Re: Using Lego Mindstorms for Training

In response to an earlier post about Lego Mindstorms being used to teach robotics, Redcone wrote:

“They seem to be growing in popularity everywhere. It is a great way to get kids introduced to some of the basic concepts involved in robotics.”

I agree totally. I’m a big fan of Mindstorms, especially for teaching and prototyping. I’m a little clumsy, and don’t have good manual coordination, so they can be a little frustrating for me. I usually manage to knock some pieces loose right at the worst possible moment. Still, they are a fantastic tool for quickly and relatively painlessly proving or teaching a concept.

Another reason why I’m so fascinated by the Mindstorms phenonmena is the way it’s been accepted globally. Ignoring really old handcrafted mechanical dolls, the first practical robots – the Unimate - were imported to Japan from the US where they were developed for auto manufacturing applications.

Sidebar: The Unimate page at the Robot Hall of Fame states– “Unimate was conceived in 1956 at a meeting between inventors George Devol and Joseph Engelberger, where they discussed the writings of science fiction. Together they made a serious commitment to develop a real, working robot.”

050203 unimate

The Japanese refined and advanced the state of the art for industrial robotics tremendously. Now we have a Danish company (Lego) working with a major US technical university (MIT) to produce a product (Mindstorms) that’s being used in Japan to teach young budding roboticists . . . You can’t get more global than that. The technology and the desire to learn bridges geographic and cultural barriers.

By the way, Redcone has a great website focused on robotics. I am constantly surprised and delighted by some of the interesting and often arkane robot news stories he manages to dig up.

Welcome to redcone.net! - Redcone Robotics

Lem

One thought on “Re: Using Lego Mindstorms for Training

  1. I appreciate the compliments about my site! It is nice to know people appreciate the time I put into it.

    “The technology and the desire to learn bridges geographic and cultural barriers” I agree with that 100%

    I think that is one of the essential truths for making the world a better place.

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