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Spybotics is a Mindstorms robotics subseries by Lego. There are four different sets, each of which includes a Spybot, a controller, a cable, and a software disc. The Spybots are color-coded, and each one has a different set of equipment attached. The software disc allows you program the robots and set up simulated missions for them.
Each of the four sets includes a color-coded Spybot control module, a software disc, a serial cable with an infrared (IR) transceiver at the end, a color-coded IR remote control for the Spybot, and parts to build the body of the Spybot. Each control module contains 2 motors, an IR transceiver, a power button, and various sensors.
Each Spybotics set includes a CD-ROM software disc which allows you to program the spybots.
Spybots are programmed primarily through the mission system, but they can be programmed in a similar manner to the RCX. Most RCX-compatible programming languages can be used. Programs are uploaded to the control module using a special serial-to-IR cable included with the set.
The Spybotics software allows you to create simulated missions for the Spybots. The disc includes 10 preset missions, and more could be downloaded from the now-defunct Spybotics website. Five of the missions are designed for a single Spybot, and the other five are designed for two or more Spybots. Each mission includes a mission brief, set-up instructions, and some settings to make the mission easier or harder. The missions are set up by placing certain objects in the room, which the Spybots will react to according to the program included with the mission.
- Laser Maze
- Command Override
- Gamma Overload
- Energy Crisis
- The Mole
- Critical Countdown
- Robot Rescue
- Circuit Breaker
In addition to these pre-set missions, players can select "Special Operations", which allows them to create their own missions based on a set of nine templates. The templates, as well as the ten included missions, can then be modified using "capsules", which are small subprograms that change a particular aspect of the mission.
The Nightfall Incident
The Lego website featured an online game called "The Nightfall Incident", created by Gamelab in 2002. The player was an agent from the "S.M.A.R.T" agency, which acted as a form of internet police by helping companies regain access to their stolen data or hijacked servers, by using Spybots. This was done by fighting "data battles", which were essentially strategic turn-based games where the player would use their software programs to eliminate enemy software. During such battles, credits could be earned, with which the player could buy aforementioned software programs. The goal of the game was to win all data battles, of which each would be fought in a different "node" in the network, and eventually to defeat the rogue ex-S.M.A.R.T-agent Disarray, who appears to be the one who caused Nightfall (the crashing of the network, after which the game is named).
- Hempel, Ralph. Lego Spybotics Secret Agent Training Manual, Apress (2003), softcover, 197 pages, ISBN 1-59059-091-0.