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In the MAKE open source gift guide we included the LEGO NXT, one of our readers (dwahler) was concerned that LEGO wasn’t actually releasing the firmware as open source as promised, so – I found out the scoop straight from the source (no pun intended).

Soren Lund, head of NXT at LEGO Denmark sent me the following –

“We encourage the community to tinker with our MINDSTORMS NXT Robotics toolset – also outside the traditional user scenarios. That is the thinking behind the Developer Kits (DK) we have published on our web site. Here you will find a Software DK, a Hardware DK and a Bluetooth DK. In the various MINDSTORMS communities you can see how the community has used the DK’s to create new exciting robots.

We have also announced that the firmware in the NXT will be Open Source. The release of the Open Source files has unfortunately been a bit delayed but we still plan to release them before Christmas. It is a big step for LEGO to go Open Source with some of our material and we ask for a bit more patience. We hope it will be worth the wait.”Link.

Hope this helps anyone who is considering the NXT for future hacking – should be in the next 30 days. Thanks LEGO for responding so promptly.


  • LEGO Mindstorms NXT – Link.
  • LEGO projects – Link.
  • Open source gift guide @ MAKE – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.

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