Lego NXT and Tetrix

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Got a great comment from a friend as I was about get to Vex. There is a new system called Tetrix which are essentially stronger metal components that are compatible with Lego Technics and NXT. That means you can build big metal structures and still use the NXT and program it. What a great idea! Where can you get it?

  • Pitsco makes the system and their base set is $400 and it is just the metal parts. 500 of them 🙂 Y
  • Tetrix and Mindstorms Starter Set with the NXT. Seems like the best buy. Get both the NXT 2.0 system which has the plastic parts and the NXT brain and then there is the Tetrix metal components. The pricing seems decent, but mainly there is free shipping and no sales tax.

The NXT STEP – LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Blog: Details of FTC Kit

The Tetrix pieces are very strong – and the variety is awesome. They’ve developed a really nice little hole pattern that gives a LOT of flexibility for connecting Tetrix AND Technic pieces as many angles. They have a special name for the little piece that allows connection between the two but I cannot seem to recall it (another item for my To Do list). This piece is required because, as I understand it, the law of the land is “LEGO pieces shalt not touch its unpure metal brethren”

Pitsco About Us

What gives the Pitsco TETRIX™ Robotic Design System an edge over other robot building systems is – of all things – its holes.

The system’s patented hole pattern enables structural pieces to be connected at many angles, not just 90º and 180º. “To get creative with it is very easy because of the way it is connected,” said Paul Uttley, Pitsco Research and Development Manager and TETRIX designer.

Pitsco designed the TETRIX system for the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), which includes TETRIX in its 2008 competition kit.

“We wanted a true robotics prototyping platform that would allow us to challenge teams with problems faced by real-world robotics designers,” said FIRST Tech Challenge Director Ken Johnson. “The strength of the building materials, the ability to configure and reconfigure the kit multiple times, the metal gears, all work together to form a kit that is tough and flexible.”

Made of heavy-duty aluminum, the structural pieces come in shapes that lend extra strength to the system. Plus, metal gears and strong drive motors and servos provide above-average power to robots.

“This system enables students to experiment and build robots on a real-world scale,” Uttley said. “They are working with structural elements like those they would use if they were a robotics engineer.”

Students can operate a TETRIX robot by remote control or they can add other electronics to create an autonomous robot. The TETRIX Base Set comes with 600 parts, including structural pieces, servos, motors, wheels, and hardware. The included user’s guide covers building robot subcomponents, leaving students’ imagination to discover how to reconfigure and combine these into their own unique robot design.

And in January 2009, robot builders can use the unique TETRIX hole pattern to attach the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Intelligent Brick, sensors, and any other LEGO® Technic element to the TETRIX system via a custom connector.

Learn more about TETRIX or call 800-835-0686. Learn more about the FIRST Tech Challenge.

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Note to media: Visit the Pitsco Web site or contact Communications Manager Tom Farmer. High-resolution images of the TETRIXTM Robotic Design System are available upon request.

Pitsco About Us

And in January 2009, robot builders can use the unique TETRIX hole pattern to attach the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Intelligent Brick, sensors, and any other LEGO® Technic element to the TETRIX system via a custom connector.

The NXT STEP – LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Blog: Details of FTC Kit

Anyway, as you can see, you get about 100+ aluminum parts (I believe the name they are giving to these components is Tetrix, but don’t hold me to that). In addition, you get the NXT Education Base Set, 3 software packages (NXT-G, RobotC, and NI LabView), 2 Li-Ion battery packs, 8 wheels (2 different sizes), numerous gears (some about 1/4″ thick), remote control, 8 motors (2 distinct types), 5 NXT sensors, special connectors for connecting Technic to Aluminum (see photo), and 2 special devices from HiTechnic that connect the electronics to the Brick

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2 Replies to “Lego NXT and Tetrix”

  1. Would it be cheaper to purchase the two kits separately.. I’m not a math genius but

    Tetrix =400$
    Mindstorms Starter Set with the NXT = 279$
    —-
    679$ total

    Compare that to the duo kit for 897$ that’s almost a 200$ difference.

  2. Good point. Wow, I think I got ripped off. I think the only possible explanation is the Mindstorms starter set has less stuff. At least I hope so!

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