Robotics, the Next Generation
With the ability to help teach everything from programming to the physics of gyroscopes as well as how to cooperate and work in groups to complete complicated projects, Lego’s Mindstorm EV3 robotic kit is an all-in-one science and technology lab. The EV3 third generation robot controller from Lego can handle four inputs (from sensors like a light and color detector) and four outputs (with actuators and powered wheels). Inside the EV3 is a 300MHz ARM 9 processor, 64MB of RAM and 16MB of flash storage. It not only has an SD card reader for extra program storage space, but a rechargeable lithium battery, a small screen and a six-button interface.
Despite its looks, EV3 is no toy. It comes with lessons, a digital workbook for students and a slew of online resources so kids and teachers can get the most out of the system. Based on object oriented Linux programming, groups of students can make a two-wheeled gyroscopically controlled mechanical creature or other projects. There are add-on parts for making a robotic dog, robotic arm and the only thing it doesn’t include is the creativity that the students supply. Look for it later this year.