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Posted August 8, 2014
As with all LEGO sets, Mindstorms are good for exercising high-level critical thinking and problem solving skills. Robotics models provide hands-on exposure to logical processes, cause and effect, IF-THEN-ELSE and LOOP coding structures, and simple machines and devices such as pulleys and cams. Some robotic responses are triggered via inputs to sensors (touch, infrared, optical). Setting the sensitivity is an application of the Algebra II concept of compound inequalities.
This set is a good next step for anyone who has mastered the LEGO Technics sets. LEGO Mindstorms exercises STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills. Unlike the tethered robots in the LEGO Education suites, the Mindstorms robots have an on-board computer and are free-ranging, enabling the user to explore real-world engineering issues such as control, communication, battery life, obstacles, hazards, and operating environment of the robot.
Due to the nonverbal nature of the assembly instructions, the end user will not learn many engineering vocabulary words such as cam, torque and threshold, but should have no trouble describing them within the context of the function of a robot.
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Posted November 1, 2014
The store EV3 is different from educational EV3. The store version has a IR sensor+transmitter instead of ultrasonic and gyro sensors. Educational version has steel ball+socket, expandable tractor treads, and other steering parts not found in educational.
Educational has rechargable battery pack and store version uses AA batteries. Most books are designed for the store version. First Lego League stuff is designed for the Educational version. Not included but needed: +2 Ghz computer. not included but useful to have - Wifi dongle and 8gb micro SD card useful to have.
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Posted January 4, 2015