The NXTbot.com weblog has been posting a series of reports covering the LEGO Mindstorms NXT system announced last week at the CES show in Las Vegas. The most recent post covers the new Mindstorms programming software.
The new software environment is based on National Instruments LabVIEW, which in many ways should be a big improvement over the old visual programming environment that seemed to hinder robot development more than facilitate it. According to the NXTbot.com post, educational versions of Mindstorms have shipped in the past with the RoboLAB software environment which was also based on LabVIEW. Hopefully that experience and user feedback has been incorporated into the NXT software.
The really good news is that the new software "fully embraces standard Windows interface conventions." Not only will it make the system more robust and easier to use, it should make it easier for third parties to develop additional software, or to upgrade existing systems like NQC and LeJOS.
In addition to the overview and some sample screen-shots included in the post, there are some really interesting comments, requests, and observations being added to the NXTbot.com post comments. We would encourage you to not only read through the comments section, but also to add your own thoughts, experiences and requests. Now's the time before it gets too late in the release process for them to pay attention to what the Mindstorms user community needs.