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Mindstorms Speculation

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?




Comments

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,493
    edited December 1
    Spike Prime will be out in January, and while it is not said to be a Mindstorms replacement, it does pretty much everything that EV3 does, but using the new Powered Up infrastructure.
    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.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    Huw said:
    Spike Prime will be out in January, and while it is not said to be a Mindstorms replacement, it does pretty much everything that EV3 does, but using the new Powered Up infrastructure.
    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.
    I think EV3 is still a good investment (even NXT if you find it cheap). Powered Up is ok for messing around with basic stuff but is absolute junk for the serious mek builders (like GBCs and other big technic contraptions), it's motors are weak and can't even reverse. I'm not sure if Spike will suffer from the same issues but I would hold off untill solid reviews start coming in. If they do come out with a new mindstorms I hope it will be a serious robotics kit like the others and not just a glorified Boost.

    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.
  • PicopiratePicopirate Member Posts: 315
    I am thinking of getting a kit because I started coaching FLL this year. I have access to  to a couple sets during the season but I am lucky to have one complete set due to the missing pieces. My two main reasons to get a set are (1) so I can build and test things out in the off-season so I am more familiar with what I will teach the kids and (2) so my kid can play with the set without risk of screwing up his teams robot.  A nice benefit is that I can lend out piece that the existing kits may be missing.

    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.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    I agree that as just a Lego set in general it looks pretty decent. The colors are understandable given the younger age range similar to Boost. It is therefore purely the functionality that is in question given you say it is based on PU which has a reputation of being mediocre. I would not want to get a set purely for the standard parts and have a heap of useless expensive electronics.
  • PicopiratePicopirate Member Posts: 315
    I broke down and ordered Spike Prime. My kid saw some of the videos in my watch history and he really wants it for his birthday (which is shortly after launch). I warned him that the PU motors probably will not be as good as Mindstorms motors but he had no problem with that.  He thinks for tinkering around at home they will be fine, and I tend to agree. We will need to evaluate if they are worth using for FLL. Fortunately his grandparents are chipping in to make it possible... and if Mindstorms is refreshed this year then I will still be able to afford to pick that up to use it to teach my FLL kids.

    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.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,043
    ^ Depending on the age of your kid, if he really wants to get into messing about with programming and basic electronics, I suggest buying some cheap motors and sensors and going down the route of use an arduino at first or a raspberry pi. You get a lot more flexibility for minimal cost. It will be interesting to see what the new sensors cost, as you can pick up essentially the same basic sensors for $1-2 or so.

    LEGO's gyro sensor, $30 or so.
    This 3-axis gyro, $3.

    One adapted from an old wii controller, next to nothing.

    Ultrasonic distance sensors can be had for $1-2, the same with line following colour ones, colour sensors are $3-4, and so on. Of course, they don't come with a lego casing and you need to program the pi/arduino.

    If / when they are at the stage they want to go from being a toy to a hobby, then it is worth going down this route.

    I find, especially with motors for my kid at the moment, that there is a significant cost saving by buying generic motors and gluing a LEGO gear onto the axle, and attaching to a plate for connection purposes or boxing them in if necessary to hide them.

    omnium
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