I’m excited to see what Lego does with their next Lego Mindstorms set. Due out in Fall of 2013, the Lego Mindstorms EV3 refreshes what has become Lego’s best selling product lines.
Details are vague, and it’s hard to get a sense of what has changed in the set. Certainly most of the beams and other structural parts visible in the promotional photos seem identical to the old set, except black and red instead of gray and orange. Some of the old standbys, like the ultrasonic sensor, have gone away, while EV3 includes smaller-profile motors, an IR sensor and a matrix display, which sounds really cool.
VentureBeat lays it down:
The system has an ARM 9 processor, 16 megabytes of embedded flash memory, 64 megabytes of random access memory, an expansion slot, USB 2.0, four input ports, four output ports, a matrix display, loudspeaker, button-based user interface, on-brick programming, Bluetooth 2.1, three interactive servo motors, two touch sensors, an IR seeker sensor, an IR beacon for remote control with six-feet range, a better color sensor, and icon-based programming. The system is backward-compatible with LEGO Mindstorms NXT.
(My emphasis.) It sounds like more of an impressive bump than a revolutionary transformation in the product, though the MSRP also gets bumped, from $250 to $350. TechnicBricks has more details.
Now, if you really want to revolutionize your Lego robotics, check out Make: Lego & Arduino Projects, a book I wrote last year with Wayne and Layne. It lets you use Arduinos to control Lego robots, so you don’t even need to use Lego’s microcontroller or programming environment to build cool projects.