Lego Mindstorms EV 3

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The thrill of toy robots that walk, talk, think and obey your commands

The thrill of toy robots that walk, talk, think and obey your commands

To start with the basics, Mindstorms is a programmable robot construction kit. The kit includes motors, sensors, a programmable intelligent brick, remote control, cables, and elements that will help you build the mechanics of a robot. EV stands for ‘evolution’ and this is the third in the Mindstorms series.

The EV3’s programmable brick has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities, and you can command your robot using an iPad, or even have it send messages to the internet. You can also control your robot using voice apps on the iPad. There are online building instructions for about 17 designs, and you can idevise your own using the bricks or buying another set of them from a Lego store.

The programmable brick uses an ARM9 processor and has Linux running on it. If you have programming skills, you can go into the operating system and programme it; if not, use the Lego software to create command sets such as asking your robot to follow the light, bump into something and turn around, or pick things up and deliver them elsewhere.

The EV3’s colour sensor can detect up to 7 colours. You can teach your robot to avoid certain colours and get attracted to some. It communicates colour changes up to 1,000 times per second, so you can have it follow a trail of light too, or have it solve the Rubik’s cube.

You can programme the EV3 via a PC or using an SD Memory card that goes into the brick. If you have more kits, you can have a robot command a group of seven ‘Slaves’, who can create a mess or help you clean one up.

Let your imagination flow.