shiny new set of meccano - it had motors before lego had even considered it !
  • I sometimes get the impression that there are far too many rich bored americans on the planet. Whilst the rest of us are battling with everyday life, some geek who gets payed far too much is building a replica of a robotic vehicle from an overated movie out of bits of plastic that kids play with and then somebody reports it as news. Oh boy, is there any hope for us !
  • ... Remember the semi-recent Disney move, "Flubber"? Heh.. I want a Lego set that can build a little hovering creature like Weebo. That little flying mushroom just absolutely rocks. I wonder if anyone has managed to add flight capabilities to a Lego Mindstorms set? I suppose the little RCX brick could be used to control the servos for a model airplane, but I haven't heard of it being done....yet :)

    Blue Neon - A delightfully insane online comic [keenspace.com]

  • Actually, they're probably named 9T5Y67U4FP9763R2D2 and 44H2RT559C3P0. Not that they're any more likely to be one than the other, but the leftmost digits are likely to be similar across droids - which droids came from which production runs, etc. Then again, C3P0 was built singlehandedly by Anakin, so why would it even *have* a serial number?
  • I normally browse with no cookies set (except slashdot and e-mail) and when I clicked the link, it gave me an "Incorrect Access Permission" page. I personally don't like the idea of forcing people to accept cookies for marketing data.
  • In the spec sheet, I see that the thing that controls the AT-AT is called a Microcomputer(TM).
    Do they feel bad that Lucas owns almost all the other trademark on the product that they had to come up with their own?
    As they say in wrestling, "Is that legal?"

    ---
    "And the beast shall be made legion. Its numbers shall be increased a thousand thousand fold."
  • If they are using it to track users, then they arent making people aware of it.

    Ummm... the only thing they could possibly track is your IP address, unless you filled out some form somewhere with more personal information. Or unless they're correlating your IP address with a Doubleclick database somewhere...

    And, furthermore, I would assume that may be their aim, otherwise, why require a cookie?

    There are resaons to use cookies besides attempting to determine the identity of users. They're pretty handy in gathering stats about how long people visited your site. They're also good for storing preferences--for example, the Lego homepage might detect your browser type, store that info in a cookie, and use it to deliver code throughout the site that (hopefully) won't freeze your browser.

  • by mtDNA ( 123855 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @10:30AM (#704921) Homepage
    The Lego Mindstorms systems are slick, but a major problem is that Lego hasn't been very forthcoming with information about how to write custom software for the system. I use Linux, so Lego's out of the box programming tools are useless.

    Luckily, a lot of effort has gone into reverse engineering the Mindstorms Brick. Russell Nelson has a lot of good information at http://www.crynwr.com/lego-robotics/ [crynwr.com]

    I have been working on a Java toolkit for programming the Brick, and for manipulating it interactively. My kit, called RCXComm, can establish serial connections with the RCX brick via the IR port, and can handle packet communications, upload programs, send messages to active RCX Programs, as well as a few other things. The RCXComm classes can be used as standalone software, but they are really intended for incorporation into other applications.

    Java tools for playing with the RCX are available at: http://www.popbeads.org [popbeads.org]

    If you use the kit, I would appreciate hearing any feedback you have.

    Incidentally, Java classes for decoding CueCat scan data are also available at http://www.popbeads.org [popbeads.org]

  • ... Drool Wait, why does it only barely resemble an AT-AT?
  • Because it's made out of legos, dipshit. Welcome back to earth. Wait, this [lego.com] looks right, as does this [lego.com]. There is no reason they couldn't have made it look really good, *and* still function as a Mindstorm product. If they did that, I imagine more people would buy these overpriced toys.

  • although I had to pay $120 for it at FAO in New York. anyway, right now my AT-AT model is perched on top of my computer monitor. I never really had a lot of trouble getting it to walk.

    And for those people who say that the lego "developer kits" aren't true mindstormes because they use the Microscout controller... just wait. Sometime within the next 3-6 months, LEGO is going to release hardware to allow you to program the microscout (but only up to 15 instructions *sigh*). I remember reading about this on a LEGO reverse engineering site, but unfortunately I didn't bookmark the link.

    If you've got $100 to spare, and already own some mindstorms sets, it's a good set to buy.... Otherwaise, I'd suggest saving the money for one of the Hyperdetail sets that LEGO just came out with.
  • As they say in wrestling, "Is that legal?"

    "I shall make it legal!"

    I'm sorry, but that had to be said.
    So, when are these things going to be available to us non-Americans?
    Maran
  • What fascinates me in both StarWars and Trek is the concept of a complete halt of a starship. When the falcon or the enterprise stands still in space, against what are they measuring their speed?

    One might guess that they would be moving in the same way as a celestial body would be moving, if it were where they were.

    Alternately, you can use the largest object near you for a point of reference, or the largest object over a certain size which is within a certain distance, et cetera. A planet is a good point of reference at times; At others, a star is quite handy. If you happen to be near a large asteroid field, I suggest the Death Star over Alderaan.

  • In addition to the AT, they also have some new vision stuff that I haven't seen before, so that you can add a camera to your robots.

    Does any one know if this is supported under Linux ?

  • by DeXtR ( 154814 )
    he said "start saving your nickels", haha how optimistic, im getting 99 bucks with nickels in now time now charlie... btw, yes that was a pesismistic remark, not the sickening mind-wobbling persistance to pertrane accuracy in the reports... *clears throat* duh... :)
  • Remember, this all took place a long, long time ago. People had not yet learned the use of the double equals sign.

  • Heck, I have cookies enabled and it still gives me the error!
  • Now all I need is a lego Chewie, a couple of Ewoks, and I'll free Leia and Han from their perilous situation in LegoLand!! =)

    "Nasdaq crashed this week... guess it must've been running on Windows 2000." -Dennis Miller Live 4/7/2000

  • geez! keep it quiet! here..take one of these fully functional ATAT walkers and keep quiet about our cookie plot to take over the world by having personal information about everyone!

    Of course...the best idea is to leave cookies enabled and use someone else's computer and let lego track their personal information.


  • by fjordboy ( 169716 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @05:11AM (#704933) Homepage
    A fully operational AT-AT walker? does that mean I can shove about 30 stormtroopers in it and take over a military base with it? Fully operational and for only 99 dollars? I am gonna buy 20 of them and take over microsoft by force!


  • By limiting their market like this, Lego are causing a situation where no one wins.

    Are you sure this is Lego's fault and not the result of tariffs imposed on imports, or perhaps lack of competition in the local retailers? I can't imagine why Lego would shoot themselves in the foot by deliberately overpricing their products in foreign markets.

  • Lego really should have an option to buy just the drawings to make all these cool vehicles and stuff. Through 20 years of buying Lego, I have more than enough parts to build any kit they have come up with so far, perhaps except for a few very specialised parts. Wich they come up with a bit to often for my taste.

    I remember 15-20 years ago, when I got my first kit, the yellow forklift. The steering had to be made manually from the 2x2 rotating plates and some 2x2 bricks. Sure, it didn't look quite as slick as all the new models, but you could build anything with what you had. Not like today; trying to build one of the newest kit strands because there is some odd-loking twisted part you don't have. . .

    Anyway, they should sell just the prints for building the stuff. . .


    ---
  • Why on Earth build a vehicle with enormously long legs that invariably do nothing but topple the whole thing if they get snagged.

    A very good question. This problem was originally discovered by Imperial cadet Davin Felth whilst in initial training. Colonel (later General) Veers had the simulation logs classified and Felth ushered away to a low-profile trooper unit that ended up on permanent station in Tatooine - those AT-ATs were his entire career.

    Reference: Beason, Doug (1995) "When the Desert Wind Turns: The Stormtrooper's Tale" in Star Wars: Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina (Anderson ed.) published by Bantam Spectra. [Yes, it's official canon]

  • Dad: Obiwan never told you what happened to your father, did he?

    .........

  • I'm 22 and I'm getting back into Legos! They're really nice for helping you see things in different ways and polishing logical and visualization skills. Plus, the Destroyer Droid Technic model looks really cool.
  • : AVOIDTRIP ( -- )
    legs blocked? IF stop walking ! THEN
    ;

    This assumes that legs and walking are I/O ports of some kind and stop is some control bit pattern. The operation of blocked is obvious (ie @ BLOCKFLAG AND)

    TWW

  • Yoda was just a burnt out FORTH programmer.

    FORTH programmers don't burn out; they just factorise until they slip through your fingers.

    TWW

  • What is wrong with you guys? The AT-AT's were government vehicles, so naturally they were programmed by the most incompetant lowest bidder they could find. The code probably looks like something microsoft would shun.

    10 REM AT-AT DRIVER
    20 GOTO 10

    /end sarcasm
  • Hey, I resemble that remark! And I'm Canadian.

    Nerds don't "battle with everyday life". Nerds play. Life sucks less when you play.
  • What would scare me is the fact that the empire regulation data ports, and empire regulation power sockets have the exact same interface!

    Maybe I ought to wire some of the RJ-45 ports in my office for 220 just to prevent any unauthorized laptops or droids from haX0ring my network.

    Last thing I need is R2D2 mounting some open SMB share.

  • Son: Daddy Daddy! Can I get that for my birthday?
    Father: Son, that costs lots and it says ages 11-13.
    Son: I DONT CARE!!! BUY IT DADDY BUY IT!
    (Father buys toy)

    Two weeks later:
    Dad: So how are you enjoying that mindstorms set?
    Son: I don't know, but when i click on done, the freekin think goes bloop blee bloop then nothing happens!!




    ------------------------
  • by Daemosthenes ( 199490 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @07:55AM (#704945)
    This [mit.edu] is probably scary enough to guard your house without being fully operational.

    Look at the size of those things...(and you wonder where Lego gets its ideas)


    - - - - - - - - -
  • I said it first! Look at the third post!! (it's at the bottom of the comment.)
  • Wouldn't they be great for ransacking the office? Don't get that pay raise? Imagine your boss's fear when he sees 4 dozen AT-AT's maruading towards the office.

    Or maybe he'll just kick them.

    Either way it would be cool.

    And you could call it a beowulf cluster too.

  • >I dont give a flying fuck about online music, I >dont give a flying fuck about politics, the >cuecat,
    > freshmeat, anime, starwars or lego. >This site blows harder than it ever has.
    >

    Then why do you ever read it? You silly, silly person.

    That's like buying a game magazine and complaining about their being so much #$%#$% coverage of games.

  • I wouldn't worry - their cookie handling is so screwed up that it is not RFC compliant and only works on a small subset of browsers - I just tried (my browser accepts all cookies by default, I clear out periodically) and it told me I need to accept cookies!

    Ho hum :(
  • I'm building my set now and plan to test how space worthy it is in a couple of months. My main concern is how space fungi resistant they are. I don't want to be battling the Ewoks one minute and cleaning the interior of my death machine the next.

    On the other hand, if they could arrange a chance meeting between my newly acquired instrument of destruction, and Jar Jar, then I just might put up with it.
  • Screw AT-ATs! Where the hell is my working Mindstorm Lightsaber?!?
  • by clinko ( 232501 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @04:43AM (#704958) Journal
    I want one of these just so i can wrap up its legs in dental floss and laugh when it falls over.

    I'm no super programmer or anything, but you would think the programmer of the walkers in the movie would add something like:

    "IF legs == blocked, THEN stop walking"

    That's of course if they were real.
  • by Anne Marie ( 239347 ) on Sunday October 15, 2000 @05:44AM (#704960)
    Or imagine your wife's (or if not married, your accountant's) fear when she realizes you've spent $5000 to menace your boss with little bits of plastic.
  • how about

    int i;
    struct leg {
    unsigned int status; /* 1=OK, 0= Damn Rebels */
    unsigned long odometer;
    unsigned int rebelSquishCount;
    } theLegs[4];

    for(i=0;i <4;i++) {
    if(theLegs[i].status == 0)
    { stopLegs(theLegs[i]); }
    }

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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