LEGO Mindstorms NXT Alpha Rex building instructions / plan

January 22nd, 2012 | by Sean |

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Alpha Rex

I bought the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 recently and was a bit disappointed to find that it didn’t come with printed instructions to build Alpha Rex – the robot on the box art. I searched for the instructions all over the web but couldn’t find them. The building instructions are available from within the Mindstorms software as a kind of Flash animation (I think). I don’t use MS software (all PCs Ubuntu at the moment), but recently acquired a ‘WorkAtHome’ licence for an ill-conceived project at work that depends on Excel. I looked through the installed files to see if there was any content in an accessible format but again found nothing useful.

The file below is one screenshot per page of the LEGO Mindstorms software running on a Win7 guest on VirtualBox on Ubuntu. I used Shutter from http://shutter-project.org/ (install Shutter from your Ubuntu repository with this APT link) to take the pain out of capturing the first 73 screenshots. You can define a snapshot area with Shutter and ‘refresh’ the screenshot with Ctrl-F5 after clicking ‘Next’ in the Mindstorms software. Shutter creates a new file with the next screenshot in the series.

My brain was blank when the time came to convert the set of images into a PDF, so I used gvim to convert the ‘ls | cat’ list of file names into a LaTeX file and XeTeX to produce the PDF. Here’s a sample of the head of the AlphaRex.tex file:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[a4paper,landscape,top=0cm,bottom=0cm,left=0cm,right=0cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\begin{document}
  \noindent
  \includegraphics[width=\textwidth]{Selection_002.png}
  \includegraphics[width=\textwidth]{Selection_003.png}
  \includegraphics[width=\textwidth]{Selection_004.png}

And here’s the PDF – use either evince or Adobe Reader to open it.

AlphaRex.pdf (8.4MB)

Alpha Rex arms (8.9MB)

Alpha Rex head (1.4MB)

Alpha Rex colour sensor (459kB)

I expect there’s a copyright issue of some kind with providing this content. Hello! This is not my work. I copied the images from LEGO’s software which I obtained by buying the NXT 2.0 8547 set. Please do not attempt to send me money even if you believe I have helped you. I don’t want to be extradited to a country with psychotically oppressive copyright laws, communal prison showers and obese oversexed convicts. I am too old and too lightly built. And I haven’t finished building Alpha Rex. I will happily remove the PDF if someone can provide me with an URL for LEGO’s version of the Alpha Rex instructions. I’m a lifelong LEGO user and frankly a bit miffed that the only way I can access the media I thought I’d bought is by acquiring a MS product.

OT: It was much quicker to create that PDF than it was to work out where to change my Apache/PHP config so that WordPress didn’t give me the ‘Maximum upload file size: 2MB’ (or 8MB) problem. The pages I found on the Web about this issue related mostly to people using WordPress on shared hosts: I use a comfortingly reliable Xen VPS from XenSmart. I eventually found an Apache-specific config file here: /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini – simply increase the limit in upload_max_filesize and post_max_size somewhat larger. I see a lot of suggestions to have matching limits or even upload_max_filesize larger than post_max_size. That strikes me as odd, given RFC2388. Am I missing something?

Update 23rd January 2012: should have put a bit more effort into looking. The build instructions for the box art models have been screen-capped (I guess) and posted on DropBox – see this forum post:

http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=54141&view=findpost&p=1153643

That archive also contains the program files for the NXT.

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  1. 10 Responses to “LEGO Mindstorms NXT Alpha Rex building instructions / plan”

  2. By Miriam Heppell on Apr 5, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for posting this blog on Lego Mindstorms Alpha Rex, really helped frustrated 12 year old son and we printed a copy. Why Lego can’t do this I don’t know. We have reported their software keeps crashing. Have also downloaded Dropbox file too.

  3. By petit on May 22, 2012 | Reply

    gros lu

  4. By Daniel on May 26, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for your contribution, It helps a lot.

  5. By SSN on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Hello Sean,
    thanx so much for posting the instructions for Alpha Rex for the 8547 kit. my son was disappointed too that the box did not come w/ those instr. you save us a lot of hunting & phone calling. :-)

  6. By nxt on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    thank you,
    it was nice

  7. By William on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Sean,

    Thanks so much for going through the effort to post up the instructions, you’ve made life easier for my ten-year old son and we greatly appreciate it.

    Wish there are more civic minded folks like you around, this world would be a much better place!

    Regards,
    William from Asia

  8. By Michael on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Sean,

    Using your instructions to build the Alpha Rex, as we speak.

    Thanks for your instructions!

    Michael (Australia)

  9. By Sven on Dec 12, 2012 | Reply

    Vielen dank, war mir sehr hilfreich!!

    Best regards from Germany ;))

    Sven

  10. By Rolf on Dec 25, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for your work.
    Well done.

    Best regards

  11. By DonaldTinlin on May 16, 2013 | Reply

    thanks so much bro im a struggling high school student and im really grateful for these instructions helped my grade a ton

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