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(PC Magazine)   A nerd reviews LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and finds it pretty perfect. Bonus: No mention of it running Linux   (pcmag.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, Mindstorms EV3, Mindstorms, Lego, servos, artificial brain, touch switch, reflected light, dongles  
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2574 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Aug 2013 at 12:06 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



27 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2013-08-19 11:28:14 AM  
Although it does run Linux.
 
2013-08-19 12:20:47 PM  
Well this might be the sneakiest ad greenlit in awhile...
 
2013-08-19 12:25:43 PM  

Cpl.D: Why the hate on Linux?

*baffled*


It's apparently really easy to get nerds all riled up about Linux. See: previous trainwreck of a thread about Mindstorms.
 
2013-08-19 12:28:39 PM  
I don't care what OS my fridge or car have running on them - why would anyone care what OS LEGO puts on their Mindstorm line?
 
2013-08-19 12:37:45 PM  

gingerjet: I don't care what OS my fridge or car have running on them - why would anyone care what OS LEGO puts on their Mindstorm line?


Because people in general are dicks.

And since I never got an answer from anyone in the other thread I'll ask here.

I'm thinking on getting something like this for my 10 year old that's really into Lego building. He already makes stuff with moving joints and after building whatever the kit is supposed to be he takes them apart and builds other things with them. Should I go straight to something like this or work up to them and maybe have him do some of the Lego Technics stuff first? Or maybe some of you folks know some other form of building kits that actually do stuff for creative kids that would be better.
 
2013-08-19 12:43:39 PM  

Dingleberry Dickwad: gingerjet: I don't care what OS my fridge or car have running on them - why would anyone care what OS LEGO puts on their Mindstorm line?

Because people in general are dicks.

And since I never got an answer from anyone in the other thread I'll ask here.

I'm thinking on getting something like this for my 10 year old that's really into Lego building. He already makes stuff with moving joints and after building whatever the kit is supposed to be he takes them apart and builds other things with them. Should I go straight to something like this or work up to them and maybe have him do some of the Lego Technics stuff first? Or maybe some of you folks know some other form of building kits that actually do stuff for creative kids that would be better.


Give him a soldering iron and some resistors. Things like Mindstorms, while cool and all, are more for the tourists than the actual techies.
 
2013-08-19 12:44:06 PM  

gingerjet: I don't care what OS my fridge or car have running on them - why would anyone care what OS LEGO puts on their Mindstorm line?


If you were trying to program your fridge or your car, you would probably care what OS they were running.

Dingleberry Dickwad: Should I go straight to something like this or work up to them and maybe have him do some of the Lego Technics stuff first?


I'd say go straight for this, but, as a childless adult who is trying to rationalize buying it for myself, I'm a bit biased. The robot I built when I was 10 required soldering. I'd have killed for this stuff.
 
2013-08-19 12:53:58 PM  

brewssuds: Dingleberry Dickwad: gingerjet: I don't care what OS my fridge or car have running on them - why would anyone care what OS LEGO puts on their Mindstorm line?

Because people in general are dicks.

And since I never got an answer from anyone in the other thread I'll ask here.

I'm thinking on getting something like this for my 10 year old that's really into Lego building. He already makes stuff with moving joints and after building whatever the kit is supposed to be he takes them apart and builds other things with them. Should I go straight to something like this or work up to them and maybe have him do some of the Lego Technics stuff first? Or maybe some of you folks know some other form of building kits that actually do stuff for creative kids that would be better.

Give him a soldering iron and some resistors. Things like Mindstorms, while cool and all, are more for the tourists than the actual techies.


I dunno about that. I would think something like Mindstorms or the motorized Erector sets would be a good starting point for a youngster interested in robotics or engineering. I had also thought about getting him one of those starter electronics experiments kits that have the individual resistors and other parts encased in plastic and you follow a plan to make a radio or light a bulb, create a siren, etc. He just seems more interested in building objects/robots than circuits/electronics.

/already have an electronics kit and breadboard/power supply stuff at home from some of my electronics training, but he hasn't shown much interest
 
2013-08-19 01:26:25 PM  
When you're truly interested in the technology you end up replacing the OS with something better.  Like this:
http://lejos.sourceforge.net/
 
2013-08-19 01:26:45 PM  

thurstonxhowell: Cpl.D: Why the hate on Linux?

*baffled*

It's apparently really easy to get nerds all riled up about Linux. See: previous trainwreck of a thread about Mindstorms.


http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=18309 - Some awesome parody jokes about how "bad" Linux is
http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=20339 - "Holy fark, you people are nuts starting about halfway down the first page of comments".

Linux is pretty cool.  If you have a medium amount of computer knowledge, some luck*, and absolutely no desire to play video games (though this IS changing, mostly amongst indies), it's a fairly decent alternative to Windows for certain applications.  It's also WAY easier to do high-productivity coding, because it's designed around a package manager.

It's also the backbone upon which the world runs.  You might use Linux to access the page, but the web runs on Linux.

*I've always gotten farked by one piece of hardware that decided to say "Nope, just not gonna work.  Sucks you can't watch 480p videos with no frame skipping and working sound".  So now I just use VM's.
 
2013-08-19 01:31:05 PM  
Another option for youngster and oldsters alike is Arduino.

http://www.arduino.cc/

It'll probably be more complex than Lego, but there's a lot of good documentation and projects to get you started.
 
2013-08-19 01:40:12 PM  
So theoretically, could I buy 200 of these, build the first one, and then programs it to build the rest of them for me?
 
2013-08-19 02:12:29 PM  
Since it is running linux, does that mean I have to compile the game and edit half my /etc directory to get it two work?
 
2013-08-19 02:46:05 PM  

Cpl.D: Why the hate on Linux?


Apparently the keyword "Linux" is what trolls are beating off to this week. No worries, Fark's "ignore" button still works just as well as always.
 
2013-08-19 03:17:54 PM  

brewssuds: Dingleberry Dickwad: gingerjet: I don't care what OS my fridge or car have running on them - why would anyone care what OS LEGO puts on their Mindstorm line?

Because people in general are dicks.

And since I never got an answer from anyone in the other thread I'll ask here.

I'm thinking on getting something like this for my 10 year old that's really into Lego building. He already makes stuff with moving joints and after building whatever the kit is supposed to be he takes them apart and builds other things with them. Should I go straight to something like this or work up to them and maybe have him do some of the Lego Technics stuff first? Or maybe some of you folks know some other form of building kits that actually do stuff for creative kids that would be better.

Give him a soldering iron and some resistors. Things like Mindstorms, while cool and all, are more for the tourists than the actual techies.


I don't know about that.

They're two different fields, really. Robotics vs microelectronics.
 
2013-08-19 03:27:04 PM  
When I can build a working Iron Man armor out of LEGOs, THEN Mindstorms will be "perfect."
 
2013-08-19 03:37:28 PM  

thurstonxhowell: gingerjet: I don't care what OS my fridge or car have running on them - why would anyone care what OS LEGO puts on their Mindstorm line?

If you were trying to program your fridge or your car, you would probably care what OS they were running.

Dingleberry Dickwad: Should I go straight to something like this or work up to them and maybe have him do some of the Lego Technics stuff first?

I'd say go straight for this, but, as a childless adult who is trying to rationalize buying it for myself, I'm a bit biased. The robot I built when I was 10 required soldering. I'd have killed for this stuff.


You don't need an excuse to buy one.  You're single, childless, and you make too much money.  That means you have a DUTY to buy one.

I got the Lego Mindstorms 2.0 many years ago.  It was awesome.  Unfortunately, during a move a box with most of the critical parts disappeared.  So now I am seriously considering getting the new one.  Why?  Because I'm single, childless, and I make too much money.

A very important point about the Lego Mindstorms that hasn't been emphasized enough.  It will keep you so busy you'll stay out of the Politics tab.

One warning.  If you have a girlfriend who is not a geek, you probably should not get it.  Otherwise there's a good chance you will cease to have a girlfriend.
 
2013-08-19 03:45:49 PM  

theresnothinglft: When you're truly interested in the technology you end up replacing the OS with something better.  Like this:
http://lejos.sourceforge.net/


Did you just use the terms 'Java' and 'better' in the same sentence?  Meanwhile I'm impressed they managed to get the JVM to fit within the 32K of memory, I just hope there's some left to write your programs with.
 
2013-08-19 03:50:55 PM  

brewssuds: Give him a soldering iron and some resistors. Things like Mindstorms, while cool and all, are more for the tourists than the actual techies.


Disagree, for several reasons:

1) Soldering iron and parts makes it harder to reuse things. For me at least, it turned out that I was a lot more reluctant to "spend" components by soldering them into projects as opposed to "using" them in solderless breadboards. Soldering was cheaper, more reliable, more compact, more durable -- but I built less stuff. I built an entire video display card for a TRS-80 out of SSI and MSI TTL, by starting with a divider chain, then adding a test pattern generator and video modulator, then a bus interface, then a memory subsystem, adding more breadboards as needed. If I'd had to design a PC board for the whole thing first, I never would've started. Even wire-wrap might have been tough.

2) Mindstorms is fine for tourists, but tourists don't build Mindstorms factories or Rubik's cube solvers -- Google will show you lots of results for both. There's a pretty low barrier to entry, but if there's an upper limit on the size and complexity of projects, it's WAY up there.

3) While the constraints of Mindstorms make a lot of projects harder, they also help to focus your attention. For many of us, that's a good thing.
 
2013-08-19 03:55:30 PM  

jfarkinB: 1) Soldering iron and parts makes it harder to reuse things.


Using Lego bricks makes it more experiment friendly.  It also means a mistake isn't costly.  Sure, soldering and welding will be more durable, but for a learning toy, it's the wrong kind of durability.
 
2013-08-19 04:09:24 PM  
I'll repost this comparison I extracted and posted in the prior thread.

from Afrel

Comparison LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Intelligent Brick and NXT Intelligent Brick
Processor   ARM9 300MHz          ARM7 48MHz
memory      16MB Flash           256kB (0.256MB) Flash
            64MB RAM             64kB (0.064MB) RAM
operating system
            Linux Base           exclusive OS
Display     178 x 128 pixels     100 x 64 pixels
Output port 4 output ports       3 output
Input port  4 input ports        4 input ports
            analog               analog
            Digital 460.8Kbit/s  digital 9.6Kbit/s (IIC)
Speed of the USB communication
    Hight Speed(480Mbit/s)     Full Speed (12Mbit/s)
USB Interface
    connectable more than EV3s ( up to four)
    Wi-Fi communication Dongle is available
SD card slot
    up to 32GB micro SC card is supported
connection to smart devises
    iOS                         Android
    Android
    Windows
User Interface
    6 buttons                  4 buttons
    illumination function
program size ( in case of line tracing)
    0.950KB                    2.4KB
sensor communication capacity
    1,000 times / second       330 times / second
    1ms                        3ms
Datalogging
    up to 1,000 samplings / second     up to 25 samplings / second
Bluetooth communication
    connectable up to 7 slaves         connectable up to 3 slaves
the size of the test program and operating speed
    2KB                               10KB
    10,000 loops / 60 seconds        760 loops / 60 seconds
   (about 10 times faster)
Motive power
    rechargeable battery Or 6 size AA batteries
 
2013-08-19 04:18:41 PM  

jfarkinB: 3) While the constraints of Mindstorms make a lot of projects harder, they also help to focus your attention. For many of us, that's a good thing.


Is there anything to stop someone from controlling Mindstorms parts with an Arduino?  That might be something to investigate if the kid gets stuck due to the limitations of the Mindstorms controller.
 
2013-08-19 04:22:21 PM  

anfrind: jfarkinB: 3) While the constraints of Mindstorms make a lot of projects harder, they also help to focus your attention. For many of us, that's a good thing.

Is there anything to stop someone from controlling Mindstorms parts with an Arduino?  That might be something to investigate if the kid gets stuck due to the limitations of the Mindstorms controller.


I don't think the limitation would be in the controller.  It would be in the types of sensors available.  This was also true in the version 2.0 days, so some people hacked up their own sensors.  Lego liked some of the hacks so much they got the rights to them for the new version.
 
2013-08-19 09:37:15 PM  
I'd like to point out that I have a 2.0 kit and have been controlling my bots via Bluetooth on my Android phone with the official LEGO app... Something the reviewer says isn't possible with older kits.

The new kit sounds pretty great, but the 2.0 kit is about 60% of the price and probably better suited to beginners.
 
2013-08-19 09:57:37 PM  

secularsage: I'd like to point out that I have a 2.0 kit and have been controlling my bots via Bluetooth on my Android phone with the official LEGO app... Something the reviewer says isn't possible with older kits.

The new kit sounds pretty great, but the 2.0 kit is about 60% of the price and probably better suited to beginners.


The 2.0 kit isn't being made any more, so there's that.  The new kit can be wifi enabled and the new software is pretty cool.  I'm driving the NXT with the software while I wait for my EV3 to show up (grrr!)
 
2013-08-20 04:26:04 AM  

Dingleberry Dickwad: gingerjet: I don't care what OS my fridge or car have running on them - why would anyone care what OS LEGO puts on their Mindstorm line?

Because people in general are dicks.

And since I never got an answer from anyone in the other thread I'll ask here.

I'm thinking on getting something like this for my 10 year old that's really into Lego building. He already makes stuff with moving joints and after building whatever the kit is supposed to be he takes them apart and builds other things with them. Should I go straight to something like this or work up to them and maybe have him do some of the Lego Technics stuff first? Or maybe some of you folks know some other form of building kits that actually do stuff for creative kids that would be better.


I'd say go for a Technic set with some Power Functions elements (plain motors, remote control etc.) If he likes that then go for the Mindstorms set.

Also, invest in rechargable batteries and always have a spare set on charge.
 
2013-08-20 07:36:17 AM  
No labview hatred yet?
 
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