I've been following the coverage of new product announcements and sneak peeks at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Besides all the mobile communications, TV and automobile smart technology there is LEGO and its newest version of Mindstorms dubbed EV3 which will be on the market in 2013.
If you have never heard of LEGO Mindstorms then you have missed one of the truly wonderful inventions of that Danish company. Mindstorms invites children to use LEGO to build and program robots. The kit contains programmable bricks and parts to create robots in a variety of shapes and capable of walking, talking and picking up things.
EV3 offers sensors that can detect colors and objects as well as orient themselves to their surroundings.
Program a robot using LEGO's software running on PC or Mac. Use an iPhone or Android smartphone as a controller to communicate with it over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. LEGO Mindstorms EV3 comes with instructions for building five different robots including the two you see below - the snake and the scorpion. The expected retail price - approximately $350.
EV is supported by LEGO Education which has expanded its existing Mindstorm kits to include a whole bunch of new learning packages for this new release. That should make Mindstorm an even more exciting learning tool for young people.
And finally there is the FIRST LEGO League, where teams of young people from around the world contest for top prizes by solving real world problems using LEGO. Each annual contest has a theme. This year's is Nature's Fury Challenge. FIRST LEGO League or FLL involves more than 200,000 children, ages 9 to 16 (9 to 14 in Canada, the United States and Mexico), from more than 70 countries every year. FLL's mission - to inspire young people to become interested in science and technology. And it's working.
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