Gizmodo.com is reporting that retailers will begin taking pre-orders for the forthcoming Lego Mindstorms NXT robot development kit starting April 1st. The system, priced at $249, will not ship until late summer and will be available at Amazon, Target, Fry’s and Wal-Mart. This follows the news from earlier this month that Lego had chosen 100 volunteers from a field of over 9500 applicants to take part in the NXT beta program.
Being one of the 9400 to not make the cut and needing a robot kit fix, I picked up a Vex Robotics Design System starter kit from Radio Shack on Monday. All of the Vex products are currently 50% off, making the starter kit just $150. I’ve only found a few hours to work with it so far but am definitely impressed. My recommendation would be to swing by Radio Shack and go with Vex instead. You’ll be building robots tomorrow instead of 5 months from now, and with the money you save you can pick up extra components like the rechargeable battery pack, additional servos, sensors, etc.