LEGO MindStorms EV3 Set to Teach Programming Skills

By on February 7, 2013

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Lego might have had drama surrounding their new pink line of toys, but they haven’t backed away from their core either. Case in point would be their newest announcement, the introduction of LEGO® MindStorms EV3. The new line of so-called “smart toys” was shown at CES 2013 and is being promoted as their newest attempt to introduce the line to the younger generation. The platform is marketed towards robotics enthusiasts. The new line of programmable robots that will feature more room for hacks and speak in their owner’s native language, will come out this summer. The line will be sold at most big retailers at the suggested price of $349.99. You can read the full press release down below.

Wow, I had no idea that they had such a product line (bonus points were just earned for Lego in my mind). I will admit that I am not the biggest follower of Lego, so it is nice to learn of these new kind of products. I will say that I am not sure what age group they are targeting with this niche. It seems like older kids, teens and even adults would get the most out of it. However, since they do stress about a younger generation, it will be interesting to see how they will market it in the near future. I could see this being big among a certain niche of younger kids, but I do still expect that the older generation will get far more out of it than kids under 10.

How do you feel about this news? Will the line be as success at reaching the younger crowd or not? I think to a certain amount will, but I don’t see this taking place of regular Lego building sets. They will still have a long way to go with this one before that will ever happen in my eyes. As for the full press release, here it is.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW, LAS VEGAS (January 7, 2013) (Virtual Press Office) — – Today The LEGO Group announced LEGO® MINDSTORMS EV3, a new platform for consumer robotics designed to introduce a younger generation to the excitement of building and programming robots while adding new flexibility for its devoted following of robotics enthusiasts. Unveiled for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 is the result of three years of product development by an international team of LEGO designers, MINDSTORMS user-enthusiasts and leading technology experts. LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, available in summer 2013, will be previewed to members of the global media at Digital Experience! on January 7 and will be demonstrated to CES attendees during the Kids@Play Summit, January 8-11, 2013, in the Venetian Hotel.

When LEGO MINDSTORMS first launched in 1998 it was regarded as the first real “smart toy.” Fifteen years later, The LEGO Group has redesigned MINDSTORMS to excite and challenge an audience of children who have grown up with technology, many of whom are more proficient in commanding and controlling mobile devices and other technology than their older siblings and parents. Furthermore, the audience for consumer robotics has grown considerably, leading the team to focus on simplifying the experience for a younger user while making it more flexible and powerful for hobbyists and other enthusiasts.

The entire MINDSTORMS system is powered by the new EV3 Intelligent Brick. Stronger and faster with more memory and a larger processor, the EV3 Intelligent Brick now un-tethers robots from the computer by providing users expanded on-brick programming and tighter integration with smart devices. A new infrared sensor will give builders more control over their robots than ever before, adding more personality to the robot as it follows the builder or other devices. New Linux-based firmware, a USB port and SD expansion slot will offer nearly unlimited programming and expansion capabilities. Additionally, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 will also include full iOS and Android compatibility out of the box.

At launch, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 will include building instructions for 17 different robots such as “Everstorm” a Mohawk-sporting humanoid that shoots mini-spheres as it walks, “Spiker” a scorpion-like robot that searches for an IR beacon “bug” or “Reptar”, a robotic snake that slithers, shakes and strikes, all designed to excite and inspire children with the endless possibilities of consumer robotics. To jump-start the fun, The LEGO Group has created a series of “modular builds” designed to help children begin programming and playing within minutes. Builders can then add LEGO Technic® pieces, additional motors or sensors to change the functionality of the robot. A “mission pad” included with the box adds a new element of game play and encourages children to compete against themselves in a series of obstacle courses for the robots they build and program. Marking another first in the company’s history, MINDSTORMS EV3 is the first LEGO playset to incorporate 3D building instructions, made possible through collaboration with Autodesk. An innovative spin on The LEGO Group’s hallmark nonverbal, step-by-step building instructions, the new 3D instructions app, powered by Autodesk Inventor Publisher, allows builders to zoom in and rotate each step in the building process, making it easier than ever to assemble even the most sophisticated robot.

“Fifteen years ago, we were among the first companies to help children use the power of technology to add life-like behaviors to their LEGO creations with the MINDSTORMS platform,” said Camilla Bottke, LEGO MINDSTORMS project lead at The LEGO Group. “Now, we are equipping today’s tech-literate generation of children with a more accessible, yet sophisticated robotics kit that meets their tech play expectations and abilities to truly unleash their potential so that they may surprise, impress and excite the world with their creativity.”

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 is the most international robotics platform the company has ever developed. In response to a growing demand from emerging markets, for the first time MINDSTORMS will be released with native language editions for Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Spain and Denmark in addition to the English, French, German and Dutch language versions available today. The company assembled a multinational team of product designers and enthusiasts to create the new MINDSTORMS platform; product designers from across Europe and the U.S. worked together to develop the software and hardware for three years while a core team of 12 user-enthusiasts from Greece to Canada have been testing the limits of the platform and working on apps, models, and hacking environments.

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 will be available at most toy and discount merchandise retailers and online stores in the second half of 2013 and will have a suggested retail price of $349.99(USD), €349.99(EUR) and $399.99(CAD).

For educators interested in bringing the engagement of robotics into STEM-related curriculum in middle school and high school classrooms, a new version of the MINDSTORMS platform optimized for school and institutional use will also be released this year. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 platform includes customizable curriculum; engaging, hands-on models and an easy-to-use programming platform. More information on LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 can be found at http://www.LEGOeducation.us/MINDSTORMS.

About The LEGO Group
LEGO Systems Inc. (LSI) is the Americas division of The LEGO Group, a privately-held firm based in Billund, Denmark that is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction toys. The company is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities through high-quality, creatively educational play materials, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: “Only the best is good enough.” For more information, visit http://www.LEGO.com

LEGO, MINDSTORMS, Technic and the LEGO logo are registered trademarks of The LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group.

article & image source-Lego

About Sarah Peel

Sarah Peel is a freelance writer/blogger who has written for many sites and is the owner of Miss Virtual Reality

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