Rabid LEGO Mindstorms fans finally have a date to circle on their calendars for hitting the company's website and breaking out their credit cards -- April 1st has been announced as the start of pre-orders for the highly-anticipated new NXT robotics set. We first spotted the revamped kit, which had extensive design-phase input from select members of the Mindstorms community, back at CES, where we managed to capture a video of one of the many possible creations doing its thing. As you'll recall from our past coverage, NXT bots use non-traditional stud-less LEGOs, Bluetooth-enabled 32-bit controllers, and three precision servo motors for a much more powerful and flexible tool set than previous offerings. Despite their steep price compared to regular packages, LEGO obviously expects NXT kits to develop a devoted following similar to their predecessors -- buyers are limited to five of the $250 sets during the initial pre-order.

[Thanks, Tom W.]

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LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit available for pre-order April 1st