Friday, July 25, 2008

LEGO Education unveils WeDo

LEGO Education (The LEGO Group's educational division) announced WeDo, a new product that redefines classroom robotics as they said.
The new product is expect to become available at first in US and Brazil beginning January 2009, and later at different regions.

WeDo is targeted for elementary school students with 7-11 years of age and its concept actively involves students in their own learning process and promotes children's creative thinking, team-work and problem solving skills.

Cause and effect learning is enhanced by the models which remain tethered to a computer while children, like scientists working in labs, can test and adjust their programs in real time. After reflecting on what did and did not work, students can consult with peers, adapt the programming, adjust models or begin again.

The complete package (9580) will include:
  • 158 LEGO brightly colored elements, including gears and levers.
  • One LEGO USB Hub connects directly to a PC.
  • One PF M-motor, one motion sensor and one tilt sensor.
  • Drag-and-drop icon-based software that provides an intuitive and easy-to-use programming environment (once more and like NXT produced in collaboration with National Instruments).

Not a TECHNIC product in its essence but believe, despite remaining tethered to a computer, that hard-core TECHNIC fans will find good use for it also.

For extra information, checkout the WeDo info at LEGO Education website.

Via, The Brothers Brick


Alex Campos said...

I wonder what those sensors could do in a non-computer-tethered, TECHNIC model... or, better yet, hooked up to an RCX or an NXT!

Robotica said...

I wonder how a laptop USB port can deliver sufficiant power for a motor in stall?

PF motor can draw a current up to 850 mA, and XL-PF Motor 1.8 A in stall, [Philohome]

The USB specification provides a 5 V supply on a single wire from which connected USB devices may draw power. Initially, a device is only allowed to draw 100 mA. It may request more current from the upstream device in units of 2 mA up to a maximum of 500 mA. [wikipedia]


Brian Davis said...

The motor stall current is a good point, but not one that couldn't be fundamentally gotten around. While the motor may be able to pull 850 mA (or more) during a stall... that doesn't mean the driving circuitry has to deliver that much. You just end up with an underpowered motor.

I'm curious about what you could do with the NXT or RCX with these sensor as well... as well as what other very simple embedded controllers might fit into the PF line with this sort of modality.

TechnicBRICKs said...

However looking at Philo measurements it still seems to allow a decent motor operation, at reasonable loads.

Naturally this is not a solution targeted for extreme demands.

For some reason the marketing material only shows the M-Motor and not XL (despite it seems it could work too).

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