Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NERD Heaven! Playing around with new Lego EV3 Robot Kit

I am fortunate enough to have my hands on the new Lego EV3 robot coming out this fall. I am tinkering around and playing with this new robot and I must say that I am impressed.......very impressed. Now, full disclosure is that I have barely touched the surface and only build a few little models and currently am playing around with the Gyro bot so I might find some issues down the road, but for now I love it.

I am a First Lego League coach and the more I play around with this robot and test out the accuracies of sensors, capabilities of new sensors, what the little motor can add, etc. I think there is no doubt that this is a game changer.

And it should be if you are coming out with an upgraded robot.

Now, the kicker is that I don't see how teams will be able to compete fairly compared to the new robot. Yes, some teams are masterminds with Mindstorm 2.0 and can probably beat most teams, but that is not so much a hardware issue as it is just kids who are brilliant. For new teams this robot is a must. I think about all the new teams in Iowa in the last few years who have merged into this field. Will they be able to upgrade and compete? I don't know.

I know for my team we will have to figure out how to use this robot. The pieces have some new features and the programming is a bit different. Nothing drastic, but oh so cool.

Here are some images and video of the robot. I have built Gyro and he is SWEET mixed with AWESOMESAUCE!

This new piece is major! A metal ball to help as a slider and navigator for the robot. It years past our team has always struggled creating a slide piece that was accurate in turning. Now we can use this metal ball and that changes everything. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is!


No more rubber treads. Instead you get this piece. I need to play around with these a bit more as I have not had time, but looking at videos online you can see how much better these pieces are for traction, moving, and modifying to the size you need.
 I build the Gyro Bot and to see a robot balance itself on two wheels is just amazing. It really changes your thinking in robot design. The possibilities are now becoming more and more with this new sensor.
Here is a short video of the Gyro Bot being able to move over uneven surfaces. Nothing earth shattering, but shows potential in this new robot kit.




And in case you have not heard the announcement..........

EV3 ship date has been announced!!!!


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