As if I didn’t have enough to worry about as a parent, now my kids can create semi-autonomous robots that can be remotely controlled via a mobile phone.
One of the first announcements out of last week’s CES show was that Lego had unveiled its new Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit, which in addition to more powerful motors and double the processing speed, also boasts Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to control your robots using an app for your Android or iOS mobile phone. Instructions are provided by an Autodesk-powered app.
The kit includes an infrared remote control and sensor, color sensor, touch sensor, and three motors. Among the designs you can build: a motorized snake that snaps at your hands, and a scorpion that will launch plastic balls out of its tail. The system’s programmable brick has been upgraded with an ARM 9 chip, 64MB of RAM and 16MB of Flash. Mindstorm’s hackers will likely have a field day with all this functionality.
iPad owners benefit from an app that provides step-by-step assembly instructions from Autodesk. So in addition to an introduction to robotics, would-be engineers get an introduction to design software. Fromt he company’s site:
Marking another first in the company’s history, MINDSTORMS EV3 is the first LEGO playset to incorporate 3D building instructions, made possible through collaboration with Autodesk. An innovative spin on The LEGO Group’s hallmark nonverbal, step-by-step building instructions, the new 3D instructions app, powered by Autodesk Inventor Publisher, allows builders to zoom in and rotate each step in the building process, making it easier than ever to assemble even the most sophisticated robot.
And who knows what this means for NASA. Last year the agency remotely controlled a Lego robot on Earth from the International Space Station using the Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol.
You can see some videos below: