A Swarm of Dancing Robots: How to control several NXT LEGO® MINDSTORMS® thanks to NXT2WIFI

Posted by openPicus | On: Dec 13 2012
Some of you will remember that a few months ago we celebrated a successful crowdfunding campaign that allowed Daniele Benedettelli – a legendary LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics expert and a maker from our community – to start the production of the mighty NXT2WIFI​​ for LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT.As you may know NXT2WIFI ​​is a bridge that allows control of NXT LEGO® MINDSTORMS®  based robots directly from an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), Android or whatever wi-fi and browser enabled device.

Finally, after having started production, having created amazing tutorials and kicked off user support, Daniele had a little time to play with his creature.

From the very beginning, the idea behind the NXTWIFI has been to facilitate remote control of NXT LEGO ® MINDSTORMS ® robots and, in particular, to be able to manage a “swarm” in a synchronous manner, which has never been really possible in the past with LEGO ® MINDSTORMS® NXT robots: you could manage only four, with one master and three slaves via Bluetooth.

Now that’s finally possibile! Watch this incredible video that Daniele sent us, in which a swarm of robots dance on a tune by Sergei Prokofiev:

In this beautiful video Daniele shows how, thatks to NXT2WIFI it is possible to send broadcast UDP commands to all robots in range and control their moves in a beautifully synchronized manner to create complex choreographies. As Daniele told us days ago:


 “I wish I had such device when I worked as a researcher at the University of Siena! At that time, there was the LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX. The only way to communicate with the brick was the flaky infrared system. But imagine what you could do now!“ 

Here follows a video of a previous work, you can see how only four items were involved:

The powerful Flyport communication stack multiplies the power and flexibility of the NXT interface. It is easy to see how, with the opportunity to communicate in a more intelligent way with the robots in real time, new incredible scenarios are literally at your fingertips, such as those relating to the creation of swarms of coordinated or cooperative robots.

Buy your NXT2WIFI, build your NXT LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Wi-Fi enabled robot!

1 Comment

  1. John Simon says:

    It’s nice to see these toy robots being Wi-fi enabled. When this particular technology gets perfected, they can be sent out to build parts of an infrastructure that would be dangerous to work unto.

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