Hands on with the Lego Mindstorms EV3

story-legoI first covered the Lego Mindstorms version 3, or EV3, at CES last January. I finally had a chance to try out the 45544 Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 Core Set, and it took me very little time to learn how to use, but it has infinite possibilities.

The set comes with the EV3 Intelligent Brick, which is a small computer with about 8 ports, not to mention a USB port an SD card slot which I haven’t even accessed yet. The purpose of the 8 ports is to connect these wires that resemble eighties telephone wire to certain other Lego parts with interesting features.

These Lego parts include two servo motors, a built-in rotation sensor, ultrasonic sensor, color-light sensor, gyro sensor, and two touch sensors. The user is then required to program the EV3 Intelligent brick to make these other cool bricks function.

Does that sound complicated to you? It is, kind of. What you have to do is set up a program in another language that is very symbolic in nature. So once you learn how to use these feature-full bricks, you can create a lot of vehicles, robots, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Fortunately, LEGO sent me this particular EV3 Core Set, so I don’t know the price. I will be writing about the EV3 in a book, which will be a sequel to Practical Lego Technics and Lego Technic Robotics. Find out more information about this kit here.