Leif

The future of Mindstorms?

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I’m getting more and more interested in the programming that Mindstorms can offer, including the surrounding possibilities, hook up to a computer and such. I am from time to time a programmmer in C#.

But ev3 is so old! Should I buy it anyway, aim for something else or keep my fingers crossed, waiting for “ev4”?

 

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1 hour ago, Leif said:

I’m getting more and more interested in the programming that Mindstorms can offer, including the surrounding possibilities, hook up to a computer and such. I am from time to time a programmmer in C#.

But ev3 is so old! Should I buy it anyway, aim for something else or keep my fingers crossed, waiting for “ev4”?

 

If you're interested, go ahead. I'm beginning to worry that LEGO has started to ditch the MINDSTORMS line. The community on the official LEGO gallery is dying, and they've changed the interface to a terrible one that doesn't even seem to allow comments. It's been at least four years since EV3 came out and there haven't really been any new updates, kits or announcements for a new system.

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47 minutes ago, TheMindGarage said:

If you're interested, go ahead. I'm beginning to worry that LEGO has started to ditch the MINDSTORMS line. The community on the official LEGO gallery is dying, and they've changed the interface to a terrible one that doesn't even seem to allow comments. It's been at least four years since EV3 came out and there haven't really been any new updates, kits or announcements for a new system.

You have voiced the fears of many people, including myself. 

The Mindstorms concept has so much potential but, all we’ve seen in the past few years is Boost which I fear may be the dumbed down future of Mindstorms. 

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30 minutes ago, Boulderer said:

You have voiced the fears of many people, including myself. 

The Mindstorms concept has so much potential but, all we’ve seen in the past few years is Boost which I fear may be the dumbed down future of Mindstorms. 

It's either that or that primary-school WeDo stuff :(. The last real development on EV3 was the phone controller app, and it's so limited feature-wise and so bad at connecting that I just use the EV3's IR system.

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What would happen to all the FLL programs (worldwide) that use MindStorms as an introductory 'Robotics' course?

As many might recall, Mindstorms started out from a robotics course at MIT 6.270 (late 80's) and then the first brick (RCX) was developed jointly by MIT and TLG. Many schools (Highschools and Universities) have then adopted the format and started offering introductory courses. If MindStorms is to go away ... many schools would need to 'scramble' for new content.  

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Physically the limitations on Mindstorms EV3 may prove it's downfall. Four motors and sensors does put a crimp in developing large displays and even larger MOCS. Expanding with multiple EV3's is the most expensive expansion available. If Mindstorms and EV3 wants to remain viable then a 'dumb' expansion device, chained to the master, must be made available.

You mentioned MIT. They have developed SCRATCH for use as a learning tool for programming. IMHO a lot more conducive to learning than the Mindstorms graphical blocks. (Yes you can use other languages with EV3 but---)

Scratch in conjunction with sbrick has STARTED to develop an environment that allows greater control and sensor utilization. I say started because, although sbrick states four bricks can be used with scratch, the interface, S2Bot, has not provided that yet, nor has the Scratch templates been provided for this expansion. I am hopeful that this development continues.

The one t

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1 hour ago, knotian said:

Physically the limitations on Mindstorms EV3 may prove it's downfall. Four motors and sensors does put a crimp in developing large displays and even larger MOCS. Expanding with multiple EV3's is the most expensive expansion available. If Mindstorms and EV3 wants to remain viable then a 'dumb' expansion device, chained to the master, must be made available.

You mentioned MIT. They have developed SCRATCH for use as a learning tool for programming. IMHO a lot more conducive to learning than the Mindstorms graphical blocks. (Yes you can use other languages with EV3 but---)

Scratch in conjunction with sbrick has STARTED to develop an environment that allows greater control and sensor utilization. I say started because, although sbrick states four bricks can be used with scratch, the interface, S2Bot, has not provided that yet, nor has the Scratch templates been provided for this expansion. I am hopeful that this development continues.

The one t

Not to mention that EV3 is rather heavy and inefficient compared to the PF system. And don't even get me started on that graphical EV3 environment...

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I'd always advise to buy one. I tried alternatives with BrickPi, Raspberry Pi, Micro:bit,... but I keep coming back to the original EV3 brick. I suggest you take a look here: www.ev3dev.org. It has a modern linux firmware and allows you to program the brick in C, Javascript and Python. At the moment the only limit for me is the time I can spend to develop new projects.  Some of the things I was able to do with ev3dev are here:

Now I'm working on 3D delta printer.

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Depending on what you're planning to do, an EV3 could be more than adequate. You could be waiting for a long time for EV4 that may or may not materialize.

Mindstorms can stand up to man/kid handling, repeated assembly/disassembly and abuse more than some of the other solutions. 

 

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