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It has now been 6.5 years since the EV3 sets came out. The time between NXT and EV3 was 7 years and the time between RCX and NXT was 8 years. However, the previous cycles were broken up by releases of RCX 2.0 and NXT 2.0, so if you include those the historical refresh cycle is closer to 3-4 years. So looking at historical data, we are either overdue for an EV3 2.0 or nearing the release of the 4th generation Mindstorms.
I was thinking that 2020 might be the year for a new Mindstorms release, based on the historical release cycle and the fact that the EV3 brick is starting to show its age. However, I came across the following link.https://education.lego.com/en-us/support/mindstorms-ev3
It describes the new "LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Classroom" app. Considering EV3 is in the name of the app, it now appears as though EV3 is not going away anytime soon. Granted, they could rename the app, but that may cause confusion.
Does anyone have thought or evidence that might point towards a sooner refresh?
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Recent discussions •
I guess the two will live side-by-side until the next official Mindstorms replacement, whenever that is!
I think there's a lot of life left in EV3 still but I wouldn't buy into it now.: the kit of parts is now very dated.
Of course, I'm a vintage electronics guy, so I'm more critical of modern machines, even just toys, given that I've worked on stuff that was made when Lego was making wooden toys in Denmark. I remember seeing the RCX sets in Lego catalogs as a kid and would still get one if I found it at a decent price.
That said, Spike Prime does look very interesting (if you can look past the eye bleeding colors). It looks like will be allowed for use in FLL next year too. Though that would require our organization to get some sets too. I do really like some of the parts. I will hold off and check the reviews, but getting one of those seems like a good compromise. Even if we stick with Mindstorms for FLL, I could lend out some of the cool new pieces (biscuits, wheels, etc.). Ideally a new Minstorms set will come out this summer and include some of these new pieces as well and I can have the best of both worlds.
My only concern is that the kit ships with two medium motors and one large motor. That most certainly means that we will be picking up a second large motor. Additionally, I taught the kids how to use one color sensor for line following and then use the other to detect crossing lines, so he will likely want a second color sensor as well. I will hold off on those until we work through all the lessons. I will only pick up the accessories if the quality is sufficient.
The Microsoft implementation allows the MakeCode usage either as a web application or as an installed application for off-line development. The MakeCode editor is as good as in any typical IDE. The integration with GitHub is an additional plus.
I will continue the experimentations with Spike to find out if there are remedies for the discovered weaknesses. It doesn't look good. I like the fact that it is using a STMF4 processor. I have been working for many years with STM32/F1/F4/F7/H7 processors.
Also, no, YOU are bloody useless at large scale robotics. XD
Plus, there are tons of other extremely advanced Mindstorms machines, just have a look around on the internet.
On a related note, EV3 is presently listed as retiring soon. I suspect a new version is just around the corner.