With our World becoming increasingly autonomous, it’s not a case of if robots will take over many of our day-to-day tasks, but when. Now the people at Lego have come up with a real-life way for children to build, program and control their own robots at home. Lego Mindstorms EV3 is set to be your Child’s first route into Robotics.
How I was introduced to Lego Mindstorms EV3
In 2016 I was invited to Colchester Royal Grammar School for an open day, and would eventually see these strange little robots walking around a large table. I enquired as to what they were and a very enthusiastic design and technology teacher gave me a tour. These little robots were built from Lego and had a completely programmable control ‘brick’ attached.
Sensors included touch, colour, and infra-red, meaning the robots could be programmed to follow colours, avoid obstacles and become ‘aware’ of their surroundings. To be blunt, there were the dogs wotsits. Very cool indeed and my 11 year old son though exactly the same.
We discovered that there was a Lego Club at the school, where students could learn to build and program the robots. This was done using a PC or tablet computer and ultilising the various sensors on the robot. During the Lego Club, the students would need to command the robot to carry out various tasks, such as releasing a model spaceship from a docking station and transporting other items. This would need to be done completely automatically and would eventually result in a national competition against other schools and groups.
The future of engineering
Whether we like it or not, the next generation of engineers are likely to be required to understand and program robots. The world needs more engineers and programmers. Lego Mindstorms is an intuitive ‘toy’ which will provide out young people with the basic skills to allow them to progress into serious robotics in the future.
Lego Mindstorms EV3 really does appeal to all ages from 10 to 100. If you can build with Lego, and understand basic programming, you can build your own robot at home.
The birth of the Terminator is upon us…
Lego Mindstorms EV3 has been priced from around £200 to £300, which may sound expensive. However, once you’ve seen how intuitive the system is and the types of robots that can be constructed, you’ll be hooked. I know I was.
Amazon currently have some good deals for this product. Check them out here.